When it comes to CoQ10, many myths abound. Here’s how to get the right dosage for your heart, and overall health.
The good news about coenzyme Q10 is that more people than ever know they should be taking it. But taking the right CoQ10 dosage can be tougher than you think—especially with all of the confusing marketing hype that’s out there. So, I want to separate the myths from the facts.
Myth #1: You can get all the CoQ10 your body needs from food alone.
Fact: Some foods, such as beef heart, pork, chicken liver, and fish (especially salmon, mackerel, and sardines) contain coenzyme Q10. But the average person gets just 5 to 10 mg of CoQ10 a day from their diet, which is a small fraction of what your body needs. That’s why it’s so critical to supplement with CoQ10.
How much CoQ10 does your body need daily?
- If you’re 40 to 60: 50 to 100 mg
- If you’re 60 or older: 100 to 200 mg
- If you take statin medications: 100 to 200 mg
- If you’ve had a heart attack or have congestive heart failure: 200 to 300 mg
Myth #2: Ubiquinol is the best form of CoQ10 to take.
Fact: CoQ10 comes in two forms: ubiquinone and ubiquinol. Ubiquinol is the form of CoQ10 your body makes naturally; a point advertisers are quick to highlight. It’s also the more expensive form of coenzyme Q10. But as a cardiologist who has studied CoQ10 for three decades, I have yet to see solid evidence that ubiquinol is better than ubiquinone.
Myth #3: You can trust the CoQ10 dosage listed on the label.
Fact: With CoQ10, you need to be a savvy shopper. Years ago, I was recommending coenzyme Q10 to my heart patients—many of whom didn’t experience the benefits I expected. I discovered they were all taking a discount brand from a local pharmacy. So, I bought it myself, sent it to a lab for testing, and found that it contained just a fraction of the CoQ10 listed on the label. That’s when I decided to formulate my own CoQ10 supplements.
To get the right CoQ10 dosage:
- Don't Be Seduced by Low Prices: While you may see what appears to be a low-priced source of CoQ10 on TV, a website, or in a warehouse store, you can’t always trust that it delivers the full CoQ10 dosage listed on the label. So, don’t shop based on price alone.
- Ask Questions Before You Buy: Make sure any CoQ10 supplement you purchase is independently tested to ensure it contains the full CoQ10 dosage listed on the label. With my nutritional supplements, I conduct multiple quality tests on both the raw materials and the complete formulas to ensure my supplements deliver the full dosage of each nutrient.
- Check Expiration Dates: Often, supplements are discounted because they’re coming up on their expiration dates and need to be sold quickly. So, don’t buy before checking the label. If the “sell by” or expiration date gives you enough time to use the product, it could be a good deal. But if there’s no expiration date, it’s likely that the CoQ10 dosage isn't as high as what's listed on the label.
Myth #4: With CoQ10 you won’t feel a difference, regardless of the dose.
Fact: Many people know their hearts need CoQ10, but what many people don’t realize is that higher doses of CoQ10 can make a real physical difference, especially with exercise.
In one study, 17 volunteers were given either 100 mg or 300 mg a day for eight days while performing exercise on a bicycle ergometer—and the 300 mg group had better physical performance and less fatigue. In another study, skiers taking 90 mg of a highly bioavailable CoQ10 for six weeks had better energy and stamina.
Myth #5: CoQ10 only benefits your heart.
Fact: Coenzyme Q10 sparks energy production in every single cell of your body, not just your heart. Researchers have found CoQ10 helps with everything from migraines, to fibromyalgia, Parkinson’s disease, and gum disease. Plus, the lack of energy we call “aging” is often just a CoQ10 deficit. Your body naturally produces CoQ10 throughout your life, but production drops off as you get older. That’s why when I put people on CoQ10, they often feel 10 years younger!