Why Is CoQ10 Important?
CoQ10 (coenzyme Q10) is naturally produced in your liver and can be found in various foods or in supplement form. This nutrient supports ATP energy production and provides your body with antioxidants to help healthy cells grow and thrive. Although your body naturally produces coq10 on its own, as you age your natural production dwindles, causing many people to become deficient in this vital nutrient. Taking a coq10 supplement can be beneficial because being deficient can cause issues with your health, including: cardiovascular disease, atherosclerosis, angina, congestive heart failure; high blood pressure; diabetes; irregular cell growth; cognitive diseases and accelerate the aging process. A health care practitioner may also recommend a coq10 supplement if you’re already suffering from one of these health conditions.
There are many forms, formats and potencies of coq10 on the market to suit just about everyone’s needs. Read on to learn about the benefits of each one to see which would best suit you.
What is CoQ10 Used For?
Before we dive into the types of coq10, you may be wondering what it’s good for. As mentioned above, being deficient in this nutrient can cause many health issues, but what does it support overall? Coq10 supports ATP (energy) production and helps prevent free-radical damage with its antioxidant properties which in turn promote healthy cell growth and maintenance, improve blood sugar regulation, protect cardiovascular health and support the aging process both externally and on a cellular level.
Who Should Take CoQ10?
A health care practitioner may suggest a coq10 supplement for antioxidant protection to help cells from oxidative damage support overall heart health if you’re on statin medication for high cholesterol or if you are at risk or have a family history of heart disease. If you are taking any medications, it’s important to speak to your health care practitioner first in case there are any contraindications.
What CoQ10 Is Best?
There are two forms of coq10, ubiquinone and ubiquinol. The former is what’s considered the standard form but unfortunately, if you supplement with this form, your body needs to convert it to ubiquinol before it can absorb it. This can be an issue because not everybody does this conversion well, leaving you with less coq10 being absorbed properly. Ubiquinol on the other hand is what’s considered the active form of this nutrient and is readily available to be absorbed. Ubiquinol is more expensive than ubiquinone but doesn’t require as high of a dose.
Both of these forms come in many supplement formats, including vegetable capsules, regular capsules, softgels, powders and liquids.
Benefits Of CoQ10 Vegetable Capsules
Coq10 formulation is generally made without the use of animal by-products. Therefore, if encapsulated in a vegetable capsule, they are appropriate for vegetarians, vegans and those that don’t consume pork for personal or religious beliefs. Vegetable capsules are generally made from cellulose which is a plant by-product that’s rich in fibre. People often find them easy to swallow and they usually allow the supplement to pass stomach acid unharmed and are absorbed and digested well. Vegetable capsules can house either powder or gel formulations, so there is variety within this format.
Benefits Of CoQ10 Capsules
Capsules differ from vegetable capsules in their ingredients and generally contain gelatin which is sourced from boiling cow or pig skin, ligaments or bones. Capsules are great for those that have difficulty swallowing tablets or dislike strong smells or flavours of powder formats. Capsules also bypass stomach acid and are digested and absorbed well. Both vegetable capsules and regular capsules are an easy and convenient way to take this supplement or can be bought empty and you can fill them with coq10 powder. When dosing with capsules or vegetable capsules, it’s important to take them with a healthy fat source because coq10 is a fat-soluble nutrient.
Benefits Of CoQ10 Softgels
Like regular capsules, softgels are made of gelatin and contain a liquid form of the supplement. In the case of coq10, they are more bioavailable (better absorbed) because they encapsulate the coq10 in a fatty oil base such as MCT oil. Another benefit of softgels is the material itself is an antioxidant and extends the shelf life of the supplement and protects it from oxidation. Softgels offer slow absorption, and since coq10 can’t be stored in the body, it must be taken daily for proper maintenance.
Potency & Dosing Of Vegetable Capsules, Capsules & Softgels
All of these formats come in a range of potencies from 30mg to 400mg per dose. The general recommendation is between 100 – 200mg but may differ depending on your condition, health concern and practitioner guidelines. Remember, your dose will differ depending on if you’re taking the ubiquinone or ubiquinol form of coq10.
Benefits Of CoQ10 Powder
Although capsules and softgels are a convenient way to supplement, those who have a hard time swallowing or prefer to mix their supplements in their drinks or smoothies may prefer a powder or liquid form. Powdered forms are more rapidly and better absorbed and in the case of coq10, should be taken with a healthy fat source.
The powdered format allows you to easier manipulate your dose, where capsules must be taken at the dose provided in each capsule. While coq10 isn’t as vastly available in powdered form as it is in capsules, the dosing can be adapted per serving size for you to reach your desired or recommended dose. Powdered formats of coq10 are available on their own and in combination blends with other nutrients, especially in sports nutrition supplements.
Powdered supplements require different storage and should be placed in a cool, dry place away from light and moisture to retain full potency.
When shopping for a powdered version of coq10, it’s important to look at the list of non-medical ingredients to ensure there isn’t a heavy usage of fillers. While powders do require other ingredients to preserve, stabilize and sometimes flavour the products, you want to look for brands that don’t use artificial sweeteners or flavours and are non-GMO and organic when possible.
Powdered supplements can be added to oatmeal, smoothies or smoothie bowls or your post-exercise beverage or shake. If taken this way, it will be more bioavailable by also adding MCT or omega oils or taken with a meal high in healthy fats such as avocado toast.
What CoQ10 Should I Buy?
Many people favour Natural Factors CoQ10 because it’s a trusted Canadian brand that formulates top-quality supplements. Their coq10 comes in a range of potencies from 60-400mg in both ubiquinone and ubiquinol forms. They offer vegetable capsules, regular capsules and softgels, providing a format to suit everyone's preferences and needs. Natural Factors provides clean, potent supplements that offer superior absorption.
There are a lot of coq10 supplements to choose from. Finding the best one for you depends on your health status, needs and personal preference. If you need extra assistance, speak to your health care practitioner or a certified team member at your favourite natural health store.
Disclaimer: The information in this article is intended for educational and informational purposes only and should not be considered as a substitute for medical advice. Please consult your practitioner prior to taking herbs or nutritional supplements.