Supplement of the Month: Coenzyme Q10

In the next instalment of our ‘Supplement of the Month’ series we discuss Coenzyme Q10, or CoQ10. To catch up on the series, please click here.

Please note: this is obviously not individual prescription, but rather general information to get you considering what else may improve your current situation. The fact is that if you’re buying supplements, we’d much rather you make an informed decision than spend your money unnecessarily, or make an incorrect choice simply because certain companies spend millions of dollars on their campaigns, to convince you that your favourite athlete or celebrity actually uses their product.

Coenzyme Q10
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is a major antioxidant found in the human body and which plays a vital role in maintaining energetic pathways. This nutrient belongs to a family of compounds known as ubiquinones. Interestingly, CoQ10 obtained its name due to its main function biologically as a coenzyme and the distinctive “tail” of 10 isoprene units attached to its benzoquinone “head”.

In humans, CoQ10 can be synthesized within tissues throughout the body and thus, is not defined as a vitamin. However, in some situations, the need for CoQ10 may surpass the body’s ability to synthesize it and is therefore often referred to as a ‘conditionally essential’ nutrient.

CoQ10 is great for:

  • Enhanced energy production (particularly relevant for endurances athletes)
  • Neurological degeneration
  • Cellular dysfunction
  • Cardiovascular health issues
  • Oxidative stress

Food sources of CoQ10:
CoQ10 is widely distributed in foods but in such small amounts that extraordinary serving sizes would be required to obtain intake levels typically provided by supplementation.
Food sources with CoQ10 include:

  • Organ meats
  • Poultry
  • Fish
  • Nuts
  • Vegetables, especially broccoli and spinach
  • Eggs

Choosing to supplement? TNN recommends:

  • Bioceuticals Ubiquinol BioActive 150mg. Available here via our online store.
  • Pure Oil Innovation Co Q10 150mg
  • Metagenics Bio-Q Absorb 150mg

These are the highest-quality practitioner-only brand/s. When you become a client of TNN you will have access to these. Some may be available from your local health food and/or chemist.

When it comes to CoQ10 we recommend that people use the Ubiquinol form of CoQ10.
Dosage can range from 100mg to 300mg – please speak to your health professional about your individual needs.

Ubiquinol is the converted active form of CoQ10. The conversion rate of ubiquinone to ubiquinol tends to decline with age and with some specific ailments and in such instance we may recommend using the converted ubiquinone.

For enhanced nutrient uptake it is suggested that foods and supplements containing CoQ10 should be taken with a meal with a prominent fat content, since this nutrient is fat soluble.

Adverse effects are not predicted, and reports are lacking. No contraindications have been established for CoQ10.

More information:
Please listen to Episode 25 of The Real Food Reel: CoQ10, statins and heart disease with Stephen Eddey here.

Agro Food Industry Hi Tech (Sport Nutrition), ‘CoQ10 and Ubiquinol novel, safe dietary supplementation for trained and untrained athletes’, Julio J Ochoa, Javier Diaz-Castro & Peter Lambrechts, Vol 24, No 6. P 31-34.

Recent Patent Drug Delivery Formula, ‘Bioavailability Enhancement of Coenzyme Q10: An Extensive Review of Patents’ 2010, Beg, Sarwar, Javed Shamama & Kohli Kanchan. Vol. 4, No 3, p. 245-255.

Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, ‘Increased Bioavailability of Ubiquinol Compared to That of Ubiquinone Is Due to More Efficient Micellarization during Digestion and Greater GSH-Dependent Uptake and Basolateral Secretion by Caco-2 Cells’, Mark L Failla, Chureeporn Chitchumroonchokchai & Aoki Fumiki 2014, Vol. 62, No 29, P. 7174-7182.

Herb, Nutrient & Drug Interactions: Clinical implications and therapeutic strategies. Mitchell Stargrove, Jonathan Treasure, Dwight McKee, 2008, Mosby Elsevier.

Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, ‘Effects of acute and 14-day coenzyme Q10 supplementation on exercise performance in both trained and untrained individuals’. Matthew Cooke, Mike Iosia, Thomas Buford, Brian Shelmadine, Geoffrey Hudson, Chad Kerksick, Christopher Rasmussen, Mike Greenwood, Brian Leutholtz, Darryn Willoughby and Richard Kreider, 2008, Vol. 8, No 8.


  1. Dr Sarah Brewer

    This is such an important supplement, especially for people who are taking a statin to lower their cholesterol. For some people – not all – a CoQ10 supplement can reduce or prevent the muscle-related side effects associated with statin drugs, allowing them to continue their prescribed treatment. I recently covered this in depth if you are interested in finding out more. Best wishes, Sarah B

  2. Steph

    Wonderful, thanks for sharing Sarah!

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