The first description of CoQ10 was in 1955. But it was not called CoQ10. The original name was Ubiquitous Quinone. Experts described it as a small fat-soluble molecule that you can find in many cell membranes. By 1957, it became clear that these molecules function as electron carriers in the mitochondria. It is a main component of the electron transport chain. Experts discovered a lot more about CoQ10 over the years. But it took almost 30 years (in 1986) when some experts found that CoQ10 may play a vital role in treating certain diseases. At that time, the focus of CoQ10 therapeutic use was on defects of oxidative phosphorylation where there is CoQ10 deficiency. More recently, CoQ10 aging benefits are beginning to come to the forefront.
How did experts come to link CoQ10 with aging? Over time, more and more conditions came up that experts found CoQ10 helpful for. The conditions showed evidence for the safety and efficacy of CoQ10 treatment. For instance, Parkinson’s disease, as well as other degenerative conditions that are often age-related show that CoQ10 treatment is safe. The benefits are effectiveness may still be under question. But the safety of CoQ1o treatment is not. Going from there, experts soon realized that CoQ10 has strong antioxidant mechanisms. As such, it can eliminate or reduce oxidative stress. This is where experts began to consider it as a possible anti-aging supplement. Oxidative stress happens to be one of the major components of cellular aging.
CoQ10, Aging, and How They Affect Each Other
As you age, there will be some sort of impairment in your mitochondrial function. Antioxidant activities will also reduce inside your body. This, in turn, leads to more oxidative stress. As your body experiences oxidative stress, it will produce more ROS (reactive oxygen species).
Why does ROS increase? They increase because there is more oxidative damage going on in the body. Macromolecules like DNA and proteins responsible for electron transport usually suffer great damage. These lead to more ROS, which then causes more damage.
What we explained above is what experts call the “oxidative theory”. His theory explains cell aging as a result of oxidative stress. Many facts support this theory. One of them is that aging-related diseases often come with increased oxidative stress.
The levels of CoQ10 usually fall with age. But this does not affect all tissues. So experts are still working hard to identify what role it plays in aging and how that information may help slow aging.
You may wonder why they are still trying to find out. Isn’t it already clear that the levels of CoQ10 usually fall with age?
Well, there are certain inconsequential cellular responses to aging? They happen as you age. , but do not cause any health problems. Experts are working hard to be sure that falling CoQ10 levels is not one of those inconsequential responses.
But then, as experts are still working, CoQ10 supplements have filled the market. A lot of people take these supplements in hopes that it will help combat aging and its effects. However, as of now, we still do not have enough proof to back CoQ10 supplements for anti-aging therapy.
What we have considerable evidence to support is the close link between ROS buildup and mitochondrial impairments that cause aging. This is what some experts call the free-radical aging theory.
It is clear to experts that as we age, our bodies will produce more ROS. It seems that if we can reduce ROS, then we may be able to combat aging and promote longevity. CoQ1o may be one of the ways to reduce ROS, reduce oxidative injury, and slow aging.
Before we talk about the supplements, let’s talk about the reason why people may want to take CoQ10 supplements. We mentioned earlier that aging comes with a reduction in your CoQ10 levels. But then aging is not the only reason why CoQ10 can reduce.
CoQ10 deficiency may occur as a result of nutritional deficiency. This may be due to not taking enough CoQ10 itself. It may also be that your nutrient is deficient in certain vitamins and nutrients necessary for CoQ10 synthesis. One of such vitamins is B6.
A few people have problems with the genes that signal CoQ10 synthesis. As such, they are unable to make it internally. The only way they can get an adequate supply is from supplements. This may be due to an inborn error or an acquired disorder.
Then, certain medical conditions are associated with low CoQ10 levels. These include a wide array of health conditions, including neurodegenerative disorders, Parkinson’s disease, Friedreich’s ataxia, and Nieman–Pick disease (type C).
Some other diseases also come with low CoQ10 levels. But this is often just a response to stress. Such diseases include Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, fibromyalgia, and so on.
Experts say that CoQ10 deficiency can easily be reversed with supplementation. But this only happens if you start supplementation before symptoms begin to appear. Once symptoms appear, it is likely that your kidney or/and brain already has permanent damage.
Now we know that there are several other reasons why people may be taking CoQ10 supplements aside from aging. Taking CoQ10 for anti-aging is a very recent trend.
We don’t’ have enough convincing scientific proof yet to validate CoQ10 supplements as a viable treatment for aging or specific diseases. But we have enough evidence showing that oral CoQ10 is safe. The human body does not react to it.
However, a few studies report mild adverse effects, mainly GI symptoms (nausea). Aside from this, no other adverse effect has been indicated. Meanwhile, taking CoQ10 supplements will not affect the internal production of CoQ10 in your body.
We have talked about CoQ10, aging, and how they affect each other. Aging can reduce CoQ10 production. And CoQ10 may help slow aging and reduce its effects. While aging is normal, it comes with some form of functional decline, as well as disease risks. These are the things we aim to avoid by taking advantage of antioxidant mechanisms, such as CoQ10.