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Blood test for CoQ10 deficiency symptoms

Addressing CoQ10 Deficiency Symptoms with Diet and Supplements

  • Do you have an optimal CoQ10 level in your body? 
  • What happens if your CoQ10 level is low?
  • How do you enhance CoQ10 production in your body?

Get the answers to common queries about CoQ10 deficiency symptoms, including how CoQ10 affects various health functions and the best way to enhance the CoQ10 level in your body. Use the links below to jump ahead to different topics on the page.

What Is CoQ10 and Where Is It Found? Potential Therapeutic Applications of CoQ10
How Does CoQ10 Support Cardiovascular Health? How Does CoQ10 Promote Healthy Skin?
CoQ10 Deficiency Symptoms Incorporating A Diet Rich In CoQ10
Factors Affecting CoQ10 Absorption In The Body Types of CoQ10 Supplement Formulations
FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions

What Is CoQ10 and Where Is It Found?

Coenzyme Q10, or CoQ10, is an endogenous compound prevalent in all tissues and organs in your body and is mainly biosynthesized and concentrated in tissues with high energy turnover. As a naturally occurring quinone, CoQ10 is found in most aerobic organisms—from bacteria to mammals. This lipid antioxidant, also referred to as ubiquinone, is critical for producing adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the source of cellular energy production.

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Potential Therapeutic Applications of CoQ10

Because CoQ10 is involved in cellular energy production, it is abundantly present in those organs that have a high metabolism rate, such as the heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, spleen, pancreas, and adrenal glands. In addition to its role as an energy transfer molecule in the electron transport chain, CoQ10 exerts therapeutic effects as an antioxidant, thereby supporting muscles, neurological health, cardiovascular health, cognitive health, skin health, oral health, and reproductive health.

The following table summarizes some of the key therapeutic applications of CoQ10.     

System Therapeutic Applications
Cardiovascular Health
Skin Health
Reproductive Health
  • CoQ10 Benefits for Women
  • CoQ10’s Menstrual Cycle Effects
Immune Health

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How Does CoQ10 Support Cardiovascular Health? 

The highest level of CoQ10 is found in heart muscle tissues. Various studies have established the benefits of CoQ10 on heart and muscle tissues for optimal cardiovascular health. The following table highlights some of the potential benefits of CoQ10 for your heart.    

CoQ10’s Potential Cardiovascular Health Benefits
Suppressing oxidative stress: Individuals affected with certain heart conditions have increased biomarkers of oxidative stress in their plasma. CoQ10 supplementation has been found1 to help maintain healthy levels of inflammatory biomarkers. Helping maintain normal blood pressure: Clinical trials have suggested the potential role of CoQ10 in helping maintain normal systolic blood pressure. 
Improving lipid profiles: CoQ10 supplementation has been found to improve lipid profiles, helping to maintain optimal total cholesterol levels and elevating high-density lipoprotein (HDL)-cholesterol levels. Addressing side effects of statin intake: Statin medications to lower cholesterol levels can cause statin-associated myopathy, such as muscle aches and weakness, which are attributed to CoQ10 depletion and can be addressed with CoQ10 supplementation.

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How Does CoQ10 Promote Healthy Skin? 

The skin, being exposed to both extrinsic and intrinsic stress factors, is more prone to oxidative stress and requires a high amount of cellular energy for the regeneration and repair of tissues. The antioxidant properties of CoQ10 help support optimal skin health, especially in the dermis layer. CoQ10 promotes healthy skin by:

  • Limiting oxidative stress: CoQ10 limits oxidative stress by down-regulating he expression of collagenase, the enzyme that breaks down collagen in skin cells following UVA radiation. 
  • Regulating cellular metabolism: CoQ10 enhances the mitochondrial functioning of aging skin cells, particularly keratinocytes—the most dominant cells in the epidermis.  
  • Stimulating collagen production: CoQ10 enhances2 gene expression of type I, IV, and VII collagen, along with other critical proteins to stimulate collagen synthesis.  
  • Maintaining stability and flexibility of skin: CoQ10 limits seasonal deterioration of viscoelasticity, the property that causes stability and flexibility of the skin. 

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CoQ10 Deficiency Symptoms

CoQ10 levels in the body can become depleted with age, under the influence of certain medications, and with different pathological conditions. Primary CoQ10 deficiency resulting in a low CoQ10 level can be a direct result of poor biosynthesis of the antioxidant in the body, which can be addressed through the supplementation of high-dose CoQ10. Secondary CoQ10 deficiencies are caused by pathogenic variants in genes that are not directly involved in CoQ10 biosynthesis. Molecular genetic testing is the only way to distinguish between a primary and secondary CoQ10 deficiency. The following are several of the common CoQ10 deficiency symptoms. 

CoQ10 Deficiency Symptoms
Muscle weakness and crampingStatin medications to address high cholesterol levels can lower circulating CoQ10, resulting in muscle aches and cramping. 
Exercise intoleranceLipid accumulation and mitochondrial proliferation can lead to weakness and exercise intolerance. 
TirednessWith low amounts of cellular energy due to a depleting level of CoQ10, affected individuals can experience tiredness. 
Poor eyesightBlurred vision caused by gradual damage to the blood vessels in retinal tissues and optic nerves might also result from a CoQ10 deficiency. 
Hearing lossHearing loss is common among individuals suffering from a CoQ10 deficiency.  
Cognitive impairmentPoor cognitive performance can be associated with a CoQ10 deficiency. 
NeurodegenerationVarious neurodegenerative conditions, including brain dysfunction, are associated with low levels of CoQ10. 
Gum diseasePeriodontal diseases, including swollen and tender gums, toothache or loose teeth, and bad breath are associated with CoQ10 deficiency. 

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Incorporating A Diet Rich in CoQ10

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

Your body will normally produce sufficient CoQ10 with a balanced diet rich in CoQ foods. Research studies suggest that dietary CoQ10 contributes to enhancing plasma CoQ10 concentrations. As a fat-soluble molecule, CoQ10 is better absorbed when taken with a fatty meal. Some CoQ10-rich foods that are easy to include in your diet are:

CoQ10-Rich Food
Meat and Fish Organ meats, such as liver and kidney, and fatty fish, including salmon, tuna, and mackerel 
Fruits and Vegetables Strawberries, oranges, broccoli, cauliflower
Nuts and Seeds Sesame seeds, peanuts, pistachios
Legumes and Whole Grains Lentils, soybeans, whole grains
Oils Soybean oil, canola oil

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Factors Affecting CoQ10 Absorption in the Body

The therapeutic effects of CoQ10 can be hindered by its poor absorption and bioavailability in the body. Some of the key factors affecting CoQ10 absorption in the body are: 

  • Relatively high molecular weight of CoQ10: CoQ10 molecules, particularly ubiquinol molecules, are relatively large with a high molecular weight that negatively impacts their absorption in the body.
  • Insolubility in water: CoQ10 is a lipophilic compound; it is practically insoluble in water. 
  • Limited solubility in lipids: The lipid solubility of CoQ10 depends on physiological concentrations and formulation specifics
  • Stability and intestinal permeability: CoQ10 keeps inter-converting into oxidized and reduced forms. The high molecular weight of CoQ10 impacts its intestinal permeability.   

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Types of Oral CoQ10 Supplement Formulations

Supplement formulations have been developed to address the challenges of CoQ10’s poor bioavailability and absorption. 

The average daily intake of CoQ10 from the diet is only 3 - 6 milligrams.

CoQ10 exists in the body in oxidized form (ubiquinone) and reduced form (ubiquinol). These two forms are continuously inter-converted within cells as part of the normal function of CoQ10. As CoQ10 is transported in the blood in ubiquinol form, it is commonly assumed that ingestion of CoQ10 supplements in ubiquinol form would facilitate the absorption process. However, ubiquinol is unstable and oxidizes to ubiquinone. Recent advancements in encapsulation techniques have made it possible to produce CoQ10 supplements in the ubiquinol form. 

Regular intake of 200 mg2 of CoQ10 daily is recommended to achieve a therapeutic blood level of 2.5 mcg/ml.

Oral CoQ10 supplements are available in the form of oral sprays, tablets, softgel capsules, and hard shell capsules.  

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FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions About Oral CoQ10 Supplements 

Are there side effects to taking a CoQ10 supplement?

CoQ10 supplements are well-tolerated with no adverse side effects. However, its safety in pregnant or nursing women, and children, has not been established.      

Can I take a CoQ10 supplement with a prescription medicine?

It is always recommended to consult with your healthcare provider before incorporating a CoQ10 supplement in your diet or taking it with a prescription medicine.   

How do I determine the efficacy of a CoQ10 supplement?

The efficacy of a CoQ10 supplement lies in enhanced  absorption and bioavailability of the active nutrient molecules. Tesseract’s CoQ10 Pro® is an innovative supplement formulation developed for unparalleled absorption and is in a sustained release format.    

The proprietary CyLoc® - DexKey® nutrient delivery nanotechnology ensures unprecedented absorption of billions of CoQ10 molecules in the intestinal tract, one molecule at a time. The CyLoc® matrix encases each CoQ10 molecule in its smart delivery system, while the 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 powerful and positive therapeutic responses to address CoQ10 deficiency symptoms and support optimal health functions.  

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1M Alma, et al. Coenzyme Q10: Antioxidants (Basel, Switzerland) 2020;9(4):341. doi:10.3390/antiox9040341
2Mine Y, et al.Journal of clinical biochemistry and nutrition 2022;71(1):29-33. doi:10.3164/jcbn.20-187

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Al Czap has more than four decades of professional experience in preventative medicine. He founded Thorne Research in 1984 (sold in 2010) and he published Alternative Medicine Review for 17 years beginning in 1996. AMR was a highly acclaimed, peer-reviewed, and indexed medical journal. Al was the first to recognize the need for hypoallergenic ingredients and to devise methods of manufacture for and delivery of hypoallergenic products to underserved patient populations. His work has greatly impacted those with impaired immune and digestive systems and compromised health due to environmental exposures.

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