The mitochondria are the cells’ energy powerhouses, and coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is an essential component of healthy mitochondrial function.46 CoQ10 is required to convert the energy from fats and sugars into usable cellular energy. Yet, the body’s production of CoQ10 declines significantly with advancing age.47 With an ample amount of CoQ10, mitochondria can work most efficiently throughout the entire body — including the most densely populated area, the heart.48 CoQ10 is also a potent antioxidant, helping protect proteins, and DNA of mitochondria from oxidation and supporting mitochondrial function.46
More people are supplementing with CoQ10 than ever before. One reason is increased awareness that “statin” drugs used to lower LDL and cholesterol deplete CoQ10 levels in the blood, and possibly the tissues.49,50
What most doctors don’t know, however, is that normal aging may result in more of a reduction in CoQ10 than taking statins. For example, while statin drugs have been shown to reduce plasma CoQ10 by nearly 40%,51 the aging process reduces CoQ10 levels in the heart muscle wall by 72%.52 What is particularly frightening is the deficit caused by the dual effects of aging53 and statin drug use that can result in severe depletion of cellular vitality.51
CoQ10 is notoriously difficult to absorb. When it comes to choosing a CoQ10 supplement, the primary factor is how many swallowed milligrams actually make it into your bloodstream. A recent study showed that in seriously ill patients, conventional ubiquinone CoQ10 was hardly detectable in the blood whereas ubiquinol resulted in significant blood level increases and subsequent clinical improvements.
Scientific studies show that ubiquinol absorbs up to 8 times greater than ubiquinone, and higher levels of ubiquinol remain in the blood far longer than ubiquinone. In studies measuring exercise-induced fatigue, ubiquinol was 90% more effective than ubiquinone. In middle-aged mice, ubiquinol was shown to be 40% more effective in slowing measurements of aging compared to ubiquinone.54 Life Extension offers the highly bioavailable ubiquinol form of CoQ10 in a patented delivery system with a superior absorption level.55