Spark Plug in your Training

by Stephen LaBounty (2007-10-26)
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Coenzymene Q10 (ubiquinone or CoQ10) is an important component of our mitochondria, the energy producing units of the cells of our body. CoQ10 is involved in the manufacture of ATP, which is the energy currency of all body processes, or 'spark plug'. CoQ10 is in every plant and animal cell. Most dietary sources however are insufficient to produce the clinical effect noted for high dosage CoQ10.

Though the body can synthesize CoQ10, states of deficiency can exist. Because the heart is one of the most metabolically active organs in the body, CoQ10 deficiency mostly affects the heart and can lead to heart failure, but this enzyme has been shown to increase the overall health by helping to lower blood pressure, assisting in weight loss and acting as a "performance enhancing" agent in athletes.

CoQ10 effects revolve around its ability to improve energy production and act as an anti-oxidant. These effects are most beneficial in the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease and cancer. The anti-oxidant activity of CoQ10 has a sparring effect on Vitamin E and works together with Vitamin E in preventing damage to lipid membranes and plasma lipids.

For athletes CoQ10 is involved in energy production. Supplementation might enhance aerobic capacity and muscle performance. When sedentary men were given 60mg per day, certain performance parameters, including work capacity at a lower heart rate and a better transportation of oxygen resulted. This after only 4 weeks.

The usual dosage for CoQ10 is 50 to 150mg per day. Most persons, including myself, take around 100mg per day which seems to benefit me adequately. Some researchers are recommending that the dosage be based on the person's weight, using the formula of 2mg per each kilogram (2.2 lbs.) of body weight.

Coenzyme Q10 is well tolerated and no serious adverse effects have been reported with long-term use. Its safety during a pregnancy or lactation have not been proven to my knowledge, so it is not recommended that it be taken until further evidence that it is safe is in.

As with all vitamins, herbs, and such, ALWAYS check with your doctor before beginning any sort of program that includes these compounds. Especially if you are on certain prescription drugs or have an existing condition.