I do not need Co-Q10 if I’m not on statin drug therapy!

Is it true?

The fact is that Coenzyme Q10 (Co-Q10) is required by our body for the cell to perform their functions, regardless whether one is on statin therapy. It is like a car that cannot move without fuel. Co-Q10 is needed essentially in human body to provide energy for all of our body functions.

Co-Q10 is often known as “miracle nutrient”, pertaining to its ability to generate ATP energy and to scavenge free radicals in the body. Co-Q10 is a fat soluble, vitamin-like substance that is present in mitochondria. Mitochondria is the powerhouses of the cell which generate energy in the form of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). Co-Q10 is needed as a component of the electron transport chain for ATP production. 90% of all the energy are produced through this way, supplying energy to drive bodily functions.

Co-Q10 is naturally produced in our body. Two forms of Co-Q10 exist in the body which are ubiquinone (the oxidized form) and ubiquinol (the reduced form). Ubiquinone is the form of Co-Q10 produced by our body and required for energy production. While ubiquinol is another form of Co-Q10 which has antioxidant properties to protect the body cell from oxidative stress. Both ubiquinone and ubiquinol are inter-changeable, depending on the body need. This meaning ubiquinone will be converted to ubiquinol and vice-versa when needed for its functions.

Co-Q10 is not just crucial for statin drug user, but also for those who are involved in moderate to vigorous physical activity. Vigorous activity are activities that require a lot of energy. During vigorous exercise, the heart will need to pump a great amount of blood to supply oxygen to the muscles. One will notice that the heart beats faster and sweat more. Co-Q10 in the form of ubiquinone is required for generating ATP energy to continuously supply energy to the heart muscle for it to pump rapidly and efficiently in order to meet the increased energy requirement during exercise. Therefore, ensuring a sufficient level of Co-Q10 in the body will help to improve muscle endurance and reduce muscle fatigue.

Exercise is good for our health but remember to take care of our body after we perform vigorous physical activity. This is because intense and prolonged exercise can induce oxidative stress and cause muscle damage. The contracting skeletal muscle fibers can produce free radicals which lead to exercise-induced skeletal muscle fatigue1. Therefore, adequate level of antioxidants is vital in order to protect the muscle fibers from oxidative injury2

Study showed that 300mg/day of Co-Q10 supplementation for 20 days is able to reduce exercise-induced muscle injury among athletes3. In the study, biomarkers of skeletal muscle damage are significantly reduced after 20 days pertaining to the antioxidant properties of Co-Q10. When required by body, Co-Q10 in the form of ubiquinone as produced in the cell will be converted to ubiquinol form to help neutralize the free radical in the body4.

In summary, Co-Q10 is widely beneficial to human health, not just limiting to replenish back the depleted Co-Q10 level among statin drugs users. Its unique properties in energy production and as an antioxidant make it the most suitable nutrient to increase muscle endurance and reduce exercise-induced muscle injury.

  1. Powers, S.K., and Jackson, M.J., 2008. Exercise-Induced Oxidative Stress: Cellular Mechanisms and Impact on Muscle Force Production. Physiol Rev., 88(4): 1243–1276
  2. , P., and Eckl, P., 2015. Impact of Oxidative Stress on Exercising Skeletal Muscle. Biomolecules, 5(2): 356–377
  3. Kon, M. et al., 2008. Reducing exercise-induced muscular injury in kendo athletes with supplementation of coenzyme Q10. British Journal of Nutrition, 100(4), 903-909
  4. Kappor, P., and Kappor, A.K. 2013. Coenzyme Q10-A novel molecule. Review article.JIACM, 14(1), 37-45