I wish I had a nickel for every person who has told me they have less energy now than they had years ago—and blame it on “getting old.” When I tell them the lack of energy they blame on aging could be a coenzyme Q10 deficit, they’re often surprised. But after just a few weeks of taking the right CoQ10 dosage for energy, most people do feel years younger.
What Is CoQ10?
Often called the “miracle nutrient” or the “universal antioxidant,” CoQ10 is found in the mitochondria—the tiny energy factories in each of your cells. CoQ10 does two important things. It sparks energy production in every cell of your body, including your heart. Plus, it scavenges and destroys free radicals that cause cardiovascular problems and heart disease.
There has been an explosion in medical literature over the past 3 years describing the many benefits of CoQ10, including improvement in blood pressure, blood lipids, blood sugar, diabetes, and glaucoma, as well as anti-aging benefits.
A Major Benefit of CoQ10 Is Increased Energy
The heart is one of the few organs in the body that functions continuously, without resting. Therefore, the heart muscle (myocardium) requires the largest level of energetic support of any organ in your body. In fact, any condition that causes a decrease in CoQ10 can impair the energetic capacity of the heart, leaving the tissues more susceptible to free radical damage.
Although coenzyme Q10 is produced naturally in the body, production wanes dramatically with age and in the presence of specific diseases. Certain medications, especially cholesterol-lowering statin drugs, can also interfere with CoQ10 production. As your CoQ10 levels decline they can significantly affect how you feel, making you feel less energetic and "older" than you are.
Refueling Your Body with CoQ10 Can Boost Your Energy, Dramatically
When you supplement with the right coenzyme Q10 dosage, it allows CoQ10 to do its job of sparking the production of your body's cellular fuel, called adenosine triphosphate (ATP). As your heart muscle consumes huge amounts of oxygen and energy, CoQ10 essentially recharges the energy system in the heart, enabling the heart muscle to pump blood more efficiently. At the same time, CoQ10 cleans up destructive free radicals that are by-products of the energy production process.
When your body is low on CoQ10, it's like running on weak batteries. Unfortunately, many people write off this feeling as a sign of getting old. They never realize that the real cause of the problem is a deficiency.
One of the most serious heart conditions caused by a CoQ10 deficiency is congestive heart failure. That's why taking coenzyme Q10 is one of the most effective natural remedies for heart disease.
How Much CoQ10 Does Your Body Need?
You can get some CoQ10 in your diet. Dietary sources of CoQ10 include beef heart, pork, chicken liver, and fish (especially salmon, mackerel, and sardines). But the average person gets only 2 to 5 mg of CoQ10 a day from their diet alone.
Therefore, I’m a firm believer in taking a CoQ10 supplement. Here's how to determine the right CoQ10 dosage for you.
- Are you between 40 and 60? Your body's natural production of CoQ10 begins to decline after age 40. So, for healthy people between the ages of 40 and 60, I recommend a minimum daily dose of 50 to 100 mg of CoQ10 daily.
- Are you over 60 or on a cholesterol-lowering statin drug? If that's the case, I recommend increasing your CoQ10 intake to 100 to 200 mg daily. The reason is that coenzyme Q10 production continues to decline with age, so after age 60 it's important to replenish your body's CoQ10 supply. Plus, statin drugs block the production of CoQ10, so if you're on a cholesterol-lowering statin drug it's critical to supplement with CoQ10.
- Have you had a recent heart surgery, heart attack, or congestive heart failure? If so, I recommend taking 200 to 300 mg of CoQ10 daily.
What Is the Best Way to Take CoQ10?
For the best results, you want to take CoQ10 supplements in divided doses with your meals, since it's more readily absorbed with food (especially some fat). Occasionally, my patients reported a sense of "too much energy" and a few even said it's as though they had too much caffeine. Should this occur, just adjust the CoQ10 dosage down to a more comfortable level for you.
For maximum effectiveness, I also recommend taking CoQ10 with L-Carnitine. While CoQ10 benefits your health by sparking energy within your cells, L-Carnitine is like a shuttle bringing fuel into the heart cells to be burned as energy. I've observed some dramatic effects in my patients by teaming up CoQ10 with L-Carnitine.
How much L-Carnitine should you take? I recommend taking 200 to 400 mg of L-Carnitine one to two times a day. Start at the low end of the dosage scale and work up until you achieve the desired effect. Both L-Carnitine and CoQ10 may require fine-tuning to obtain the optimal therapeutic blood level.