Origin of CoQ10
CoQ10 first discovered in 1957. Since then research has been continuously revealing the uniquely beneficial roles of CoQ10 in the body. Today, based on dollar sales, CoQ10 is the top-selling nutraceutical in the United States.
CoQ10, or otherwise known as Coenzyme Q10 or Ubiquinol, as the name suggests, is found everywhere in the body, and is needed to convert nutrients into energy that the body uses for all its functions. Not surprisingly CoQ10 is concentrated in the heart, liver, lungs, muscular system, and brain as these organs require the most energy. It is a vitamin-like, fatty substance which functions as a co-enzyme. CoQ10 also exerts a protective action on cell walls preventing them from getting damaged due to electrical charges that occur during the chemical process of energy generation.
CoQ10 was initially introduced into the market as a supplement for athletes to increase endurance and stamina. It then became popular predominantly for its role in supporting heart health and as an anti-aging agent. Thirty years of research shows that CoQ10 is a star player, performing an important role in many essential functions of the body and in bioenergetics. More research suggests it could be useful in:
- Boosting energy levels
- Heart health
- Antioxidant functions
- Neurodegenerative disorders, such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, ALS, etc.
- Migraines and Depression
- Skin Health (including photo-aging) taken internally and used as a topical application
- Periodontal health
- Immune health
- Regulating healthy blood sugar levels in diabetics
- Cancer (especially melanoma)
- Fertility in men
Scientists have discovered that too little of CoQ10 in the body means less energy production and more cell damage. Since CoQ10 is essential to the functions of all organs, a deficiency may result in a variety of health disorders.
Who Needs Coenzyme Q10?
The body is able to manufacture Coenzyme Q10 on its own. But after the age of 20, the amount that is manufactured begins to decline. By the time we reach the age of 50, there is a significant drop of Coenzyme Q10 levels in the body, particularly the brain and heart. It is difficult to get adequate amounts of Coenzyme Q10 from diet alone. Supplementation is considered to be the best option.
Besides aging, scientific research has shown other factors that may accelerate the decline of Coenzyme Q10 levels in the body.
- Clinical trials show patients who have been prescribed statins to reduce cholesterol or reduce the risk of cardiovascular heart disease, also show a deficiency in Coenzyme Q10. Evidence strongly suggests that statins, while reducing cholesterol, also reduce the levels of Coenzyme Q10 causing a deficiency of this vitamin.
- There are about 13 million people who take statins in the United States alone. As the statistics on heart disease continues to rise, the number of people prescribed statins will rise proportionately.
- High metabolic rates, endurance exercises, and hard physical labor can deplete the Coenzyme Q10 storage levels in the body.
- Prolonged use of NSAIDS (such as ibuprofen), are also considered to deplete levels of Coenzyme Q10 in the body.
- Studies show that cancer patients have low levels of Coenzyme Q10. This association is still being studied.
Surging Demand for Ubiquinol CoQ10
From 2001 to 2006 Ubiquinol CoQ10 supplements have experienced a growth rate of 13 percent. In 2007, the IRI (market research firm) noted a 19 percent increase in the dollar sales volume at retail outlets. It also noted that unit sales had increased by 9 percent. Currently, estimates suggest there could be more than six million consumers of CoQ10 ubiquinol supplements.
Research from the Freedonia Group predicts that nutrients such as CoQ10, along with glucosamine and chondroitin will generate the fastest growth (6.4 percent a year) in 2008-2013.
Major suppliers of CoQ10 have opened up manufacturing units within the United States. This has led to greater availability of CoQ10 in the nutraceutical market and opened a wider market for CoQ10 functional foods, beverages and dietary supplements. In spite of the economic downturn, key suppliers have recorded high demand for CoQ10.
CoQ10 Delivery Forms
In 2006, Ubiquinol, a reduced form of CoQ10 was introduced into the market. This led to more popular forms such as water-soluble CoQ10, CoQ10 in matrix or beadlet form. These new forms offer more stability, easier formulation and are highly bioavailable. Nano-grade CoQ10 can be easily incorporated into beverages. Tablets, capsules, powders and beverages are the common delivery forms.
Beverages are the fastest growing segment for CoQ10 products. These can be promoted as antioxidant energy drinks, offering an excellent alternative to caffeinated energy products.
Other popular uses of CoQ10 are in cosmetics, cosmeceuticals (beauty and skincare supplements), anti-aging supplements, cardiovascular health, cognitive health, diabetes, Parkinson’s Disease, and various age-related disorders. It can be manufactured alone or in combination with other nutraceuticals for an innovative formula that reaches your specific demographics.