CoQ10 Deficiency Symptoms
Coenzyme Q10, commonly referred to as CoQ10, is an important compound found throughout the entire body with the highest levels in the heart, liver, pancreas, and kidneys. The main role of CoQ10 is energy production and metabolism at the cellular level. Every cell in your body runs on a form of energy called adenosine triphosphate (ATP). ATP is made from the food you eat in a complex metabolic pathway. Without adequate levels of CoQ10, the production of ATP – aka the energy your body needs to operate - can slow down.1
CoQ10 also plays a role in protecting your cells from free radical damage. A lack of CoQ10 may result in increased oxidative damage in many parts of the body, especially the brain, muscles, and kidneys. If your cells and organs can’t make enough energy, they can malfunction and increase the risk of disease.
Symptoms of CoQ10 Deficiency
Although a complete CoQ10 deficiency is rare, estimated to occur in 1 in 100,000 individuals by the National Institute of Health, it’s common to have low or insufficient levels of CoQ10.2
The following are possible symptoms of a CoQ10 deficiency:
- Sore, aching muscles
- Muscle weakness
- Chronic fatigue
- Mental confusion
- Poor cardiovascular health, such as elevated blood pressure and high cholesterol levels
- Seizures & other neurological problems
- Vision and/or hearing loss
- Kidney damage
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms and suspect low CoQ10 levels, consult with a healthcare provider. A blood test is the only way to determine a CoQ10 deficiency.
Causes of CoQ10 Deficiency
There are several potential causes of CoQ10 deficiency. A few of the main causes include:3,4
- Age - The most common cause of low CoQ10 levels is age. The amount of CoQ10 produced by your body decreases as you get older.
- Genetics - Although rare, there are genetic conditions that prevent some individuals’ bodies from making enough CoQ10 for normal cellular functioning.
- Drug Use - Several prescription medications can interfere with the production of CoQ10. These include:
- Statins used to treat high cholesterol levels
- Beta-blockers used to manage high blood pressure
- Increased Demand – Some highly active individuals, such as bodybuilders, may have such high energy needs that their bodies simply can’t produce enough CoQ10 to keep up.
- Poor Diet – Vitamin and mineral deficiencies can impact the production of CoQ10. A varied diet rich in vitamins and minerals is needed for the body to make CoQ10.
- Disease – Some diseases are linked to low CoQ10 levels, including:
- Heart disease
- Gum disease
Whether the above diseases cause low CoQ10 levels or if insufficient CoQ10 is the cause of these diseases is still unknown. However, it’s common to see them occurring together. Regardless of whether disease or low CoQ10 levels occurs first, supplementation can help.
Treatment and Supplementation
Fortunately, low CoQ10 levels are easy to treat with dietary supplements. Normal doses of CoQ10 range from 100-200 mg. Higher doses may be prescribed by healthcare providers to help manage certain diseases, like heart disease.
CoQ10 is a fat-soluble compound, meaning it’s better absorbed when combined with some fat. Taking a CoQ10 supplement with a snack or meal may enhance absorption for better effectiveness. Adding a CoQ10 supplement to your daily routine can help correct levels of this important compound, enhance energy, and benefit your health.
Ready to start taking CoQ10? Find out how to pick the right CoQ10 for you!
- National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health: Coenzyme Q10.
- U.S. National Library of Medicine: Primary enzyme coQ10 deficiency,
- Natural Remedies Review: CoQ10 Deficiency – What are the causes and symptoms?
- CoQ10 Anti-aging: Be Aware of CoQ10 Deficiency Symptoms,
- Blog Contributor