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Nutritionist Tip: When Should You Take CoQ10?

Updated: Oct 21, 2021

There’s a wide variety of supplements available for any and every ailment out there. However, supplements are only meant to bridge the gaps created by poor nutrition, lifestyle factors and prescription medications. The focus should be on creating balanced nutrition that provides your body with as many therapeutic elements it some cases, considering the addition of a high quality supplement to your daily regimen can have its benefits. There’s been some buzz around CoQ10 as more studies reveal the vital role and function it has in your body’s energy production, vitality and health.

What is CoQ10 good for?

Coenzyme Q10, also known as CoQ10, is a fat-soluble compound that helps cells generate energy and protects against cell damage providing an antioxidative effect. Within cells, CoQ10 helps to produce ATP, which your body uses for energy. CoQ10 is present in all cells of the body, but can be found in greatest concentration in the liver, heart, kidneys, and lungs. This compound supports energy production but also protects these active tissues from oxidative stress; hence, its antioxidant function.

Due to these functions, CoQ10 also supports cardiovascular health. Research has shown it can improve insulin sensitivity and blood sugar status in those with type 2 diabetes. According to studies, therapeutic effects have been achieved with supplementation doses for 150mg to 300mg.

Sports performance places a high demand on muscles that can lead to fatigue from high oxidative stress. Studies have shown improved sports performance and strength output in athletes who supplemented with 300mg of daily CoQ10.

Other studies have also observed benefits in those with heart failure, Parkinson’s Disease, Alzheimer’s, muscle aches, migraines, and fertility problems. And some benefits are thought to be present in prevention of cancer and lung disease, but ongoing studies hope to reveal more concrete results in CoQ10’s function and involvement.

When should you take CoQ10?

There are no established guidelines set for CoQ10 intake. Studies have shown benefits with intakes of 50mg to 400mg. Exact dosing recommendations are based on age and individual health conditions. Those with liver, kidney or heart diseases should always consult with their physician before starting any supplementation regimens. CoQ10 supplementation is generally safe, but if taken in persistent high quantities, you may experience side effects of nausea, diarrhea, headache and skin rashes.

Those on statin (cholesterol) medications and those with deficiency in B6 vitamin are at higher risk for low or depleted CoQ10 stores. When supplementing CoQ10 due to statin use, it is best to take the medication and supplement separately. Because of the fat-blocking actions of statin medications, taking CoQ10 with the statin does not allow proper absorption of CoQ10 and therefore inhibits the maximum benefits.

What foods have CoQ10?

Since CoQ10 is a fat-soluble compound, it can be found in abundance in organ meats like heart, liver and kidney. Other rich food sources for CoQ10 include fatty fish like trout, herring, mackerel and sardines. Foods like pork, beef, chicken, lentils, soy beans, peanuts, pistachios, and sesame seeds also contain considerable amounts of CoQ10. Fruits like oranges and strawberries also contain smaller amounts of CoQ10.Supplements should be taken in combination with a snack or meal that contains dietary fat to improve absorption of this fat-soluble compound.

Is CoQ10 good for weight loss?

Due to its role in energy production, healthy CoQ10 levels support a healthy metabolism that can support weight loss. In order to make ATP energy, your body needs to draw on stored fat cells. Going through a series of biochemical processes, fat molecules get broken down and transformed to create ATP which your body’s organs can use as a source of energy. In order to create these ATP energy molecules, CoQ10 is required in the final conversion steps. That is why CoQ10 is such an important part of supporting fat burning and energy levels. While CoQ10 alone is not the solution, supplementation in addition to a balanced whole-foods diet and daily physical activity can jumpstart your efforts toward weight loss.

While naturally boosting levels through a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle habits like regular movement is the ideal way of reaching healthy levels, supplements can also play an important role in creating good health. There are many benefits to boosting CoQ10 levels, but always consult with your doctor before you decide to add any new supplement to your daily regimen. Your healthcare professional can help you determine if this supplement is safe for you.

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