When it comes to heart health, CoQ10 is where it's at.
It's touted as one of the best antioxidant supplements for protecting your body against damage from free radicals, but where weight management is concerned, CoQ10 isn't really at the forefront.
If you're sick and tired of carrying around excess weight that always comes back like a boomerang or are trying to lean out a bit for a show or event, finding a supplement that works for weight loss and isn't loaded with stimulants can be challenging.
While natural supplements are the way to go, they aren't always effective.
So, is there any truth that CoQ10 may be able to help you lose weight? Keep reading to find out.
What is CoQ10?
Co-enzyme Q10, usually shortened to CoQ10, is a naturally occurring quinone produced in the body and stored in mitochondria but also found in certain animal foods.
First identified in the 1940s and isolated from a beef heart in the late 1950s, one of the best places to find dietary CoQ10 is in organ meats.
The organs with the highest metabolic activity are generally rich in CoQ10 because of its role in mitochondrial function and energy production 1. That includes things like the liver, kidneys, and heart, where CoQ10 functions as an energy transfer molecule.
The primary action of CoQ10 within the body is as a cofactor in the series of reactions involved in the production of ATP.
The majority of ATP is produced in the mitochondria by oxidative phosphorylation, specifically on the inner membrane of the mitochondria, which is part of the electron transport chain; the inner membrane contains folds that increase surface area and thus enhance the productivity of cellular respiration.
And since most cellular functions are dependent on an adequate supply of ATP, CoQ10 is essential for the health of all human tissues and organs 1.
Why Take It: The Benefits of CoQ10
1. It's An Antioxidant
The body produces free radicals as a natural by-product of energy metabolism. When you're breathing, free radicals are produced. When you're digesting food, free radicals are produced. And when you're exercising, they're also produced.
As one of the most crucial lipid antioxidants, CoQ10 helps to prevent the generation of free radicals and subsequent modification of proteins, lipids, and DNA that result from ROS accumulation 1.
Oxidative stress and free radicals are an underlying factor in developing many chronic diseases, and risk increases as the concentration of CoQ10 decreases 2.
A deficiency of CoQ10 thus leads to the dysfunction of the respiratory chain, insufficient production of high-energy compounds, and a decrease in cells' efficiency.
To protect the body against free radical damage, the body has a highly sophisticated and complex antioxidant protection system that relies on both endogenous and exogenous compounds that synergistically neutralize free radicals.
Of those, CoQ10 plays a role in scavenging and neutralizing free radicals and may help to mitigate some of the damage they cause.
CoQ10 is found in two forms: Ubiquinone, the fully oxidized state of CoQ10, and ubiquinol, the fully reduced form of CoQ10 3.
The latter is the most active form and serves as a potent antioxidant, but CoQ10 can also help regenerate other antioxidants, such as vitamin E, to protect the body further.
2. Prevents Chronic Disease Development
The link between CoQ10 and disease development stems from its ability to power up and support the mitochondria's function.
Mitochondria are like tiny cellular powerhouses that play a role in regulating the body's essential cellular functions, and without them (or without proper fuel), they can't do their job.
CoQ10 plays a vital role in protecting membrane proteins and mitochondrial DNA from oxidative damage that accompanies lipid peroxidation, but also plays a role in protecting the heart and reducing atherosclerosis.
The reduced form of CoQ10, in conjunction with vitamin E (α-tocopherol) may inhibit LDL oxidation. As well, studies show that supplementation with 200mg of CoQ10/day showed significant decreases in factors the underlie the development and progression of atherosclerosis.
But it's not just heart health it's important for. Studies show a positive link between CoQ10 and several diseases, including cardiovascular diseases, high blood pressure, cancer, mitochondrial disorders, obesity and diabetes, Parkinson's disease, acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), gastric ulcers, allergy, migraine headaches, kidney failure, muscular dystrophy, and aging 1.
Does CoQ10 Work For Weight Loss?
When it comes to CoQ10 and weight loss, the reviews are mixed. Animal studies tend to show promise, but evidence in human studies is lacking.
However, based on available research, people with type 2 diabetes may benefit from CoQ10 supplementation.
A growing body of evidence suggests that mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress play a critical role in the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes as well as obesity.
Supplementing CoQ10 may help alleviate oxidative stress, preserve mitochondrial function, and improve glycemic control in overweight people 4.
With better glycemic control, weight management and/or weight loss becomes much more plausible.
Studies also show that deficiency of CoQ10 may result in an increased production of mitochondrial superoxide radical anion (O2–), which may drive insulin resistance in adipose and muscle tissues 5.
Adipose insulin resistance is a condition characterized by insulin's inability to activate adipose glucose transport, promote lipid uptake, and suppress lipolysis 6.
Skeletal muscle insulin resistance is similar in that ingested glucose is not taken up by muscle but instead is diverted to the liver, where it becomes a substrate for hepatic lipogenesis (fat production).
The body's inability to use glucose is what causes chronically high blood sugar (diabetes), high insulin, metabolic diseases, and weight gain.
Realistically, the studies supporting the role of CoQ10 in weight loss aren't sufficient to label it as an effective weight loss supplement.
If you're looking to protect your heart and reduce the extent of free radical production from your training sessions, it may be something to add to your supplement regime.
But if weight loss and fat loss are your goal, something like Burn Lab Pro would be much more effective.
It's a scientifically proven formula combining five 100% natural and potent fat-burning ingredients to boost metabolic rate, burn fat, increase energy, enhance physical performance, and accelerate recovery.
It's a tried-and-true method to rev your metabolism and give you the weight loss results you want.
- R Coenzyme Q10: The essential nutrient.J Pharm Bioallied Sci. 2011;3(3):466-467.
- M Battino, P Bullon, M Wilson, H Newman. Oxidative injury and inflammatory periodontal diseases: the challenge of antioxidants to free radicals and reactive oxygen species. Crit Rev Oral Biol Med. 1999;10(4):458-476.
- ML Genova, G Lenaz. New developments on the functions of coenzyme Q in mitochondria. Biofactors. 2011;37(5):330-354.
- Q Shen, JD Pierce. Supplementation of Coenzyme Q10 among Patients with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus.Healthcare (Basel). 2015;3(2):296-309.
- DJ Fazakerley, R Chaudhuri, P Yang, et al. Mitochondrial CoQ deficiency is a common driver of mitochondrial oxidants and insulin resistance. Elife. 2018;7:e32111.
- VT Samuel, GI Shulman. The pathogenesis of insulin resistance: integrating signaling pathways and substrate flux.J Clin Invest. 2016;126(1):12-22.