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Get the answers to common queries about how to choose the best CoQ10 supplement, including the different forms of CoQ10 supplements and factors you should consider while determining the right supplement formulation for your health. Use the links below to jump ahead to different topics on the page.

Table of contents
Why Does Your Body Need a CoQ10 Supplement?How does a CoQ10 Supplement Support Your Body?
How Much CoQ10 Should I Take Daily?Are There Side Effects of CoQ10 Supplements? 
Ubiquinone or Ubiquinol—Which CoQ10 Supplement Works Better?Poor Absorption of CoQ10 Supplements
How to Choose the Best CoQ10 Supplement?Novel CoQ10 Supplement Formulations
FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions

Why Does Your Body Need a CoQ10 Supplement?

Coenzyme Q10 or CoQ10 is a lipid-soluble antioxidant your body makes that plays a critical role in cellular energy production. Its concentration is particularly high in organs with high metabolism rates, such as the heart, kidney, and liver. The CoQ10 level in your body depletes with age, under the influence of certain medications, such as statins, or due to different pathological conditions a person might have. Although a CoQ10 deficiency can be addressed through a balanced diet of CoQ10-rich foods, it might not be sufficient to maintain the optimal level of CoQ10 in the body. This is when you need a CoQ10 nutritional supplement.   

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How Does a CoQ10 Supplement Support Your Body?

CoQ10 plays a fundamental role in cellular bioenergetics that enables it to address pathologies in tissues with high metabolic requirements, such as the heart muscle. Apart from energy production, CoQ10 is an antioxidant (a free radical scavenger) protecting cellular components from the adverse effects of oxidative stress.* 

The following table summarizes how including a CoQ10 nutritional supplement in your diet supports various health functions.

Health FunctionCoQ10 Supplement Benefits
Heart
  • Helps maintain lipid profiles (optimal cholesterol levels) and normal blood pressure.*
  • Helps limit oxidative stress to protect heart muscle tissues.*
  • Helps address the side effects of statin medications, such as muscle aches and weakness.*
Learn more about choosing between CoQ10 and fish oil to support your heart health. 
Skin
  • Promotes healthy skin by enhancing the cellular metabolism of aging skin cells.*
  • Stimulates collagen synthesis.*
  • Helps maintain the stability and flexibility of the skin.*
Learn more about coenzyme Q10’s skin benefits.*
Reproductive HealthEnhances the quality of the oocyte — the immature egg cell.Supports a favorable environment for the development of ovarian follicles.*Learn more about CoQ10's benefits for women and CoQ10’s menstrual cycle effects.* 
Immune System
  • Helps maintain the body’s natural inflammatory response.*
  • Plays a critical function within the lysosome — the organelle central to the immune response.*
  • Supports optimal functioning of immune cells with adequate cellular energy production.*
Learn more about selecting between quercetin and CoQ10 to support your immune health.*

How Much CoQ10 Should I Take Daily?

The whole body content of CoQ10 is only about 500 - 1,500 milligrams.

Based on no-observed-adverse-effect-level (NOAEL) studies1 on CoQ10, the acceptable daily intake of CoQ10 is 12 mg/kg/day, which translates to 720 mg/day for a person weighing 60 kg. However, it is worth noting that there is no established minimum or maximum effective daily intake. In clinical trials exploring the beneficial effects of CoQ10 on the heart, 100 - 400 mg of CoQ10 has been given to the trial subjects.  

The average CoQ10 amount necessary to attain a therapeutic blood level of > 2.5 mcg/mL is 200 mg taken twice daily with a meal2

Commercially available single CoQ10 capsules contain between 30-600 mg of CoQ10.

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Are There Side Effects of CoQ10 Supplements? 

Because CoQ10 is produced naturally in the body, additional oral supplementation is usually well-tolerated. However, infrequent and generally mild side effects have been reported. The following table highlights some of the potential side effects of CoQ10 supplementation. 

Potential Side Effects of CoQ10 Supplementation
Infrequent effects: Gastrointestinal side effects, including nausea, stomach upset, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Rare effects: Headache, fatigue, heartburn, irritability, dizziness
Potential contraindications: CoQ10 supplements might interact with prescription medicines for blood thinning, kidney and liver disorders, and glucose metabolism.  

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Ubiquinone or Ubiquinol—Which CoQ10 Supplement  Works Better? 

Commercially available CoQ10 supplements are mostly in the form of ubiquinone or ubiquinol. There has been much debate about the most effective form of CoQ10 supplementation. CoQ10 exists in three oxidation states:

Both ubiquinone and ubiquinol forms coexist in the body and regenerate each other through sequential redox reactions. Ubisemiquinone is a highly unstable, intermediate form of CoQ10. Ubiquinone and ubiquinol are interconverted based on the body’s need for optimal functioning of its cells. Under the action of gastric acid, ubiquinol is oxidized to ubiquinone before it is absorbed into the body. 

Regardless of the initial dietary form of CoQ10 (ubiquinone or ubiquinol), it remains in the blood and in the lymph in the ubiquinol form. The following table highlights some of the key differences between the ubiquinone and ubiquinol forms of CoQ10. 

Ubiquinone or Ubiquinol—Which One Works Better?
Ubiquinone  Ubiquinol
Chemical formThe oxidized form of CoQ10 (CoQ10)The reduced form of CoQ10 (CoQ10H2)
FunctionInvolved in the electron transport chain in mitochondrial inner membranes for energy production.Antioxidant protection to cellular membrane lipids and lipoprotein lipids present in circulation.

It is worth noting that several clinical studies have established that there is no significant difference between the bioavailability of ubiquinone and ubiquinol supplements. 

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Poor Absorption of CoQ10 Supplements

CoQ10 supplements are mostly available for oral intake and are available in the form of chewable tablets, capsules, liquid syrups, and oral sprays. However, the poor absorption of CoQ10 in the intestine adversely affects its efficacy through the oral route. Clinical studies3 on rats have demonstrated that only 3 percent of CoQ10 is absorbed when taken orally. Elevating CoQ10 concentration per capsule to a significantly high level is not a feasible approach to enhance its absorption through traditional delivery methods.     

The poor bioavailability and absorption of CoQ10 in oral supplements is due to: 

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How to Choose the Best CoQ10 Supplement?

CoQ10 nutritional supplements are generally produced through the yeast fermentation process. However, not all CoQ10 supplements are developed equally for optimal efficiency. When it comes to determining the best CoQ10 supplement to include in your diet, you should consider the following factors:

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Novel CoQ10 Supplement Formulations

The bioavailability and absorption of CoQ10 depend on the type of supplement formulation.

Types of CoQ10 formulations

Conventional CoQ10 formulations fail to enhance the bioavailability of CoQ10. Various novel approaches4 as an alternative to traditional delivery methods have been implemented to enhance the solubility of CoQ10 formulations, including:

Among the novel approaches, encasing CoQ10 with cyclodextrins has been found to significantly enhance CoQ10 absorption and bioavailability, suggesting this delivery process to be superior to oral formulations that feature only uncomplexed CoQ10.  

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FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions About Oral CoQ10 Supplements

Can I take a CoQ10 supplement with a prescription medicine?

Although the safety profile of CoQ10 is well-established, it can interact with prescription medicines. Consult with your health-care provider before including a CoQ10 supplement in your diet.   

Can I take a CoQ10 supplement while pregnant or breastfeeding? 

There is limited data on the safety of the use of CoQ10 during pregnancy and breastfeeding. It is always recommended to consult with your health-care provider before taking a CoQ10 supplement during pregnancy or breastfeeding.  

How do I choose the best CoQ10 supplement?

When considering the best CoQ10 supplement, keep in mind that the efficacy of a supplement is determined by the delivery technology used in the formulation. Tesseract’s CoQ10 Pro® is an innovative supplement formulation that uses the proprietary CyLoc® - DexKey® nutrient delivery nanotechnology for unparalleled absorption of billions of CoQ10 molecules in the intestinal tract. The unprecedented absorption of CoQ10 enables micro-dosing—taking CoQ10 in amounts much less than previously required to accomplish the desired therapeutic benefits to support your health.  

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The power of Tesseract supplements lies in enhancing palatability, maximizing bioavailability and absorption, and micro-dosing of multiple nutrients in a single, highly effective capsule. Visit our website for more information about how Tesseract’s products can help support your cardiovascular health.* 

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Citations:

1Hidaka T, et al. Safety assessment of coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10). BioFactors (Oxford, England) vol. 32,1-4 (2008):199-208. doi:10.1002/biof.5520320124

2Raizner AE. Coenzyme Q10. Methodist DeBakey Cardiovascular Journal vol. 15,3 (2019):185-191. doi:10.14797/mdcj-15-3-185

3Bhagavan HN, Chopra RK. Plasma coenzyme Q10 response to oral ingestion of coenzyme Q10 formulations. Mitochondrion vol. 7 Suppl (2007):S78-S88. doi:10.1016/j.mito.2007.03.003

4Pastor-Maldonado CJ, et al. Coenzyme Q10: Novel formulations and medical trends. International Journal of Molecular Sciences vol. 21,22 8432. 10 Nov. 2020, doi:10.3390/ijms21228432

Have you ever come across the tart, red berries of the Berberis vulgaris plant? Known as barberries, these have been used for centuries for their therapeutic benefits. One of the key compounds of barberry is berberine, an antioxidant that is known to help maintain the body’s natural inflammatory responses, as well as supporting various other health functions in the body.*

But is it safe to include a berberine supplement in your diet? What are the health benefits of berberine? Are there any side effects of taking berberine? Get all the answers to common queries about berberine's pros and cons, different berberine supplement forms, and how to determine the efficacy of a berberine supplement. Use the links below to jump ahead to different topics on the page.

Content
Berberine: A ‘Wonder’ MoleculeWhat Are Berberine’s Health Benefits?
Are There Any Side Effects of Berberine?Is Berberine An Appetite Suppressant?
Berberine’s Pros and Cons: An Overview Berberine Supplement Forms
Why Do You Need a Berberine Supplement?Common Challenges of Berberine Supplements
FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions

Berberine: A “Wonder” Molecule

Chemical formula of berberine

Berberine is a bioactive alkaloid — a class of nitrogenous organic compounds of plant origin.  Berberine is found in the roots, rhizomes, stems, and barks of barberry, tree turmeric, Oregon grape, Californian poppy, yellowroot, and similar trees. The therapeutic effects of berberine have been found to mitigate oxidative stress and down-regulate the production of proinflammatory cytokines that can cause unbalanced inflammatory responses.*     

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What Are Berberine’s Health Benefits?

The antioxidative and immunomodulatory properties of berberine are attributed to its role in activating adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK)—an enzyme that regulates energy metabolism.* AMPK activation is further associated with promoting lipid and glucose metabolism and addressing energy imbalances to support a wide range of health functions.* 

SystemBeneficial Applications
Endocrine Health*Berberine’s glucose support properties promote normal glucose metabolism, including promoting insulin secretion, moderating intestinal absorption of glucose, and modulating gut microbiota.* 
Learn more about the potential benefits of berberine for nutritional support in diabetes and how research supports berberine’s benefits for resisting insulin resistance*
Immune Health*Berberine exerts its positive immuno-modulatory effects through the down-regulation of pro-inflammatory T-helper cells that are critical for adaptive immune responses.* Learn more about ‘Berberine vs Turmeric: Which is Right for You?’ 
Hepatic Health*In addition to AMPK signaling, berberine beneficially influences insulin pathway and hepatic lipid transportation, which can decrease glucose generation from non-carbohydrate precursors, and ammonia detoxification in the liver.* Learn more about ‘Berberine’s Liver Detox Benefits’. 
Neuro-Hormonal System*Berberine benefits exercise-induced exhaustion and helps limit muscle damage incurred during exercise.* Learn more about why using berberine in a weight management program can help individuals improve their overall health.*

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Are There Any Side Effects of Berberine?

Berberine has been traditionally used to address various health conditions and is generally considered safe and well-tolerated. However, the delivery route (type of formulation) and the duration of intake of berberine might cause certain side effects. The following table highlights some of the common side effects associated with taking berberine.        

Berberine Side Effects
Gastrointestinal side effects: Taking a berberine supplement might cause side effects such as constipation, diarrhea, flatulence, and stomach pain.  
Potential risk of low glucose level: Prolonged intake of a berberine supplement in high doses might lead to a significant drop in blood glucose levels. 
Contraindications: Because berberine exerts inhibitory effects on human cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes1 that play an important role in detoxification, cellular metabolism, and homeostasis, taking a berberine supplement along with drugs that metabolize CYP enzymes could result in contraindications. 

Also, it should be noted that there is limited data available about the potential effects of taking a berberine supplement on pregnant and breastfeeding women, and infants.  

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 Berberine Pros and Cons: An Overview

Due to berberine’s side effects and potential contraindications, it is always recommended to consult with your healthcare practitioner before taking a berberine supplement. The following table highlights some of berberine’s pros and cons and its role in supporting various health functions.*

Berberine Pros and Cons
Berberine Pros  Berberine Cons
Gastrointestinal health*Berberine promotes gut microbiota, particularly short-chain fatty acid (FCSA)-producing bacteria.* Side effects of berberine supplements can include diarrhea, constipation, and flatulence.  
Endocrine health*Berberine promotes glucose metabolism.*Prolonged usage of a berberine supplement might be associated with a drop in normal blood glucose levels. 
Cardiovascular health*Berberine supports normal lipid metabolism, which can lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels and promote cardiovascular health.* Intake of berberine supplements in high amounts has been associated2 with low blood pressure. 

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Is Berberine An Appetite Suppressant?

Berberine is not an appetite suppressant. Please consult with your health-care provider before taking berberine for appetite suppression or weight management. 

However, berberine might play a potential role in down-regulating appetite that can be linked to:  

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Berberine Supplement Forms

Different supplement forms of berberine

As a commercially available nutritional supplement, berberine is available in the form of tablets, capsules, topical gels, fluid extracts, etc. Although berberine is available in different chemical forms, including berberine sulfate, berberine citrate, and berberine hydrochloride, berberine displays natural poor absorption with an absolute bioavailability as low as 0.68 percent. However, the reduced derivative of berberine—dihydroberberine (dhBBR), produced by the gut microbiota under the activity of the enzyme nitroreductases, displays a 5-fold greater intestinal absorption rate than berberine. 

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Why Do You Need A Berberine Supplement?

Given berberine’s pros and cons, you might wonder whether you really need a berberine supplement. The antioxidant properties of berberine and its role in helping to maintain the body’s natural inflammatory responses help address several pathological conditions.* Various clinical studies have established the beneficial effects of berberine in promoting various health functions, including endocrine health, immune health, and cardiovascular health.* 

Furthermore, nutritional supplements containing formulated berberine display enhanced efficacy than unformulated berberine. The following table highlights the need for a berberine supplement in your diet to promote your overall health.* 

Why Do You Need A Berberine Supplement?
For enhanced bioavailability: Berberine undergoes extensive metabolism and rapid efflux that results in its poor bioavailability. Nutritional supplements can be formulated to enhance berberine’s bioavailability.    
For enhanced palatability: Berberine has an intensely bitter taste that inhibits patient compliance. Newer supplement formulations can enhance the palatability of berberine for oral intake.    
For better absorption: Berberine is mostly lipophobic with poor membrane permeability. Berberine supplements address the shortcomings of unformulated berberine to optimize its absorption and efficacy.  

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Common Challenges of Berberine Supplements

Owing to the poor absorption of berberine, a majority of commercially available nutritional supplements contain high amounts of berberine to achieve the desired therapeutic effects. However, ingesting a high amount of berberine can have downsides. Furthermore, the berberine chloride salt has high aqueous solubility, making it difficult to mask the bitter taste of berberine in most nutritional supplements.  

A nano-formulated berberine supplement is relatively better absorbed even in relatively lesser amounts than previously required while masking the unpalatability of berberine to achieve patient compliance. 

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FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions About Berberine Supplements 

How much berberine should I take daily?

A single supplement capsule usually contains 400-500 mg of berberine, with berberine hydrochloride salt as the key ingredient. Clinical studies over 8-12 weeks duration have shown that daily intake of 1,000-1,500 mg of berberine provides significant benefit to LDL cholesterol levels.* However, due to berberine’s possible side effects, it is strongly recommended to ask your health-care practitioner about the right amount of daily berberine intake.

Is it safe to take a berberine supplement every day?

Berberine has a reasonably short-term safety profile and there is limited data on the daily intake of berberine over a prolonged period. Also, the effects of berberine in pregnant and breastfeeding women, and in infants and children are still being researched.    

How do I determine the efficacy of a berberine supplement formulation?

The efficacy of a berberine supplement depends on its enhanced palatability and better absorption of the active ingredient molecules in lesser amounts than previously required to achieve the desired effects. 

Tesseract’s BerberActiv® is an innovative, palatable, and hypoallergenic berberine supplement formulation that utilizes the proprietary CyLoc® - DexKey® nutrient delivery nanotechnology for unprecedented absorption of billions of berberine molecules in the intestinal tract. Enhanced absorption of berberine means micro-dosing—the ingestion of a lesser amount of berberine to achieve a powerful and rapid physiological response to support your overall health.*   

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The power of Tesseract supplements lies in enhancing palatability, maximizing bioavailability and absorption, and micro-dosing multiple nutrients in a single, highly effective capsule. Visit our website for more information about how Tesseract’s products can help support your endocrine health.* 

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Citations:

1Rad SZK, et al. Toxicology effects of Berberis vulgaris (barberry) and its active constituent, berberine: a review. Iranian Journal of Basic Medical Sciences vol. 20,5 (2017):516-529. doi:10.22038/IJBMS.2017.86762Chun YT, et al. A biochemical study on the hypotensive effect of berberine in rats. General pharmacology vol. 10,3 (1979):177-182. doi:10.1016/0306-3623(79)90085-5

Summary:

The mitochondrial enzyme Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is at the core of cellular energy production and hence, considered critical for cells with high energy requirements, such as cardiac cells.* CoQ10 distribution is not uniform among different organs and its highest concentration is observed in the heart. Several research studies have established the potential role of CoQ10 in enhancing cellular bioenergetics to support the optimal functioning of the heart.* 

Below, we discuss some of the key Coenzyme Q10 benefits for the heart and why you should include a CoQ10 nutritional supplement in your diet to promote your cardiovascular health.*

Coenzyme Q10 Benefits for Heart Health* 

Coenzyme Q10 is a fat-soluble molecule that acts as an electron carrier in mitochondria and as a coenzyme for mitochondrial enzymes. It is also an antioxidant that protects cardiac cells from the harmful effects of Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS).* Emerging data suggests that free radical-mediated oxidative stress is one of the key reasons for common cardiac pathologies. The oxidation of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) by free radicals is considered a critical factor predisposing them to uptake into the vascular wall, resulting in various heart conditions. Owing to its bioenergetics and antioxidant properties, CoQ10 may help limit the toxic effects of free radicals on cardiac cells and promote heart health.*

The following table highlights Coenzyme Q10's benefits for the heart and its potential role in protecting against cardiac pathologies.*

CoQ10 Benefits for Heart Health
Inhibits LDL oxidation*Because CoQ10’s antioxidant properties1 inhibit the oxidation of low-density lipoproteins, it has a preventative benefit relative to the thickening or hardening of the arteries.*  
Lowers proinflammatory cytokines level* A number of heart conditions are associated with elevated levels of proinflammatory cytokines (IFN-γ, IL-1β, IL-6, and TNF-α) that can have detrimental effects on the inner lining of the arteries. CoQ10 helps down-regulate2 the activity of these proinflammatory cytokines.*
Enhancing exercise tolerance*60-200 mg daily CoQ10 intake by individuals suffering from heart conditions has been found3 to enhance exercise tolerance.* 
Stabilizing myocardial calcium-dependent ion channels*Emerging research shows4 that CoQ10 is a cellular membrane stabilizer, helping to stabilize the mitochondrial calcium-dependent ion channels of heart muscle.* This mechanism of action helps limit cellular energy depletion and enhances the contractile function of the heart.*
Maintaining vascular suppleness*Because CoQ10 can limit the accumulation of oxidized LDL in the arteries, it helps maintain vascular suppleness.* CoQ10 helps eliminate the source of ROS in the vascular system, thereby enhancing the level of nitric oxide (NO) to promote vasodilation.*    

Because CoQ10 supports heart health through various mechanisms, its deficiency is associated with a wide range of cardiac issues. A depleting level of endogenous CoQ10 with age can trigger oxidative stress that impairs mitochondrial bioenergetics, resulting in lower energy production that can adversely impact the contractile function of the heart and NO levels for vasodilation.* In such cases, CoQ10 supplementation can help maintain the body’s CoQ10 level, thus supporting the optimal functioning of the heart.*

Incorporating a CoQ10 Supplement Into Your Diet

A balanced diet consisting of CoQ10-rich food, such as meat, fish, nuts, and oils helps maintain the optimal CoQ10 level in your body. However, the high molecular weight of CoQ10, along with its insolubility in water results in poor absorption that can adversely impact its beneficial effects. In contrast, nano-formulated CoQ10 supplements have shown promising results owing to their enhanced absorption and bioavailability.

Tesseract’s CoQ10 Pro® is an innovative CoQ10 nutritional supplement formula developed to support heart health.* CoQ10 Pro’s nanoformulation uses proprietary CyLoc® - DexKey® technology that solves the common challenges associated with antioxidant absorption. The CyLoc® technology isolates and encases each CoQ10 molecule in a dextrin fiber matrix. The DexKey® reactors accompany each CyLoc® molecule and release them at the desired point in the intestinal tract for maximum solubility and absorption. The unprecedented absorption of CoQ10 enables micro-dosing — the daily intake of the supplement at levels much lower than previously required. With Tesseract’s revolutionary nutrient delivery technology, CoQ10 molecules become a bioavailable therapeutic reality to promote the health of your heart.*             

The power of Tesseract supplements lies in enhancing palatability, maximizing bioavailability and absorption, and micro-dosing of multiple nutrients in a single, highly effective capsule. Visit our website for more information about how Tesseract’s products support your cardiovascular health.*

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Citations:

1Kumar A, et al. Role of coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) . . . . Pharmacology & Therapeutics vol. 124,3 (2009):259-268. doi:10.1016/j.pharmthera.2009.07.003

2,3Eleawa SM, et al. Coenzyme Q10 . . . . International Journal of Physiology, Pathophysiology and Pharmacology vol. 7,1 1-13. 20 Mar. 2015
4Liang S, et al. Coenzyme Q10 regulates antioxidative stress . . . . Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity vol. 2017 (2017): 9863181. doi:10.1155/2017/9863181

Article Summary:

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends no alcohol intake or limiting alcohol intake in moderation (2 drinks or less in a day for men and 1 drink or less in a day for women). Binge drinking, heavy drinking, and any drinking by pregnant women or individuals younger than 21 years are considered excessive alcohol consumption. Extensive short-term and long-term health risks are associated with excessive alcohol consumption, including cellular damage or cytotoxicity due to Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) depletion. 

Below, we discuss the potential interactions of CoQ10 and alcohol and how a CoQ10 supplement can counter the adverse impacts of alcohol consumption to a certain extent.*

Interactions Between CoQ10 and Alcohol 

CoQ10 is a molecule naturally present in all cells in our body and serves as a cofactor in energy production. CoQ10 is particularly abundant in organs with high metabolism rates, such as the heart, liver, kidneys, and lungs. It is also a powerful antioxidant that protects cellular components from the harmful effects of free radicals.* 

Alcohol-induced oxidative stress is linked to ethanol metabolism, which is directly involved in producing free radicals, including reactive oxygen species (ROS) and reactive nitrogen species (ROS). In clinical studies1, ethanol treatment has been found to deplete glutathione (GSH) levels and decrease antioxidant activity. 

The following table highlights the potential interactions between CoQ10 and alcohol in the body.  

CoQ10 and Alcohol: Potential Interactions
Alcohol and decreased CoQ10 levels: Ethanol-treated liver cells display2 elevated secretion of TNF-alpha — a cytokine used by the immune system for cell signaling. Such damaged liver cells have depleted mitochondrial CoQ10, which is detrimental to cell viability.*   Ethanol diminishes liver stores of CoQ10: Ethanol, either separately or in combination with lovastatin — a class of drugs that lower cholesterol, can diminish3 liver stores of CoQ10 by almost 40 percent.    
CoQ10’s neuroprotective effects on alcohol-induced damage to nerve cells*: Clinical studies on rats have found4 the neuroprotective effects of CoQ10 and Vitamin E to counter the molecular neurotoxic effects of alcohol.* CoQ10’s gastroprotective effects on alcohol-induced damage to gastric mucosa*: Alcohol consumption is frequently associated with damage to gastric mucosa — the thin lining of the mucous membrane on the inner surface of the stomach. CoQ10 supplementation has been found5 to mitigate ethanol-induced gastric mucosal damage.*

It has been observed6 that individuals indulging in unhealthy alcohol consumption have significantly reduced CoQ10 plasma levels, resulting from both reduced hepatic synthesis and nutritional deficiency. Research studies suggest that CoQ10 supplementation can be potentially effective in restricting alcohol-induced cell death or apoptosis in various tissues of the liver, brain, skin, and other organs.*

Incorporating a CoQ10 Supplement in Your Diet

A major challenge with CoQ10 supplementation is CoQ10’s natural poor bioavailability and absorption in the body. When orally ingested, CoQ10 molecules are required to pass the intestinal wall and then travel to the liver through the portal circulation. The relatively high molecular weight of CoQ10, along with its insolubility in water and limited solubility in lipids, makes it difficult to be absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract. 

To counter the poor natural absorption of CoQ10, a majority of over-the-counter nutritional supplements contain a much higher amount of CoQ10 than its usual daily presence in the diet. Various approaches have been used to enhance the bioavailability of orally-ingested CoQ10, with nanoformulations displaying promising results compared to unformulated CoQ10. 

Tesseract’s proprietary CoQ10 Pro® uses CyLoc® - DexKey® nutrient delivery system for enhanced absorption of CoQ10 molecules at daily intake levels much lower than previously required. The CyLoc® technology isolates and encases each CoQ10 molecule in a dextrin fiber matrix to create nano-sized particles that are more easily absorbed and utilized by cells. The DexKey® technology accompanies each CyLoc® molecule and breaks the dextrin fiber cage at the desired release point in the intestinal tract for maximum solubility and absorption. With the optimal delivery of CoQ10 molecules to the heart, liver, nervous tissues, and others, CoQ10 Pro® supports your overall health functions.*   

The power of Tesseract supplements lies in enhancing palatability, maximizing bioavailability and absorption, and micro-dosing of multiple nutrients in a single, highly effective capsule. Visit our website for more information about how Tesseract’s products support your cardiovascular health.*

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Citations:

1Das SK, Vasudevan DM. Alcohol-induced oxidative stress. Life Sciences vol. 81,3 (2007):177-187. doi:10.1016/j.lfs.2007.05.005

2Vidyashankar S, et al. Alcohol depletes coenzyme-Q(10) associated with increased TNF-alpha secretion to induce cytotoxicity in HepG2 cells. Toxicology vol. 302,1 (2012):34-39. doi:10.1016/j.tox.2012.07.009

3Loop RA, et al. Effects of ethanol, lovastatin and coenzyme Q10 treatment on antioxidants and TBA reactive material in liver of rats. Molecular Aspects of Medicine vol. 15 Suppl (1994): s195-s206. doi:10.1016/0098-2997(94)90029-9

4Kandhare AD, et al. Elucidation of molecular mechanism involved in neuroprotective effect of Coenzyme Q10 in alcohol-induced neuropathic pain. Fundamental & Clinical Pharmacology vol. 27,6 (2013):603-622. doi:10.1111/fcp.12003

5Karakaya K, et al. Gastroprotective effects of CoQ10 on ethanol-induced acute gastric lesions. Bratislavske Lekarske Listy vol. 116,1 (2015):51-56. doi:10.4149/bll_2015_010
6Bianchi GP, et al. Reduced ubiquinone plasma levels in patients with liver cirrhosis and in chronic alcoholics. Liver vol. 14,3 (1994):138-140. doi:10.1111/j.1600-0676.1994.tb00062.x

Summary:

In a woman, a lower level of estrogen as she ages is considered a potential cause for oxidative stress that can adversely influence her reproductive lifespan. This is because the production of free radicals, such as reactive oxygen species (ROS), can play a role in pathological conditions that involve the female reproductive tract.  

A gradual decline in the body’s natural production of Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is usually observed in females in their late 30s and appears to occur simultaneously with the age-related decline in reproductive health. Research shows that the antioxidant properties of CoQ10 can protect the reproductive system from the adverse effects of oxidative stress.* 

Below, we discuss the beneficial effects of CoQ10 on the menstrual cycle and why you should include a CoQ10 nutritional supplement in your diet.       

The Beneficial Effects of CoQ10 on Menstrual Cycle* 

The menstrual cycle is a critical determinant of your reproductive health that prepares your body for a possible pregnancy. 

Your menstrual cycle starts on the first day of your period and ends at the beginning of your next period. Although the menstrual cycle varies from woman to woman, an average menstrual cycle usually lasts between 24 and 38 days. 

The menstrual cycle is driven by a woman’s hormones and is categorized in the following phases: 

The aging of egg cells is accompanied by mitochondrial dysfunction that is associated with reduced cellular energy levels. The diminished expression of those enzymes responsible for CoQ10 production has been observed in developing egg cells or oocytes of older females in both mice and humans. The following table highlights the research studies establishing the role of CoQ10 on the menstrual cycle and how CoQ10 influences female hormonal levels.    

CoQ10 and Menstrual Cycle
Promoting the development of competent follicles: CoQ10 supplementation has been found1 to significantly enhance follicular fluid oxidative metabolism and oocyte quality, especially in women over 35 years old.* 
Restoring oocyte mitochondrial functions: Impaired mitochondrial performance created by suboptimal CoQ10 level can drive age-associated oocyte deficits. CoQ10 supplementation promotes2 a more favorable environment for oocyte development, restoring oocyte mitochondrial functions, during reproductive aging.*
Supporting enhanced production of LH and FSH: In a clinical study on female individuals in the 20 - 40 years age group who displayed an absence of menstrual periods, CoQ10 supplementation was found3 to enhance the secretion of LH and FSH.* The rise in these hormone levels after daily supplementation of 150 mg of CoQ10 in the form of ubiquinol is attributed to the antioxidant properties of CoQ10 to limit oxidative stress.*  

Furthermore, serum CoQ10 levels have been found4 to be significantly lower during the follicular phase compared to the luteal phase of the same menstrual cycle, emphasizing the beneficial effects of CoQ10 on the menstrual cycle.* 

Including a CoQ10 Supplement in Your Diet

While considering including a CoQ10 supplement in your diet, it is worth noting that CoQ10 has poor bioavailability and absorption. Although various approaches have been implemented to enhance CoQ10’s solubility and absorption, nano-formulated complexes have shown superior results compared to oral formulations featuring uncomplexed CoQ10. 

Tesseract’s CoQ10 Pro® is a unique CoQ10 supplement that uses proprietary CyLoc® - DexKey® nutrient delivery nanotechnology to ensure the optimal absorption of CoQ10 at the desired point in the intestinal tract. With enhanced bioavailability, CoQ10 Pro® makes the daily intake level of CoQ10 much lower than previously required to support your reproductive health.*    

The power of Tesseract supplements lies in the proprietary science of proven nutrients and unrivaled smart delivery, making them the most effective for supporting women’s health, particularly cardiovascular health and endocrine health

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Citations:

1Giannubilo SR, et al. CoQ10 supplementation in patients undergoing IVF-ET: The relationship with follicular fluid content and oocyte maturity.” Antioxidants (Basel, Switzerland) vol. 7,10 141. 13 Oct. 2018, doi:10.3390/antiox7100141

2Ben-Meir A, et al. Coenzyme Q10 restores oocyte mitochondrial function and fertility during reproductive aging. Aging Cell vol. 14,5 (2015):887-95. doi:10.1111/acel.12368

3Thakur AS, et al. Effect of ubiquinol on serum reproductive hormones of amenorrhic patients.” Indian journal of clinical biochemistry vol. 31,3 (2016):342-348. doi:10.1007/s12291-015-0542-9
4Palan R, et al. Effects of menstrual cycle and oral contraceptive use on serum levels of lipid-soluble antioxidants. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology vol. 194,5 (2006):e35-38. doi:10.1016/j.ajog.2005.11.032

Both bergamot and berberine are well-known for their ability to protect cells from the adverse effects of free radicals.* As natural polyphenol and alkaloid compounds, respectively, bergamot and berberine display antioxidant properties and support the body’s natural inflammatory responses.* 

Bergamot vs. berberine—which one of these works best for your health? Get the answers to common queries about these two plant-derived compounds, how they support different health functions, and ways to incorporate them into your diet. Use the links below to jump ahead to different topics on this page.

Table of contents
Bergamot: Origin, Properties, and Therapeutic RoleBerberine: Origin, Properties, and Therapeutic Role
How Does Bergamot Support Your Health? How Does Berberine Support Your Health?
Bergamot vs. Berberine: A ComparisonCombined Effects of Bergamot and Berberine 
Bioavailability Challenges of Bergamot and Berberine FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions

Bergamot: Origin, Properties, and Therapeutic Role

Bergamot is a citrus fruit of the Citrus bergamia Risso et Poiteu plant and is extensively grown in southern Italy. The fruit is the size of an orange with a yellow peel. Citrus fruits are naturally rich in flavonoids and are known for their antioxidant properties and the ability to help maintain the body’s natural inflammatory response. An exceptionally high content of flavonoids in bergamot translates to its therapeutic potential in supporting immune health, heart functions, glucose metabolism, lipid metabolism, and nervous system function.

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Berberine: Origin, Properties, and Therapeutic Role 

Berberine is an alkaloid—a class of nitrogenous organic compounds of plant origin found in the roots, rhizomes, and stem barks of barberry, Oregon grape, tree turmeric, goldenseal, yellowroot, Californian poppy, and similar trees. The antioxidative and immunomodulatory properties of berberine protect your heart, liver, and nervous system, help regulate glucose metabolism and lipid metabolism, and promote weight management.*     

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How Does Bergamot Support Your Health? 

Traditionally, bergamot has been used as an extract, juice, or essential oil. Bergamot juice and essential oil contain up to 93-96 percent of volatile compounds, resulting in the wide use of bergamot peel in the perfume and cosmetic industries. Flavonoids such as neoeriocitrin, naringin, neohesperidin, and C-glucoside, among others, found in bergamot have been of significant interest for their cardiovascular benefits and role in enhancing glucose tolerance.* The following table summarizes how bergamot supports a wide range of health functions.    

FunctionHow Bergamot Works
Lipid Metabolism

Bergamot initiates1 adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase—an enzyme that plays a critical role in activating glucose and fatty acid uptake and oxidation.Flavonoids present in bergamot—particularly neoeriocitrin, naringin, and rutin—have been reported to lower the oxidation of low-density lipoprotein particles.  
Glucose Metabolism
The flavonoid naringin present in bergamot2 enhances overall insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance. 
Cardiovascular Function
Bergamot protects against free radical damage in the body, including the vascular endothelium, an important determinant of cardiovascular health.The lipid and glycemic effects of bergamot might be associated with promoting cardiovascular health. 
Neuroprotection
Studies3 in rats have demonstrated the role of bergamot essential oil in enhancing extracellular glycine, aspartate, and taurine in the hippocampus of the brain, thereby benefiting synaptic transmission.   
Wound Healing
Bergamot oil and its major active components, such as limonene, linalyl acetate, and linalool, demonstrate immunomodulatory and wound healing activities, while supporting the body’s natural inflammatory response. 
Bergamot juice (20 mg/kg) shows promising results in lowering pro-inflammatory cytokines—the signaling molecules secreted by immune cells that are involved in the up-regulation of inflammatory reactions.  

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How Does Berberine Support Your Health? 

Numerous randomized clinical trials have demonstrated the neuroprotective and cardiovascular protective effects of berberine, along with its insulin-resistance-enhancing action.* The therapeutic benefits of berberine are attributed to its antioxidative properties and its role in mediating inflammatory responses.* The following table summarizes how berberine supports various health functions.  

FunctionsHow Berberine Works
Glucose Metabolism
Berberine’s glucose support properties include stimulating glucose breakdown, promoting insulin secretion, inhibiting glucose synthesis from non-carbohydrate components, and limiting digestion of carbohydrates in the intestine.* The potential benefits of berberine for providing nutritional support in diabetes lie in its ability to benefit insulin resistance and promote natural blood sugar regulation.* 
Berberine also enhances lipid metabolism, inhibiting lipid accumulation, particularly that of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C).* 
Immune Response
Berberine has been found4 to inhibit functions and differentiation of pro-inflammatory T helper (Th) cells.* It also indirectly down-regulates the activity of other immune cells to limit Th-cell-mediated inflammatory responses.* 
Liver Detoxification
Berberine’s Liver Detox Benefits: Berberine has been found5 to enhance liver functions, help moderate elevated liver enzymes, and lower fatty deposits in the liver.* 
Weight Management
Owing to its benefits in glucose and lipid metabolism, berberine is currently trending for its potential role in weight management that could help individuals improve their overall health.* 

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Bergamot vs. Berberine: A Comparison

Both bergamot and berberine are well-tolerated with minimal reported adverse side effects and are considered safe to be used as ingredients in dietary supplements. Although several of the potential benefits of bergamot and berberine are similar, they likely influence different biochemical pathways to exert their beneficial effects. It is worth noting that the mechanisms of action of these plant-derived compounds are not fully understood yet.

Bergamot vs. Berberine: Similarities and Differences
BergamotBerberine
OriginA citrus fruit of Citrus bergamia Risso et Poiteu plant. Roots, rhizomes, and stem barks of barberry, Oregon grape, tree turmeric, goldenseal, yellowroot, Californian poppy, and similar trees.
PropertiesBoth have antioxidant properties and promote the body’s natural response to inflammation.*
Chemical compositionBergamot has a high content of flavonoids. Berberine is an alkaloid.
BenefitsBoth exert similar benefits on the heart, immune health, endocrine health, and the nervous system.* 
Mechanisms of ActionFlavonoids present in bergamot help lower blood lipid levels.  Berberine is less effective than bergamot in lowering low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels. 

When comparing bergamot vs. berberine, there is no definitive top choice. Each compound works well under different physiological conditions to support your overall health and wellness.  

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Combined Effects of Bergamot and Berberine 

The synergistic effects of bergamot and berberine are being extensively studied6 on the mechanisms of action underlying cholesterol synthesis, triglycerides, and LDL-cholesterol oxidation. This approach has shown promising results by acting at different levels on the cholesterol pathway.*

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Bioavailability Challenges of Bergamot and Berberine

There have been limited studies on the bioavailability of bergamot, and the available bioavailability studies have only assessed the presence of flavanone metabolites after 1 to 4 hours post-consumption of bergamot juice. To better understand the potential of bergamot as a cardioprotective agent, bioavailability studies involving more prolonged periods (up to 24 to 48 hours) are required. 

The poor absorption, extensive metabolism, and rapid loss of berberine from the body results in an absolute bioavailability of less than 1%. Dihydroberberine (dhBBR) — a reduced derivative of berberine, displays a 5-fold intestinal absorption rate compared to that of berberine. However, dhBBR is unstable and is oxidized to berberine in gastrointestinal tissues. 

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FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions About Berberine Supplements 

Can I take bergamot and berberine together?

Although there is ongoing research exploring the effects of taking bergamot and berberine together, it is recommended to consult with your health-care provider before incorporating both supplements into your diet.  

When should I take a berberine supplement?

A berberine supplement can support your gastrointestinal health, cardiovascular function, liver function, immune function, glucose metabolism, and lipid metabolism, as well as promoting a healthy weight management program.* Consult with your health-care provider to evaluate the need for a berberine supplement in your diet.          

Can I take a berberine supplement with a prescription medication?  

Although the safety profile of berberine is well established, it is always advisable to consult with your health-care provider before taking a berberine supplement with a prescription medication.  

How do I determine the efficacy of a berberine supplement formulation?

The efficacy of a berberine supplement formulation is determined by its enhanced palatability, bioavailability, and absorption in the body. Tesseract’s BerberActiv®, an innovative, oral berberine supplement formulation, exhibits optimal absorption of the active ingredient to support your overall health.*

The proprietary CyLoc® - DexKey® nutrient delivery nanotechnology facilitates unprecedented absorption of billions of berberine molecules in the intestinal tract. Each berberine molecule is encased in the CyLoc® matrix that masks the bitterness of berberine. The DexKey® reactors accompany CyLoC® molecules and release them at the desired point in the intestinal tract. The enhanced absorption of berberine enables micro-dosing, which means ingesting a lesser amount of berberine to achieve a powerful and rapid physiological response to support health functions.*        

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The power of Tesseract supplements lies in enhancing palatability, maximizing bioavailability and absorption, and micro-dosing multiple nutrients in a single, highly effective capsule. Shop products on our website and learn more about how they can help support your endocrine health.* 

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Works Cited:.

1Nauman MC, Johnson JJ. Integrative food, nutrition and metabolism vol. 6,2 (2019): 10.15761/IFNM.1000249. doi:10.15761/IFNM.1000249

2Dayarathne LA, et al. Journal of veterinary science vol. 22,6 (2021): e92. doi:10.4142/jvs.2021.22.e92

3Rombolà L, et al. Molecules (Basel, Switzerland) vol. 22,4 614. 11 Apr. 2017, doi:10.3390/molecules22040614

4Ehteshamfar S-M, et al. Journal of cellular and molecular medicine vol. 24,23 (2020): 13573-13588. doi:10.1111/jcmm.16049

5Nejati L, et al. Medical journal of the Islamic Republic of Iran vol. 36 39. 20 Apr. 2022, doi:10.47176/mjiri.36.39
6Amante C, et al. Life (Basel, Switzerland) vol. 12,8 1162. 30 Jul. 2022, doi:10.3390/life12081162

Coenzyme Q10 – or CoQ10 – is an endogenous fat-soluble and vitamin-like compound found naturally in every cellular membrane of the body, particularly the mitochondrial membranes. Because CoQ10 is primarily involved in cellular energy production, its level is highest in organs with high metabolism rates, such as the heart, kidney, and liver. As an antioxidant, CoQ10 protects cellular components from the adverse effects of oxidative stress.* 

CoQ10’s therapeutic effects in addressing oxidative stress are well-known, and this nutrient has been extensively studied for its role in promoting women’s health.* Get all the answers below regarding CoQ10 benefits for women, how it supports various health functions, and why you should include a CoQ10 supplement in your diet. Use the links below to jump ahead to different topics on the page.

Table of Contents
CoQ10 Benefits for Women: An OverviewCoQ10 for Female Reproductive Health
CoQ10 for Bone Health in WomenCoQ10 for Heart Health in Women
CoQ10 for Women’s SkinCoQ10 for Gastrointestinal Health in Women
Including a CoQ10 Supplement in Your Diet FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions

CoQ10 Benefits for Women: An Overview

A group of multigenerational women

Research studies1 show that women generally experience lower levels of oxidative stress and subsequent production of Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) than men. However, oxidative stress in women typically increases with age. It is assumed to be due to lower levels of estrogen—a hormone responsible for the development and maintenance of female characteristics of the body. CoQ10’s antioxidant effects help mitigate mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress in female bodies.*  

The following table summarizes how CoQ10 supports various health functions in women.

Health FunctionCoQ10 Benefits
Reproductive HealthOxidative stress influences2 the entire reproductive lifespan of a woman and is associated with modulating the age-related decline in fertility. ROS plays a role in pathological processes involving the female reproductive tract. CoQ10 supplementation can limit oxidative stress to promote reproductive health.*Learn more about CoQ10’s menstrual cycle effects. 
BoneEstrogen helps build and maintain bone mineral density. A gradual decline of estrogen with age significantly impacts bone quality and increases the risk of fracture. CoQ10 supplementation inhibits oxidative stress and cell senescence (cell aging) and promotes bone formation.* 
HeartReports3 suggest that although women develop heart disease about 10 years later than men, they are likely to experience worse outcomes after a heart attack. CoQ10’s potential cardiovascular health benefits include protecting cardiac muscle tissues from oxidative stress, enhancing lipid profiles, and helping to maintain optimal blood pressure.*  
Learn more about CoQ10 vs. fish oil to support your heart health.
SkinAging and fluctuating hormonal levels impact skin health, resulting in loss of skin elasticity, wrinkles, skin pigmentation, etc. CoQ10 promotes healthy skin by limiting oxidative stress in skin cells, particularly the dermis layer.* Learn more about coenzyme Q10’s skin benefits.
Gastrointestinal HealthWomen, particularly postmenopausal women, are more likely4 to experience gastrointestinal disorders than men. CoQ10 exerts gastroprotective effects to promote gut health.*  

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CoQ10 for Female Reproductive Health

A representational image for female reproductive health

The role of excessive  ROS resulting in oxidative stress and its impact on female reproductive health are well-documented. Oxidative stress affects the reproductive years, resulting in a gradual age-induced decline in fertility, and menopausal years too. Reactive Oxygen Species play a potential role in various pathological processes involving the female reproductive tract.  

In randomized controlled trials, the role of CoQ10 supplementation has been explored to understand how it limits oxidative stress.* The following table summarizes the potential role of CoQ10 in supporting female reproductive health.*

CoQ10 and Reproductive Health
Enhancing oocyte quality: The quality of the human oocyte—the immature egg cell, depends on optimal mitochondrial function and adequate cellular energy levels. CoQ10 has been found5 to exert beneficial effects in enhancing oocyte quality and subsequent reproductive performance.*  
Supporting the development of competent follicles: CoQ10 supplementation is believed to exert positive effects, particularly at the follicular level, by supporting a more favorable environment for competent ovarian follicle development.* 

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CoQ10 for Bone Health in Women 

A woman bending her knee

Aging is characterized by a marked reduction in bone volume, microstructural destruction of bone tissue, and increased fragility of bone tissue. 

Although women gradually lose bone from ~35 years onward, the rate of bone loss peaks around menopause due to increasing bone resorption and decreasing bone formation levels.  

Our bones are composed of different types of cells, and aging impacts the normal functioning of these cells. The increased number of osteoclasts (the cells that dissolve and break down old or damaged bone cells) and the decrease in the number of osteoblasts (the cells involved in bone synthesis and mineralization) result in loss of bone mass and strength.

In women, increased osteoclast activity is linked to low estrogen levels and other hormonal changes in the body. Several studies highlight the role of CoQ10 and its beneficial effects on supporting bone health.* However, the exact mechanism underlying CoQ10-mediated protection of bones is still unclear. 

The following table highlights some of the potential beneficial effects of CoQ10 on bone cells.*      

CoQ10 and Bone Health
Promoting osteoblast proliferation and differentiation: Studies6 in rats have established the beneficial effects of CoQ10 on the proliferation and differentiation of osteoblast cells.*  
Inhibiting oxidative stress and cell senescence: CoQ10 protects7 mitochondria from oxidative damage, thereby inhibiting oxidative stress to bone cells and their subsequent aging.* CoQ10 also helps in promoting osteoblastic bone formation and inhibiting osteoclastic bone resorption.* 

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CoQ10 for Heart Health in Women

Woman getting her heart checked

One of every three female deaths in the United States is caused due to poor heart health. 

Women often experience poorer outcomes after a heart attack, partly due to failure to identify and address cardiovascular disorders. The oxidative stress in heart muscles impacts the normal functioning of the heart, resulting in a wide range of pathological conditions. Due to its antioxidant properties and role in enhancing oxygen utilization on the cellular level, CoQ10 supplementation shows the potential to support a healthy heart.* 

The following table highlights some of the key benefits of CoQ10 for heart health.* 

CoQ10 and Heart Health
Maintaining normal blood pressure: Blood pressure is usually higher in men than in women at similar ages. However, after menopause, women experience elevated blood pressure levels even higher than that of men. CoQ10 helps maintain a normal systolic blood pressure in the body.* 
Enhancing lipid profiles: CoQ10 supplementation has been found to help maintain normal total cholesterol levels, as well as high-density lipoprotein (HDL)-cholesterol levels.*  
Addressing side effects of statin medications: Statin medications lower cholesterol levels. Although women are less frequently prescribed statins and receive relatively lower doses, CoQ10 supplementation can address the side effects of statins, such as muscle aches and weakness.*  

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CoQ10 for Women’s Skin

A woman applying a topical cream

Technically, a woman’s skin begins aging after the age of 20 as the dermis layer of the skin produces one percent less collagen each year. As a woman ages, her skin becomes thinner, less elastic, and more fragile. Skin cells are more prone to be damaged by free radicals and require a high amount of cellular energy for regeneration and repair. CoQ10 supports healthy skin through the following mechanisms.*

CoQ10 and Skin Health
Stimulating collagen production: CoQ10 helps stimulate8 collagen synthesis by enhancing gene expression of type I, IV, and VII collagen.*  
Maintaining cellular metabolism: CoQ10 helps maintain the regular metabolism of aging skin cells, particularly keratinocytes, by enhancing their mitochondrial functioning.* 
Maintaining flexibility and stability of skin: CoQ10 limits the seasonal deterioration of viscoelasticity of the skin, the property that makes the skin flexible and stable.* 

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CoQ10 for Gastrointestinal Health in Women

A woman standing in front of food promoting good digestion

During menopause, low levels of hormones, such as estrogen and progesterone, slow down the process of food passing through the intestine. The increased span of the digestive process results in more water reabsorption back into the bloodstream, leading to increased bloating, constipation, and other gastrointestinal discomfort. 

The following table highlights how CoQ10 supports a healthy gastrointestinal environment.* 

CoQ10 and Gastrointestinal Health
Enhancing gut microbiota: CoQ10 helps9 support the growth of beneficial gut bacteria, thereby enhancing the intestinal flora balance.* 
Protecting gastric mucosa: Gastric mucosa, the mucous membrane found in the stomach, is prone to injury due to certain medications and pathological conditions. CoQ10 supplementation has been found10 to limit inflammation and subsequent injury to the gastric mucosa.* 

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Including a CoQ10 Supplement In Your Diet

Eating a balanced diet containing meat, fish, fruits and vegetables, and nuts supports the endogenous production of CoQ10 in your body. However, there are reasons why you should include a CoQ10 supplement in your diet. 

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FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions About CoQ10 Supplements 

Is it safe to take a CoQ10 supplement during pregnancy or breastfeeding?

There is limited data on the safety and efficacy of CoQ10 supplementation during pregnancy or breastfeeding. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, then consult with your healthcare provider before including a CoQ10 supplement in your diet.   

Can I take a CoQ10 supplement with prescription medicine?

CoQ10 supplements can interact with prescription medicines for blood thinning, glucose metabolism, and kidney and liver disorders. It is always recommended to consult with your healthcare provider before taking a CoQ10 supplement with any prescription medicine.   

How to determine the efficacy of a CoQ10 supplement formulation?

A CoQ10 supplement will be effective only if it displays enhanced bioavailability and absorption of the active ingredient in the body. 

Tesseract Medical Research has developed a unique and hypoallergenic CoQ10 supplement formulation for optimal absorption of the active ingredient, making CoQ10 a therapeutic reality.* CoQ10 Pro consists of the proprietary CyLoc® - DexKey® nutrient delivery nanotechnology that enables unprecedented absorption of billions of CoQ10 molecules in the intestinal tract. Each CoQ10 molecule gets encased in the CyLoc® matrix, while accompanying DexKey® reactors release these molecules at the desired point in the intestinal tract. Enhanced absorption of the active ingredient means ingesting a lesser amount of CoQ10 is needed for a powerful and rapid physiological response to support your cardiovascular health.*       

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The power of Tesseract supplements lies in enhancing palatability, maximizing bioavailability and absorption, and micro-dosing multiple nutrients in a single, highly effective capsule. Shop products on our website and learn more about how they can help support your cardiovascular health.* 

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Citations:

1Kander MC, et al. Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine vol. 21,5 (2017):1024-1032. doi:10.1111/jcmm.13038

2Agarwal A, et al. Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology vol. 3;28. 14 Jul. 2005, doi:10.1186/1477-7827-3-28

3Giardina EG. vol. 45,6 (2000):350-357.

4Cain KC, et al. International Journal of Fertility and Women's Medicine vol. 54,7 (2009):1542-9. doi:10.1007/s10620-008-0516-3

5Rodríguez-Varela C, Labarta E. International Journal of Molecular Sciences vol. 22,17 9541. 2 Sep. 2021, doi:10.3390/ijms22179541

6Zheng D, et al. Molecular Medicine Reports vol. 17,1 (2018):400-407. doi:10.3892/mmr.2017.7907

7Wu X, et al. American Journal of Translational Research vol. 12,8 4314-4325. 15 Aug. 2020

8Mine Y, et al. Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition vol. 71,1 (2022):29-33. doi:10.3164/jcbn.20-187
9Zhao X, et al. The Korean Journal of Physiology & Pharmacology: Official Journal of the Korean Physiological Society and the Korean Society of Pharmacology vol. 25,4 (2021):261-272. doi:10.4196/kjpp.2021.25.4.261

You might have heard about coenzyme Q10 – or CoQ10 – and its role in supporting your heart health.* But if you are considering including CoQ10 in your diet, then you should know all the benefits of this nutrient molecule, any side effects it might cause, and why there might be a need for a CoQ10 supplement, etc. 

Get all the answers to common queries about CoQ10's pros and cons, different CoQ10 supplement forms, and how to determine the efficacy of a CoQ10 supplement. Use the links below to jump ahead to different topics on the page.

Table of Contents
CoQ10: A Miracle NutrientWhat Are CoQ10 Benefits?
Are There Side Effects of CoQ10?CoQ10 Pros and Cons: A Comparison
Do You Need a CoQ10 Supplement?CoQ10 Supplement Forms
Ubiquinone versus UbiquinolWhat Is The Most Bioavailable Form of CoQ10?
FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions

CoQ10: A “Miracle” Nutrient

CoQ10 is an endogenous lipid-soluble compound that plays an essential role in cellular energy production. Although it is prevalent in all human tissues and organs, CoQ10 is mainly biosynthesized and concentrated in organs that have high metabolism rates and energy turnover, such as the heart, kidney, and liver. The beneficial effects of CoQ10 on different health functions, particularly heart health, have led to extensive CoQ10 research since the 1970s.      

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What Are CoQ10’s Benefits?

CoQ10 Pros

CoQ10 exerts an antioxidant effect and promotes the body’s natural inflammatory response to promote various health functions.* The therapeutic effects of CoQ10 increase the production of key antioxidants, such as superoxide dismutase—an enzyme that helps reduce vascular oxidative stress.* CoQ10 further lowers levels of lipid peroxidation by limiting the production of pro-oxidative compounds.* The antioxidant molecule preserves nitric oxide levels, which enhances blood flow and protects blood vessels. 

The following table summarizes the potential benefits of CoQ10.

Health FunctionCoQ10 Benefits
Heart
CoQ10’s potential cardiovascular health benefits include improving lipid profiles, protecting cardiac muscle tissues from oxidative stress, and maintaining optimal blood pressure.*  
Learn more about CoQ10 vs. fish oil to support your heart health. 
Skin
CoQ10 promotes healthy skin by limiting oxidative stress in skin cells, particularly the dermis layer.* It also helps maintain cellular metabolism by enhancing the mitochondrial functioning of aging skin cells.* Learn more about coenzyme Q10’s skin benefits.
Reproductive Health
The age-dependent decline in female reproductive potential is associated with cellular mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress. Experimental and clinical evidence1 suggests COQ10’s protective effects on reproductive health.* Learn more about CoQ10 benefits for women and CoQ10’s menstrual cycle effects. 
Immune System
Your immune system has intensive energy requirements. Because CoQ10 has a key role in cellular energy production, its adequate supply enables various immune cell types to function optimally.* Learn more about quercetin vs. CoQ10 and the perceived benefits for immune health. 

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Are There Side Effects to Taking CoQ10? 

Because CoQ10 is naturally present in the human body, its safety profile is well-established. Toxicity is unlikely, even up to an intake of 1,200 mg/ day. CoQ10 supplements are generally well-tolerated with only minor and infrequent adverse effects. However, it is worth noting that the safety of the use of CoQ10 in pregnant and breastfeeding women, children, and infants has not been established. The following table summarizes some of the possible adverse side effects of CoQ10.

CoQ10’s Possible Adverse Side Effects
Infrequent adverse effects: Stomach upset, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
Rare adverse effects: Headache, heartburn, fatigue, dizziness, irritability, etc. 
Contraindications: CoQ10 supplements might interact with prescription medicines for kidney and liver disorders, blood thinning, and glucose metabolism.  

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CoQ10 Pros and Cons: An Overview

As a lipid-soluble antioxidant, CoQ10 provides protection against oxidative damage to cellular components.* It is also able to regenerate vitamins C and E back to their active, fully reduced forms.* However, you should consider the possible side effects of CoQ10 and consult with your healthcare provider before including this therapeutic nutrient as a supplement in your diet. 

The following table highlights some of CoQ10’s pros and cons and its role in supporting various health functions.*

CoQ10 Pros and Cons
CoQ10 Pros  CoQ10 Cons
Cardiovascular healthClinical trials suggest the potential role of CoQ10 in maintaining optimal systolic blood pressure2.* CoQ10 might interact with prescription medicines for high blood pressure. 
Gastrointestinal healthCoQ10 can enhance3 the intestinal flora, supporting the growth of beneficial gut bacteria.*CoQ10 might cause minor side effects, such as stomach upset, heartburn, nausea, and diarrhea. 
Skin healthCoQ10 supports optimal skin health—stimulating collagen production and decreasing oxidative damage to the skin.* The potential side effects of CoQ10 can include skin itching or rashes. 

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Do You Need a CoQ10 Supplement?

Although CoQ10 is naturally produced in your body, its level decreases as you age. CoQ10 levels have been reported to be particularly low in individuals with certain heart conditions or those taking a statin medication to lower cholesterol levels. Statin medications lower the liver’s production of cholesterol, thereby limiting the low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (LDL) in the blood. However, they can also lower the amount of CoQ10 in the body, leading to a CoQ10 deficiency. 

CoQ10 is a normal part of a balanced diet, predominantly found in meat, fish, nuts, and certain fruits and vegetables. Although these dietary sources support endogenous CoQ10 production, they might not be enough to significantly enhance the depleting CoQ10 level in your body. This is when you need a CoQ10 supplement to support your health.* 

CoQ10 nutritional supplements are available as capsules, chewable tablets, oral sprays, and liquid syrups.     

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CoQ10 Supplement Forms

CoQ10 exists within the body in two forms—ubiquinone (the oxidized form) and ubiquinol (the reduced form). Ubiquinone and ubiquinol are a redox pair (oxidation-reduction) and are continually interconverted within cells depending on the demand for their various functions. 

To maintain a consistent quality of CoQ10 supplements, CoQ10 is produced in the laboratory by fermentation. Due to the inherently unstable nature of ubiquinol, which gets reduced to ubiquinone, CoQ10 supplements could only be produced in the ubiquinone form until very recently. New encapsulation techniques have now made it possible to produce CoQ10 supplements in the ubiquinol form.  

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Ubiquinone versus Ubiquinol?

When taken orally in the form of a nutritional supplement, ubiquinol is oxidized to ubiquinone by gastric acid before it is absorbed. In the blood and in the lymph, CoQ10 remains in ubiquinol form irrespective of the initial dietary form.  

There has been much debate about the relative bioavailability of the two forms of CoQ10 supplements. The initial absorption of CoQ10 into intestinal cells was previously thought to be enhanced by the reduction of ubiquinone to ubiquinol, leading to the assumption that the ingestion of supplemental CoQ10 in the ubiquinol form better facilitates the absorption process. The following table highlights some of the key differences between ubiquinone and ubiquinol.     

Ubiquinone versus Ubiquinol: A Comparison
Ubiquinone  Ubiquinol
Chemical formThe oxidized form of CoQ10The reduced form of CoQ10
FunctionRequired in the energy production of all cells except red blood cells; plays an important role in several steps of the electron transport chain in mitochondrial inner membranesProvides critical antioxidant protection, preventing oxidation of cellular membrane lipids and lipoprotein lipids present in circulation

Several studies report there is no significant difference in the relative bioavailability of ubiquinone and ubiquinol supplements. So, it is not necessary to take ubiquinol to enhance CoQ10 levels in plasma and plasma lipoproteins; i.e., taking a ubiquinone supplement will do the same. 

The bioavailability and absorption of CoQ10 depend on the supplement formulation and are independent of the CoQ10 molecular form. 

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What Is the Most Bioavailable Form of CoQ10?

Whether it is ubiquinone or ubiquinol, the bioavailability and absorption of a CoQ10 supplement depend4 on the formulation, especially:

  1. The composition of the oil matrix in which CoQ10 is dissolved,
  2. The proportion and addition of preservatives, such as Vitamin C
  3. The heating and cooling process used before filling the CoQ10 oil mixture into soft-gel capsules.   

CoQ10 supplement formulations containing nanoparticle complexes have been found to display superior bioavailability and absorption compared to supplements featuring uncomplexed CoQ10.

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FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions About CoQ10 Supplements 

How much CoQ10 should I take daily?

The average dietary intake of CoQ10 is 3 mg - 6 mg. Various oral formulations contain anywhere between 30 mg -  600 mg per serving of CoQ10. Although there is no established minimum or maximum ingested amount of CoQ10, the average amount necessary5 to attain a therapeutic blood level of more than 2.5 mcg/mL is 200 mg taken twice daily with a meal.   

Can I take a CoQ10 supplement with prescription medicine?

CoQ10 supplements can interact with prescription medicines. It is always recommended to consult with your healthcare provider before incorporating a CoQ10 supplement into your diet.   

How do I determine the efficacy of a CoQ10 supplement formulation?

The efficacy of a CoQ10 supplement formulation depends on its absorption and bioavailability. As mentioned earlier, the type of CoQ10 formulation plays a critical role in enhancing its absorption in the body.   

CoQ10 Pro is a unique CoQ10 supplement formulation developed by Tesseract Medical Research to ensure optimal absorption of the active ingredient to support cardiovascular health.* The proprietary CyLoc® - DexKey® nutrient delivery nanotechnology ensures unprecedented absorption of CoQ10 molecules in the intestinal tract—one molecule at a time. The CyLoc® matrix encases each CoQ10 molecule while the accompanying DexKey® reactors release each molecule at the desired point in the intestinal tract to achieve maximum absorption. Enhanced absorption enables micro-dosing—the ingestion of a lesser amount of CoQ10 to achieve a powerful and rapid physiological response to keep your heart healthy.*

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The power of Tesseract supplements lies in enhancing palatability, maximizing bioavailability and absorption, and micro-dosing multiple nutrients in a single, highly effective capsule. Shop products on our website and learn more about how they can help support your cardiovascular health.* 

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Citations: 

1Carneiro H, Fernanda M, Colaiácovo MP. Vitamins and Hormones vol. 121 (2023):143-167. doi:10.1016/bs.vh.2022.10.004

2Zozina VI, et al. Current Cardiology Reviews vol. 14,3 (2018):164-174. doi:10.2174/1573403X14666180416115428

3Zhao X, et al. The Korean journal of physiology & pharmacology: official journal of the Korean Physiological Society and the Korean Society of Pharmacology vol. 25,4 (2021):261-272. doi:10.4196/kjpp.2021.25.4.261

4Mantle D, Dybring A. Antioxidants (Basel, Switzerland) vol. 9,5 386. 5 May. 2020, doi:10.3390/antiox9050386
5Raizner AE. Methodist DeBakey Cardiovascular Journal vol. 15,3 (2019):185-191. doi:10.14797/mdcj-15-3-185

Article Summary:

Moderate physical exercise is an indispensable part of a healthy lifestyle. Moderate and programmed physical exercise promotes fitness and offers various health benefits. However, intensive physical performance is also known to induce muscle fatigue, oxidative stress, and inflammation. Several studies have established the interrelation between intense physical workouts and an increase in the production of Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) and free radicals that can have both positive and negative physiological effects. The therapeutic effects of antioxidants, such as berberine, have been found to address such exercise-induced oxidative stress.  

Below, we discuss how berberine and exercise together support your overall health and why you should include a berberine supplement in your daily supplement regimen.     

How Berberine and Exercise Support Your Body

Strenuous exercise—a minimum of 30 minutes of intense and close-to-the-limit muscle contractile activity, increases oxidant production in the muscles, thereby limiting performance.1 

When you exercise, the oxygen demand in your body increases, particularly in skeletal muscles, resulting in a significant change in the blood flow to various organs. The exercise-induced muscle damage promotes the infiltration of phagocytes—the immune cells responsible for both the early and late stages of immune responses--at the site of injury. Although moderate exercise enhances the body’s antioxidant defense mechanism, intensive and exhaustive exercise generates an increased production of free radicals that can result in oxidative damage to biomolecules.

Excessive Versus Progressive Physical Activity

Excessive physical activity can lead to high levels of ROS that exhaust the enzymatic and non-enzymatic antioxidant systems of the body. Some indicators signaling the rise of free radicals in the body resulting from excessive physical activity are:

Increased levels of free radicals can impair cellular function, damage macromolecules, and even result in cell death. As a result, excessive physical activity can be detrimental with effects such as alterations in arterial pressure and heart rate, changes in the sleep cycle, appetite, and altered hormonal activity. Individuals undergoing excessive physical training or exercise often experience increased heartbeats even at rest, struggle to fall asleep, and have poor immune function.

In contrast, regular physical activity of moderate intensity is an adaptive response that results in higher levels of mitochondrial content and accumulates relatively lower levels of ROS. It is worth noting that the degree of oxidative stress and of muscle damage is not dependent on the absolute intensity of the exercise but on the degree of exhaustion of the individual performing the exercise. A constant physical activity with intensity progressing over time favors a more rapid recovery of the oxidation generated by strenuous exercise bouts or maximal aerobic tests.   

Role of Berberine in Limiting Oxidative Stress*

The antioxidant property of berberine, along with its ability to support the body’s natural inflammatory response, is associated with limiting oxidative stress post-exercise, lowering muscle soreness and physical stress, and enhancing physical performance.* The following table summarizes how berberine’s potential therapeutic effects help counter exercise-induced exhaustion in the body.*   

How Berberine Addresses Exercise-Induced Exhaustion
Building skeletal muscle massBerberine is associated3 with enhancing skeletal muscle mass*—a key to adjusting to the demanded physical performance capacities.
Cardiovascular protectionBerberine4 exerted cardioprotective benefits to exercise-induced heart muscle injury in rats.*
Limiting exercise-induced oxidative stressBerberine inhibits exercise-induced oxidative stress through a complex mechanism of several kinases and signaling pathways.*

With these benefits, berberine supplementation can provide an added advantage to enhance physical endurance,* in addition to rigorous training and diet. Incorporating an advanced berberine supplementation formula into your diet can support your goal to stay fit and limit muscle damage incurred during exercise.*

Incorporating The Right Berberine Supplement Into Your Diet

Tesseract’s BerberActiv® is a unique berberine supplement formulated for optimal absorption. The proprietary Cyloc® - DexKey® technology masks the bitter taste of berberine while enhancing its bioavailability and absorption in the body. The unprecedented absorption capabilities mean a lower dose of the active ingredient is needed to achieve a rapid and powerful physiological response. With BerberActiv® and exercise, you can enjoy the therapeutic benefits of berberine to support healthy weight management and optimal functioning of your body.*

Visit Tesseract Medical Research to learn more about berberine and exercise and how a berberine supplement can support your endocrine and immune health.

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Citations:

1Reid MB. vol. 594,18 (2016): 5125-33. doi:10.1113/JP270653

2Wang H, et al. vol. 59,8 (2010): 1879-89. doi:10.2337/db10-0207

3Chen L, et al. vol. 13 4561-4569. 23 Nov. 2020, doi:10.2147/DMSO.S275301
4Wang YW, et al. Zhonghua xin xue guan bing za zhi vol. 47,8 (2019): 647-652. doi:10.3760/cma.j.issn.0253-3758.2019.08.010

Article Summary:

As the largest digestive gland in the body, the liver performs many vital functions, including removing toxins from the body’s blood supply, regulating blood clotting, and maintaining healthy blood sugar and lipid levels. The liver is frequently exposed to various substances, such as alcohol, chemicals, and drugs, and works to eliminate them from the body. Most of the toxins in the body are fat-soluble and accumulate in the fatty or adipose tissues. The liver breaks down these toxins into byproducts, which can often cause damage to the liver in the long run.

Ongoing liver detoxification, through an adequate intake of water, a balanced diet consisting of antioxidants such as berberine, and an overall healthy lifestyle, is critical for supporting hepatic health.* Below, we discuss the beneficial role of berberine in liver detoxification and why you should include a berberine supplement in your diet for a healthy liver.*

Berberine and Liver Detox: An Overview

Berberine and liver detox: Short-term effects

Berberine, a plant alkaloid, has garnered significant interest due to its hepatoprotective effects.* Berberine’s liver detox activity can be attributed to its antioxidant properties and its role in helping to maintain the body’s natural inflammatory response.* Berberine has been found to influence various metabolic pathways, such as the insulin pathway, adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK) signaling, and hepatic lipid transportation, to optimize liver functions.* Several clinical studies have investigated the beneficial benefits of berberine on liver cells, including protection against oxidative stress.* The following table highlights some of the studies that establish berberine’s liver detox benefits in the short- and long-term.*

Berberine’s Liver Detox Benefits*
Inhibiting hepatic gluconeogenesis*: Berberine suppresses1 the expression of the key hepatic gluconeogenic enzymes through the AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) signaling pathway to exert glucose-stabilizing effects.* Maintaining a normal blood glucose level also helps lower blood insulin levels due to the inhibition of gluconeogenesis—the generation of glucose from non-carbohydrate precursors. 
Inhibiting ammonia detoxification*: The liver is central in urea synthesis, which forms the basis of ammonia removal. Impaired liver function impacts its urea synthesis capacity. Berberine inhibits2 hepatic gluconeogenesis. In an animal study3 on fingerling black sea bream, berberine supplementation was found to be beneficial for the hepatic antioxidant enzymes under ammonia stress.     
Stimulating glycolysis*: Berberine enhances3 glucose metabolism by stimulating glycolysis—the breakdown of glucose into energy and pyruvic acid.* Berberine-induced AMPK activation is assumed to inhibit glucose oxidation in mitochondria.*
Regulating lipid metabolism*: Berberine promotes4 the excretion of cholesterol from the liver to bile, thereby contributing to healthy levels of blood lipids.* Berberine further induces hepatic autophagy—the natural, conserved degradation of liver cells or hepatocytes to repress lipid accumulation in them.*  

Although berberine plays a significant role in supporting liver health,* its bitter taste is a major hindrance to patient compliance. The poor bioavailability and absorption of berberine further adversely impact its efficacy as a liver-protective supplement.* That is why you need an advanced berberine supplement formulation that ensures optimal absorption in the body, making its benefits a reality.    

Including a Berberine Supplement in Your Diet

BerberActiv® is a unique oral bioactive berberine complex that is available in both quick-release and sustained-release formulations. Developed by Tesseract Medical Research, BerberActiv® transcends common absorption and palatability issues through the revolutionary and proprietary CyLoc®-DexKey® nano delivery system. A CyLoc® molecular matrix compounded with a DexKey® release agent enables the targeted delivery of berberine molecules at the desired point in the intestinal tract without compromising their integrity. The optimal absorption of the active ingredient molecules enhances the efficacy of berberine as a master antioxidant and liver detox agent, thereby supporting healthy liver function.*     

Visit Tesseract Medical Research to learn more about berberine’s liver detox benefits and how you can incorporate a berberine supplement into your diet. 

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Citations

1Jiang S-J, et al. Berberine inhibits... World journal of gastroenterology vol. 21,25 (2015): 7777-7785. doi:10.3748/wjg.v21.i25.7777

2Moreira ES, et al. The short-term effects of berberine in the liver... Toxicology letters vol. 368 (2022): 56-65. doi:10.1016/j.toxlet.2022.08.005

3Yin J, et al. Berberine improves…. American journal of physiology. Endocrinology and metabolism vol. 294,1 (2008): E148-156. doi:10.1152/ajpendo.00211.2007

4Li X-Y, et al. Effect of berberine... Journal of translational medicine vol. 13 278. 27 Aug. 2015, doi:10.1186/s12967-015-0629-3

The advanced formulations based on our revolutionary, patented, and patent-pending technology are only available through Tesseract. No other medical, pharmaceutical, or supplement company is licensed to utilize our proprietary technology.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
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