Coenzyme Q10, also abbreviated as Co-Q10 or Ubiquinone, is an enzymatic substance produced by the body. This naturally occurring vitamin like substance has a dual role to carry out. It takes up the work of a natural antioxidant for neutralizing the noxious effects of free radicals, and aids body cells in liberating energy. In short, the oil soluble nutrient is vital for a number of biochemical reactions taking place within the cells.
The normal level of ubiquinone reaches a peak at the age of 20, and declines thereafter with advancing age or due to certain health disorders; for example, heart related ailments, cancer, or diabetes. Even muscular dystrophy, AIDS and Parkinson’s disease are some of the conditions in which the vitamin like nutrient proves to render help. Although many users benefit from the intake of Coenzyme Q10 and tolerate it fairly well (owing to its low toxicity), it is linked to significant side effects. Let’s take a look.
Potential Dangers Of Q10 Vitamins
1. Side Effects Involving the Gastrointestinal System
There are a certain number of people who have noticed gastrointestinal discomfort while taking the coenzyme in supplement form (either capsule or tablet). Some of the side effects that came to notice were nausea, vomiting, burning sensation due to acid indigestion and reflux, dyspepsia or upset stomach, diarrhea and loss of appetite.
It’s use has also been linked to the formation of gas in the stomach, bloating as well as constipation. All of the side effects mentioned are of a mild nature and subside gradually, even without needing any form of medical treatment.
Most of the gastric complaints can be handled. This can be handled by either lowering the dose given or increasing the frequency of smaller doses of the coenzyme. Sometimes, having the oil soluble substance along with meals helps too.
2. Effects On Bleeding
The Maryland Medical Center states that the vitamin like supplement may possibly attenuate the potency of prescription drugs which have blood thinning properties. Supplementation of Coenzyme Q10 can, thus, be responsible for raising the danger of abnormal bleeding owing to lack of proper blood coagulation. Thus, the ability of the nutrient to retard or inhibit coagulation turns out to be a medical concern, especially for patients with bleeding disorders or those who are on anti platelet or anticoagulant drugs.
If you are currently taking medications like heparin, warfarin or other types of herbal supplements; for example, Ginkgo biloba, avail coenzyme Q10 only after receiving a doctor’s approval, followed by close supervision. This prevents CoQ10 from diluting the system’s response to anticoagulants.
3. Effects On Blood Pressure
According to Medline Plus, the coenzyme may lead to a drop in the blood pressure readings. This is one of the main reasons why doctors advise hypertensive patients to get their blood pressure checked at frequent intervals. Too much of a drop in blood pressure (hypotension) can result in feelings of dizziness or fainting, particularly in a standing position.
4. Upsurge Of Liver Enzymes
Although of an extremely rare incidence, the supplemental use of Ubiquinone can result in an increase in the level of liver enzymes. Such type of an elevation is indicative of damage to the liver. Also, patients who already have liver disorders and are on a drug regime or taking herbal supplements, must be particularly careful while taking the nutrient.
5. Allergic Reaction
Few people have reported that supplementation of coenzyme Q10 resulted in sudden development of an allergic reaction. Some of the clinical signs of such an allergic reaction range from itchiness, skin rash or hives, sudden onset of swelling on the face, tongue or throat which further results in shortness of breath and labored breathing. As with any other drug, this type of allergic response is considered to be a medical emergency which requires prompt medical attention and care.
6. Coenzyme Q10 Induced Hypoglycemia
The use of Q10 vitamins has proved successful in bringing abnormally high levels of cholesterol down. Also, it’s intake further lowers the risk of cardiovascular problems as well as allows the blood sugar levels to improve. However, Mayoclinic claims that use of ubiquinone may also lead to too much lowering of the blood sugar levels, causing a state of hypoglycemia.
Therefore, if one is taking CoQ10 and is a diabetic, he, or she must get their blood sugar level monitored at short intervals. It is quite probable that constant adjustments in the diabetic medications taken, will be required as long as Co Q10 is taken along.
7. Flu-Like Symptoms And Use Of Ubiquinone
Those consuming Q10 vitamins may also experience the same clinical signs as seen during flu. Thus, the patient may complain of discomfort caused by spells of headache, lethargy, which are the typical features of flu. The possibility of feeling dizzy also exists. As with the other side effects caused by ubiquinone, even the flu like symptoms are mild.
8. Risk Of Fetal Abnormalities
Expectant mothers are strongly advised against the use of the coenzyme during any phase of pregnancy. This is to keep away from the risk of harming the developing fetus. Other than the fetal defects caused by the nutrient, it is believed that the sperm count of new born males is negatively affected by the presence of ubiquinone in the body.
However, this particular information has not been thoroughly established. Constantly changing amount of hormones during pregnancy prevents the nutrient from controlling the level of cholesterol in the body. Thus, consumption of Q10 during pregnancy is not valid.
9. Important Considerations
To stay away from the above mentioned unfavourable, distress causing coenzyme Q10 reactions, it is advisable to have a clear discussion with a reliable physician prior to taking the nutrient. It is only when you do so, that your health care provider will be able to provide you with useful information regarding the risks, contraindications and appropriate dose that will help make your mind regarding the initiation of CoQ10 supplementation.
Also, for those who are taking this vitamin supplement, vigorous exercise is not recommended as an inadequate oxygen supply and blood flow, particularly in patients with heart disorder, can result in more damage to the body organs.