CoQ10—heard of it before? When it comes to heart health, it’s one of the top recommendations, but it has more than just one face. Coenzyme Q10 is an essential compound produced in the body and supplemented through diet that plays a major role in energy production.
But like many other supplements, health state can dictate whether supplements are actually absorbed or not, so what can you take to maximize absorption and make sure the nutrients are actually getting used?
Well, there’s a lot—and we’re going to talk about one of the best options.
But aside, one thing is for sure: There’s no shortage of research backing the wide range of health benefits associated with CoQ10 supplementation, and it’s not just for energy.
In light of that, we’re letting you in on what you should know about the role of CoQ10 in your body, what benefits it offers to you, and why stacking CoQ10 with BioPerine is a great match.
Let’s get started.
What is CoQ10?
If you’ve ever heard of CoQ10, you’ve likely heard of it with respect to cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. There’s growing evidence of the link between CoQ10 and various cardiometabolic disorders, which means it may be beneficial for treating a number of chronic and acute diseases 1.
CoQ10 is an essential compound naturally found in every cell in the body but concentrated in cell membranes. It is well-researched for its role in energy production due to its involvement in aerobic cellular respiration 2.
Sufficient levels are required for cellular respiration and ATP production, and low levels have been suspected in several chronic health conditions.
But energy production is not the only role of CoQ10. It’s also been found to function as a powerful intracellular antioxidant and has been found in the cell membranes of all cells, as well as high and low-density lipoproteins 2.
And if that’s not enough, studies also show that it affects gene expression. And while the structure of CoQ10 may be quite similar to vitamin K, it’s far from a vitamin. It’s the only lipid-soluble antioxidant that can be synthesized in the body, but levels are highly impacted by levels of oxidative stress.
So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the organs with the highest metabolic activity—the liver, kidneys, and heart—are generally concentrated sources of CoQ10 due to its role in supporting mitochondrial function and energy production 3.
But like we just said, the main action of CoQ10 is as a cofactor in the series of reactions involved in the production of ATP—your body’s main energy substrate.
The majority of ATP is produced in the mitochondria through oxidative phosphorylation, specifically on the inner membrane of the mitochondria.
And because virtually all cellular functions depend on an adequate supply of ATP, CoQ10 becomes a critical nutrient to maintain the health and function of all human tissues and organs 3.
Deficiency has been associated with several conditions, including mitochondrial diseases, fibromyalgia, cardiovascular disease, neurodegenerative diseases, cancer, diabetes, male infertility, and periodontal disease 2.
The Benefits Of Taking CoQ10
There’s no shortage of benefits linked to supplementing with CoQ10, but there are two significant ones we want to focus on:
- #1 Enhancing mitochondrial biogenesis and energy production: Studies suggest that supplementation with ubiquinol, the electron-rich form of CoQ10, can help to mitigate age-related decreases in the expression of the SIRT gene, which is responsible for activating a major factor involved in the control of mitochondrial biogenesis and respiration, as well as production of key mitochondrial antioxidant enzymes (superoxide dismutase 2 (SOD2), isocitrate dehydrogenase 2 (IDH2) 4. As such, by increasing levels of SIRT1, ubiquinol supplementation may enhance mitochondrial activity and support greater and more efficient energy production because more mitochondria = more ATP = more energy.
- #2 Antioxidant: CoQ10 is one of the most potent lipid antioxidants that helps to prevent the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and subsequent modifications of proteins, lipids, and DNA 3. Several diseases are associated with increase production of ROS, and as free radicals levels increase, concentrations of CoQ10 decrease. As a result of CoQ10 deficiency, the repository chain malfunctions from insufficient production of highly energetic compounds and reduced cellular efficiency. However, antioxidants like CoQ10 help neutralize free radicals and reduce and/or help prevent some of the damage they cause. Because of this function, CoQ10 increases energy, augments immune function, and protects cells via its antioxidant properties.
Max Out Absorption With CoQ10 + Bioperine
If you’re looking to reap the benefits that CoQ10 has to offer, you obviously want to maximize the amount your body absorbs, which means pairing it with a compound that enhances absorption. Fat is one of the best ways to do that because CoQ10 is a fat-soluble compound, but you can also do it with something like BioPerine.
You know that spice that hits your tongue and the back of your throat when you bite into a black peppercorn? The compound responsible for that—piperine—is a powerful thermonutrient used as a bioavailability enhancer for decades.
BioPerine® is a patented extract of black pepper standardized to a minimum of 95% piperine that can enhance nutrient bioavailability by up to 30%.
One study looked at the effects of piperine supplementation on CoQ10 administration and found interesting results 5. They conducted three trials to determine the effects:
- Single dose of 90mg CoQ10 absorption with 8 hours
- 14-day administration of 90mg CoQ10 per day
- 21-day administration of 120mg CoQ10 per day
There was an additional 5mg of piperine added to each test group. Results were mixed for the first two interventions showing wide variation in plasma CoQ10 levels for both the control and piperine groups, but researchers did suggest from these trials that piperine may exhibit bio-enhancing effects.
The third group using 120mg of CoQ10 with 5mg piperine saw significant increases in plasma levels of CoQ10 of upwards of 30%, confirming that piperine supplementation improves absorption of CoQ10.
Researchers suggest that the mechanism is likely non-specific and operates in the GI tract, specifically by increasing blood flow to the GI tract, increasing micelle formation (fat transport and absorption), and epithelial cell wall modification due to the lipophilic nature of CoQ10 5.
But perhaps more interestingly, the thermogenic nature of piperine may be largely responsible for increasing bioenergetic processes.
Long story short, if you want to enhance your supplementation and maximize the benefits you get from it, especially with something like CoQ10, taking it with BioPerine is a wise choice.
Through several mechanisms, it can help to boost absorption and support CoQ10’s role as a powerful antioxidant and optimize mitochondrial function for better mental vitality and exercise performance.
- VI Zozina, S Covantev, OA Goroshko, LM Krasnykh, VG Kukes. Coenzyme Q10 in Cardiovascular and Metabolic Diseases: Current State of the Problem. Curr Cardiol Rev. 2018;14(3):164-174.
- J Garrido-Maraver, MD Cordero, M Oropesa-Avila, et al. Clinical applications of coenzyme Q10.Front Biosci (Landmark Ed). 2014;19:619-633.
- R Saini. Coenzyme Q10: The essential nutrient. J Pharm Bioallied Sci. 2011;3(3):466-467.
- G Tian, J Sawashita, H Kubo, et al. Ubiquinol-10 supplementation activates mitochondria functions to decelerate senescence in senescence-accelerated mice.Antioxid Redox Signal. 2014;20(16):2606-2620.
- V Badmaev, M Majeed, L Prakash. Piperine derived from black pepper increases the plasma levels of coenzyme Q10 following oral supplementation. J Nutr Biochem. 2000;11(2):109-113.