Focus on CoQ10

First discovered in 1957 and studied extensively since that time, coenzyme Q10 may help to support healthy ageing, writes Kate Ferguson.


CoQ10, also known as Coenzyme Q10, is a vitamin-like substance that is found in every cell in the body.

We produce CoQ10 as it is an essential part of the mitochondria, the energy-producing unit of the cells of our body.

Its highest concentration is in cells in the hardest working tissues such as the heart.

What is its function? 

Coenzyme Q10’s main roles are in energy production and its ability to act as an antioxidant.

Coq10 at a glance

  • Name: CoQ10, ubidecarenone, ubiquinone 
  • Actions: antioxidant, energy production 
  • Conditions used for: heart health and heart muscle function, cholesterol management – prevents oxidation of LDL cholesterol 
  • How to take it: As a capsule in an oil base 
  • Where do I find it: CoQ10 is available in health food stores and pharmacies.

At a glance

It is these actions that contribute to the use of CoQ10 for its antioxidant effect and supporting high energy consumption muscles in the body. It may assist in:

  • Supporting healthy heart muscle function 
  • Reducing the oxidation (free radical damage) of LDL cholesterol 

Where do we get it?

As mentioned earlier, we make coenzyme Q10 in our bodies and it is thought that this accounts for more than half of our total requirements.

The rest comes from our diet. Food sources include meat and fish products, broccoli, cauliflower, nuts, spinach and soy.

As we get older, supplementing with CoQ10 may be recommended as our bodies production of it starts to decline.

How much do we need?

To date there has been no recommended daily intake (RDI) established for coenzyme Q10.

For general supplementation to support cellular energy production 75 mg taken once a day is recommended.

To support a healthy heart take 150 mg of coenzyme Q10 daily.


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