CoQ10 Side Effects and Benefits

By: Michael Lam, MD, MPH


Introduction to CoQ10

Coenzyme Q10 is also known as ubiquinone, and is very similar to the vitamins which exist in the human body and can be found in almost every cell. CoQ10 is manufactured right in the body of humans and most animals, so there are very few CoQ10 side effects.

CoQ10 is produced in the body and stored in high volumes in energetic organs such as heart, liver and kidneys. CoQ10 side effects are mostly a nonissue.Cells use this substance in order to produce essential energy which is needed for cells to grow and maintain themselves. In fact, CoQ10 is so vital to the production of energy that it has the highest concentration in those organs which require the most energy—such as the heart, liver, and kidneys. CoQ10 also works the same way an antioxidant does by defending the body from damage caused by certain molecules known as free radicals. It helps the body make proteins, assists in muscle contraction, and CoQ10 side effects are very few.

CoQ10 can be consumed through certain foods. Foods that are richest in this substance include organ meats such as kidney, liver, and heart. It can also be found in peanuts, beef, sardines, soy oil, and mackerel. Aside from eating it in one’s food, it can also be taken through oral supplements.

Benefits of CoQ10

More than 4000 different clinical studies have been conducted about CoQ10 side effects, and all of them have proved that higher levels of CoQ10 indicate that a person will lead a life that is healthier and longer. For example, three out of every four individuals who suffer from heart conditions have been found to have major deficiencies of CoQ10. When those with heart problems were given CoQ10; their conditions were found to improve. Overall there are many benefits of CoQ10 while CoQ10 side effects are very minimal.

CoQ10 may also help in other areas, such as helping to prevent obesity and fatigue. It may even assist the immune system by making it more effective and healthy. It makes it easier for those who are exercising and struggling with muscular dystrophy.

It has also been discovered that CoQ10 supplements helped those with high cholesterol. This is because high cholesterol is known to lower the levels of CoQ10 produced in the body, causing a deficiency. Studies also support that high blood pressure could benefit or improve from an increase in CoQ10.

There have been countless other studies regarding CoQ10 side effects and different ailments which have not proved definitively whether increased CoQ10 levels may help or not. Some studies that have shown potential benefits to other conditions are asthma, Alzheimer’s disease, cataracts, chemotherapy side effects, cystic fibrosis, gum problem, hearing loss, infant development, migraines, nerve pain, and much more.

Deficiencies of CoQ10

Getting older is associated with declining levels of CoQ10, which can rob the body of energy and cause fatigue as one of the deficiency of CoQ10 side effectsClearly CoQ10 has been proven as being very important and vital in the body, and it can be harmful if there is a deficiency. Different ailments could be the result of a CoQ10 deficiency, ailments such as psychological decline, liver dysfunction, and even muscle soreness in the body. These are, of course, only a few different examples relating to CoQ10 deficiency, but there are others too. Levels of CoQ10 also decline with age, making it all the more important to replenish it from an anti-aging perspective.

Statin drugs have been shown to present with CoQ10 side effects including muscle pain and discomfort. This is thought to be due to statins decreasing CoQ10 levels. When supplementing CoQ10 while taking statins, these side effects were found to be decreased.

It can be extremely challenging to supplement CoQ10 for an individual because when taken orally, CoQ10 has extremely weak absorption levels. Consequently, this leads to high doses since only a small percentage will be absorbed. Many physicians have come to the conclusion that it would be more effective to take CoQ10 intravenously rather than orally.

New Nanoparticle CoQ10

There is a new method that is actually challenging intravenous infusion and may prove to be even more effective. Recently a novel nanoparticle CoQ10 has been developed. The nanoparticle works by fusing into a liposomal delivery system, enhancing its delivery and bioavailability. Generally speaking, about 7-9 percent of normal CoQ10 is absorbed by the body, and only about 10-20 percent is absorbed when it comes to emulsified types.

The remaining CoQ10 which has not been absorbed rests dormant in the gastrointestinal tract and passes through the body.

Possible CoQ10 Side Effects

Results may take a while before manifesting when an individual takes CoQ10. In some cases, it may take up to 8 weeks before any changes occur. The most common CoQ10 side effects are diarrhea and rash. It is important that people do not self-medicate with CoQ10, but rather consult a professional. Taking the compound recklessly may have serious risks associated, and there have not been a lot of conclusive tests done with pregnant women, nursing mothers, or children.

As has already been mentioned, CoQ10 is sometimes associated with fatigue. There are, of course, many different possible reasons a person might be dealing with fatigue. CoQ10 has also been found to help with hormonal imbalances and Adrenal Fatigue.

Adrenal Fatigue

Anyone who has ever suffered from chronic fatigue knows that it can be very challenging trying to determine the root cause, especially at first. Adrenal Fatigue may have other symptoms as well, such as mental fogginess, non-refreshing sleep, low stamina, consistent low blood pressure, poor digestion, feeling rundown or overwhelmed, extreme sensitivity to cold, and low immune function. Adrenal Fatigue is an issue in itself, and can lead to other health problems if it is not recognized and correctly addressed.

Stress is one of the worst enemies to the adrenal glands. Adrenal Fatigue sometimes occurs after an individual has gone through lengthy emotional or physical stress. Consequently, the glands work overtime and become overstimulated. This excess of exertion happens because the glands naturally produce hormones when a person is under a lot of stress. This can be very beneficial in certain flight-or-fight situations, but too much stress works the glands too hard.

The adrenal glands become exhausted as a result and are not able to function properly in order to meet the body’s hormonal needs.

Adrenal Fatigue can be responsible for central nervous system imbalances, anxiety, allergies, infection, weight gain, and a host of other problems. This is all because the hormones play such a pivotal role in the body. What is the relationship between Adrenal Fatigue and CoQ10 imbalances?

The Connection Between Adrenal Fatigue and CoQ10

Low CoQ10 levels are commonly seen in the case of Adrenal Fatigue. This special compound is important in the health of both the thyroid and the adrenal glands. The thyroid, like the adrenal glands, is also very important in hormonal regulation. Many studies have been conducted which have revealed the connection between the thyroid and CoQ10 levels. Those who are suffering from thyroid issues appear to need more CoQ10 in their bodies. The hormones produced from the thyroid also modify CoQ10 levels.

According to some studies, the adrenals also have a hand in CoQ10 production. According to one study, those who were suffering from isolated hypoadrenalism experienced significantly lower levels of CoQ10 than individuals who were dealing with multiple pituitary deficiencies and adrenal hyperplasia. This study along with others conducted strongly suggests that there is a powerful relationship between CoQ10 and adrenal function.

The evidence supports the fact that hormones secreted by the adrenal glands directly relate to levels of CoQ10. Adrenal Fatigue does not only affect the production of hormones but it can also directly impact the vitamins, minerals, and other essential compounds which exist in the body.

CoQ10 deficiencies and Adrenal Fatigue both tie into stress and when levels of CoQ10 and the adrenal glands are working at their prime, stress is much less damaging. Stress is one of the most prominent causes leading to heart disease but it affects many different aspects of the body and often proves to be very damaging to one’s health.

CoQ10 has been found to help people suffering from heart disease but before it is taken for any condition, it is important to understand whether or not the adrenal glands are actually healthy and working properly. If this is not done, then the proper course of medical action may not be taken, so it is vital to have a full and comprehensive understanding of all of the health issues at hand. If there is a deficiency in the CoQl0 levels, it should be a red flag indicating adrenal exhaustion.

How CoQ10 Can Help Those with Adrenal Fatigue

When the body is under pressure due to Adrenal Fatigue it may be struggling because it lacks many of the vitamins and other elements it needs in order to thrive. CoQ10 is likely one of those essential components the body is lacking. CoQ10 can help one to combat many of the symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue since it helps to keep the metabolism operating and it also ensures higher energy levels. CoQ10 is a vital ingredient in the production of energy in every cell. It works in the mitochondria as a powerful antioxidant and enzyme. Insufficient CoQ10 can result in oxidative damage to the mitochondria and subsequent deficiencies in ATP, the body’s energy currency. CoQ10 can also assist with common blood pressure problems.

Many individuals who have taken CoQ10 to help counteract some of the negative effects of Adrenal Fatigue have found great relief. The compound helps to diminish fatigue, as well as mental fogginess and restore a lot of health issues back to normal. One of the most common and rampant problems in those who are dealing with Adrenal Fatigue is tiredness. Because CoQ10 is meant to give energy to the body it is one of the best solutions for this particular problem.

Make sure to consult with a knowledgeable professional about the proper use and dose to avoid CoQ10 side effects and maximize its benefitIt is possible and even probable that CoQ10 will not solve the core problem dealing with Adrenal Fatigue, although it may help the body to regain some of its strength and former health. If Adrenal Fatigue is indeed the issue at hand, other measures may need to be taken in addition to CoQ10. This will all depend on a professional’s consultation and opinion; as they will be able to provide the most tactful and efficient health plan.

If you want more energy naturally, CoQ10 is a consideration. However, if you are in advanced stages of Adrenal Fatigue, CoQ10 administration should be carefully considered because it can trigger adrenal crashes. In this state, the body suffers many such paradoxical reactions as supplement and CoQ10 side effects. The normal recommended dose is 30-300 mg daily. Some people do well with much more, and some people do not do well even with 10 mg daily. The exact dosage is highly dependent on the state of Adrenal Fatigue one is in.

© Copyright 2016 Michael Lam, M.D. All Rights Reserved.


Getting older is associated with declining levels of CoQ10, which can rob the body of energy and cause fatigue as one of the deficiency of CoQ10 side effects

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6 Comments

  • perry says:

    I am in stage 3 adrenal fatigue also have pyroluria, hashimotos,SIBO. My doctor recommended I start 100mg of ubiquinol after COQ10 on nutreval came back low. How soon after taking the ubiquinol will I know if it is helpful to hurtful? I am in a really stressful time trying to finish spring semester at college so want to do what will support me best.

    • Dr.Lam says:

      Some people respond quickly while others are slow if at all. 100 mg is not a high dose. It really depends on the body.

      Dr. Lam

  • Karen says:

    I am stage 3 C . How much CoQ10 should I be taking, Currently taking Adrenal Complex. Tried 200mg of CoQ10 yesterday and felt great, Today I upped my dosage and crashed for about an hour. Don’t have the energy to do my house work and I am desperate

    • Dr.Lam says:

      CoQ 10 is a two edge sword in people who are weak. Inability to tolerate is a sign the body is very fragile. Do be careful.

      Dr. Lam

  • Teresa Trebotic says:

    I’ve noticed fatigue as a side effect of taking 50mg (Source Naturals brand) Ubiquinol 2 times per day(100mg total). Can you tell me Dr. Lam if this will pass or should I discontinue? I’m not taking it for any reason other than I’m 52 and would like to remain heart-healthy, etc. Thank you for any advice.

    • Dr.Lam says:

      paradoxical reaction can happen and that usually indicate a deeper issue underneath. you should stop and talk to the doctor who put you on it.

      DR Lam