The effects of CoQ10 supplementation on exercise are still unclear. (Photo by ericmcgregor)
This post marks the end of my experiment with CoQ10. The idea was to see whether taking coenzyme Q10 would have an effect on general health and exercise performance.
I've been taking 200 mg of CoQ10 (the ubiquinone form – for an explanation of the differences between different forms see this post) somewhat irregularly since summer. I actually had supplements to last me only three months, but I've had a couple of longer breaks in between to see whether I would notice a difference.
As with many other supplement experiments, I didn't. I've tried taking a capsule before going to the gym to see if it boosts my performance, but I haven't seen any noticeable effects. No effects from taking a capsule later in the day, either. This is not really surprising, since the studies on CoQ10 and exercise, though many, are inconclusive (for a more detailed discussion of CoQ10, exercise and oxidative stress, see this post).
Any other health benefits are pretty hard to tell, but I think it's safe to say that it hasn't made me immune to all disease, because I've caught a few colds during this experiment.
Still, I must say that the data on CoQ10 and older people is quite promising. Since levels of coenzyme Q10 drop with age and supplementation (especially with ubiquinol) seems to be an effective way to raise them, anyone over the age of forty would be wise to consider reading up on the possible benefits – and the negative effects of too little CoQ10 in the body.
However, at this point I don't see enough reason for me to continue taking it. The price is quite high, and the possible positive effects of CoQ10 on young, healthy people are mostly unknown.
I've saved the last remaining capsules to see whether rubbing the stuff on my gums does anything. The studies suggest that using CoQ10 both topically and orally promotes oral health, but during the months of eating the stuff I noticed no change in the small gingival pocket I have near one of my teeth.
Who knows, maybe topicals are the way to go here. Look out for an update in the coming weeks!