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How co-Q10 could slow the signs of ageing

From a healthy heart to healthy skin, here’s how coenzyme Q10 could help keep you in good shape.

If you’re starting to notice a few more wrinkles, or you feel like you’re slowing down, it may not be just because you’re getting older – you could also be lacking in coenzyme Q10.

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What is co-Q10?

Coenzyme Q10, often shortened to co-Q10, is a nutrient that’s found in every cell of your body, particularly in heart muscle cells. It acts as an antioxidant, protecting cells against damage and playing a key role in their growth and maintenance. Co-Q10 is vital to our cells’ energy production too.

Levels of co-Q10 start to decline as we get older, so less co-Q10 means less energy. You can find co-Q10 in meat, fish, eggs and wholegrains, or in much higher levels in supplements.1

So, what can co-Q10 do for you?

Support heart health

Co-Q10 is known to support cardiovascular health. This nutrient is found in abundance in heart muscle tissue and it’s thought low levels could lead to heart problems. A review of clinical studies published in the online BMJ journal Open Heart revealed patients with chronic heart failure had 33% lower co-Q10 levels compared with control patients.2 Co-Q10 could also be beneficial in some cases. A meta-analysis by Tulane University, New Orleans, in 2013 concluded that taking co-Q10 supplements could improve symptoms of heart failure3, while a 2003 Australian study on 120 patients reported that when combined with other nutrients, co-Q10 could aid recovery in those who’ve had heart surgery.4 Talk to your GP if you think co-Q10 may be helpful for you.

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Co-Q10 and Alzheimer’s disease

Some studies indicate a link between co-Q10 and dementia. One trial by scientists in New York found that treatment with co-Q10 could reduce levels of oxidative stress5 – which plays a role in Alzheimer’s – on brain cells, while the University of Maryland Medical Centre says co-Q10 may improve oxygen flow to the brain.6 Oxygen deprivation is linked to some types of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease.7

Reduce the appearance of wrinkles

Many factors conspire to age our skin, but there is some evidence that co-Q10 could help reduce the appearance of wrinkles. In 2005, Japanese scientists discovered that co-Q10 supplements could improve levels within the skin, a prerequisite to the reduction of wrinkles8, while a 2015 German trial showed that using a co-Q10 cream also boosted levels of the nutrient within the skin, providing antioxidant and anti-ageing effects.9 Previous research from Germany in 1999 found that a co-Q10 cream blocked the action of collagenase in the skin, an enzyme that breaks down collagen, helping to keep skin looking smooth and supple.10
Advice is for information only and should not replace medical care. Please consult a doctor or healthcare professional before trying any remedies.
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1. Mayo Clinic Staff. Coenzyme Q10 overview. Available from: https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements-coenzyme-q10/art-20362602

2. DiNicolantonio J, et al. BMJ Journal Open Heart. Coenzyme Q10 for the treatment of heart failure: a review of the literature. Available from: http://openheart.bmj.com/content/2/1/e000326
3. Fotino AD, Thompson-Paul A, Bazzano LA. Effect of coenzyme Q10 supplementation on heart failure: a meta-analysis. Available from: http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/97/2/268
4. Rosenfeldt F, et al. Coenzyme Q10 and therapy before cardiac surgery improves mitochondrial function and in vitro contractility of myocardial tissue. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022522304005124
5. Durmont M, et al. Coenzyme Q10 decreases amyloid pathology and improves behaviour in a transgenic mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21799249
6. University of Maryland Medical Center. Dementia. Available from: http://www.umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/condition/dementia
7. Dementia.org. Causes: Oxygen deprivation. Available from: https://www.dementia.org/oxygen-deprivation-dementia
8. Ashida Y, et al. CoQ10 supplementation elevates the epidermal CoQ10 level in adult hairless mice. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16873943
9. Knott A, et al. Topical treatment with coenzyme Q10‐containing formulas improves skin’s Q10 level and provides antioxidative effects. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4737275/

10. Hoppe U, et al. Coenzyme Q10, a cutaneous antioxidant and energizer. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10416055