Coenzyme Q10: Deficiency rather rare

Coenzyme Q10 is a vitamin-like substance that was only discovered in 1957 at the University of Wisconsin. Q10 is both produced by the body itself and ingested through food. Nevertheless, some manufacturers offer dietary supplements, creams and lotions with extra portions of coenzyme Q10. However, experts call these extra portions useless. What is the effect of coenzyme Q10? Are there any side effects? How does a lack of Q10 occur?

Occurrence and effect of coenzyme Q10

The human body converts relatively large amounts of coenzyme Q10 every day. However, since he also produces the coenzyme himself, a deficiency rarely occurs. In addition, the substance is also ingested through food –  corn , sardines, soybeans,  nuts , meat, poultry and some vegetable oils are particularly rich in the coenzyme.

In the body, Q10 is used as a component of the mitochondria, where inhaled oxygen is used and energy is obtained from food. This coenzyme also plays an important role in the defense against oxidative stress, as it captures free radicals. That is why Q10 is said to have a skin-tightening and health-promoting effect.

Coenzyme Q10: deficiency and areas of application

A lack of coenzyme Q10 is rare in a normal diet. However, the content of the coenzyme in the organs occasionally decreases with increasing age. This can lead to  high blood pressure , heart muscle disorders,  heart failure  and  hardening of the arteries  .

However, it has not yet been clearly proven whether an additional dose of Q10 can help here. However, initial studies indicate that Q10 could be used to lower high blood pressure and prevent  migraines  .

Studies on the effect of coenzyme Q10

In 2013, researchers from Copenhagen were also able to achieve success in the treatment of patients with heart failure (heart weakness). In their study, the death rate of seriously ill patients was almost halved by the administration of Q10. Nevertheless, those affected should not take the coenzyme without prior consultation with their doctor due to the possible interactions with other medications.

However, other studies refute the assumed effect of Q10. For example, a New York study from 2014 examined whether high doses of coenzyme Q10 can slow down the early stages of Parkinson’s disease. However, the study came to the conclusion that Parkinson’s disease is not slowed down by the free radical scavengers, but may even be accelerated.

Coenzyme Q10 side effects

When taking coenzyme Q10 capsules, the side effects should be considered. There are no concerns when adhering to the regular daily dose of ten to a maximum of 30 milligrams a day. In higher doses, however, the following side effects of Q10 can occur:

  • loss of appetite
  • nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • stomach pain
  • headache
  • insomnia
  • skin rash
  • dizziness

In addition, patients taking anticoagulant medication should avoid Q10 as a dietary supplement.

Capsules and cream with coenzyme Q10

Anti-aging creams and body lotions with Q10 are said to tighten the skin and give it a younger appearance. In addition, coenzyme Q10 is often offered as a dietary supplement in capsule form. The manufacturers of Q10 preparations advertise with “health-promoting effects” and “strengthening of the body’s defences”.

With regard to the last two statements, however, the effect of Q10 preparations was already refuted in 2001 by the Federal Institute for Health Protection of Consumers and Veterinary Medicine (bgvv). An in-depth investigation came to the conclusion that taking the dietary supplements was not harmful to health, but “no significant positive effects on the functioning of the human body could be demonstrated”.

In an examination of anti-aging creams, Stiftung Warentest also only certified the products as “microscopic successes”. Even if the effect of the coenzyme Q10 is still being researched, instead of relying on chemical preparations, consumers should pay more attention to a healthy lifestyle and a balanced diet in order to feel healthy and young for a long time.

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