Foods rich in Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10).

What are the best natural sources of CoQ10? Can I get Coenzyme Q10 from food or do I need supplements?

Meat, oily fish, and whole-grains are the richest common foods in Coenzyme Q10, while vegetables, fruits, and legumes contain decent amounts.

What is Coenzyme Q10?

Coenzyme Q10 is a compound that is present in every cell of the human body. Its main function is to help produce energy in cells.

There are various types of Coenzyme Q. Coenzyme Q10 is the most common in human mitochondria. Its concentration among human tissues varies greatly. Coenzyme Q10 is mostly found in the heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, spleen, pancreas, and adrenal glands (1).

We have about 500-1500 mg of CoQ10 in our bodies. But, CoQ10 levels decrease with age. Therefore, eating a wide variety of foods high in CoQ10, or taking CoQ10 supplements may be beneficial.

Health benefits of Coenzyme Q10

Coenzyme Q10 has potent antioxidant actions. It prevents the generation of free radicals. Furthermore, CoQ10 prevents the modifications of proteins, lipids, and DNA. Therefore, it may inhibit the progression of several chronic diseases, such as:

  • cancer,
  • cardiovascular diseases,
  • high blood pressure,
  • periodontal diseases (also vitamins A, C, D, K are vital for healthy teeth and gums),
  • obesity,
  • diabetes,
  • Parkinson’s disease,
  • acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS),
  • gastric ulcers,
  • allergies,
  • migraine or headaches,
  • kidney failure, and
  • aging.

Also, dietary intake of Coenzyme Q10 may increase fertility in women!

How much do we need daily?

The human body produces CoQ10 naturally. But, the production of CoQ10 depends on age. Our bodies produce less CoQ10 as we age. Therefore, it’s important to get CoQ10, either from food, or supplements.

CoQ10 supplementation is considered pretty safe. It’s rather unlikely to cause side effects, if you don’t exceed the maximum safe dose!

According to studies, we consume about 3-19 mg of CoQ10 from food a day (2,3).

Most noteworthy, CoQ10 concentrations tend to decrease when we get sick.

If you want to boost your daily intake, you could take CoQ10 supplements. You’ll find a wide variety on iHerb.

For better absorption, take supplementation with a fatty meal.

Animal-based foods high in Coenzyme Q10

Natural sources of CoQ10 are oily fish, such as salmon and tuna. Organ meats such as heart, kidney, and liver are high in CoQ10 as well. On the contrary, dairy products aren’t good sources of CoQ10 (2).

Plant-based foods high in CoQ10

Whole grains, nuts, and vegetable oils are the richest plant-based foods in CoQ10.

Cereals are particularly high in Coenzyme Q10. Vegetables, fruits, and legumes contain much lower amounts of CoQ10 (5).

Moreover, foods high in chlorophyll alongside sun exposure seem to boost the natural production of CoQ10 (6,7).