There is no one miracle cure for wrinkles, but Q10 is pretty damn close. Everything you need to know about the coenzyme
Q10? Very few people know what that actually is. Most of them only learned that it helps against wrinkles thanks to extensive advertising campaigns by a large north German cosmetics company. And yes: housed in creams, it actually has an anti-aging effect. But it also plays an important role in food intake.
You can find everything about active ingredients for the skin in our active ingredient glossary!
What is Q10 and what does it do?
Q10 (also called ubiquinone or ubiquinol depending on the biochemical form) is a coenzyme that is required in all living body cells to generate energy. Like this, it acts on different enzymes and performs different tasks. Above all, it has an antioxidant effect and contributes to the health of our cells.
What is the effect of coenzyme Q10?
Its best-known effect is aimed at reducing wrinkles as an antiaging agent. Taken internally, it should also have positive effects on our heart health, improve heart and certain eye diseases, as well as being anti-inflammatory, antihypertensive, and blood-thinning.
Where does Q10 come from?
On the one hand, Q10 is produced by the body (around 0.5 to two grams), and on the other hand, it is contained in many foods, such as oily fish, olive oil, and nuts. About 0.5 to ten milligrams are absorbed into the body daily through food. Coenzyme is stored in the mitochondria of our cells.
What is the difference between ubiquinone and ubiquinol?
Coenzyme Q10 (ubiquinone) and ubiquinol are both ubiquinones. Coenzyme Q10 (ubiquinone) is the fully oxidized form, whereas ubiquinol is the converted (fully reduced or activated) form of coenzyme Q10, which the body can absorb and use (in the liver) more easily. In the body as well as in many cosmetics and food supplements, the ubiquinones are mostly present as coenzyme Q10 (ubiquinone-10). Ubiquinol, on the other hand, is less common in the body and cosmetics and food supplements.
According to the latest scientific findings, ubiquinol, i.e. the activated form, is more valuable in terms of positive effects. The body must first convert the “normal” coenzyme Q10 into ubiquinol to fully exploit its effect.
What are the symptoms of a Q10 deficiency?
A deficiency of the coenzyme is rather unlikely in a healthy person of young age who eats healthy food. The higher the age and the more unbalanced the diet or the more alcohol or cigarettes are consumed, the higher the likelihood of a deficit. This usually manifests itself in poor concentration, states of exhaustion, high blood pressure, heart muscle disorders, heart failure, or, for example, hardening of the arteries.
Do I need an extra Q10 if I am healthy?
Since there is no scientific evidence to support the health benefits of Q10 supplements in healthy people without the disease, the answer to this question is no.
Coenzyme Q10: when should you take it?
If a deficit of Q10 sets in with age as well as poor nutrition and an unbalanced lifestyle, a dietary supplement makes sense. The more advanced the deficiency, the longer it takes for the Q10 level in the body to normalize and the resulting deficiency symptoms – such as high blood pressure – to normalize through nutritional supplements. This can sometimes take several months.
These foods are high in Q10
Oily fish (sardines, mackerel), nuts, soy, broccoli, legumes, poultry, beef and pork, cheese, butter, and olive oil are particularly rich in Q10 and should therefore be included in the diet every day. Since the coenzyme is fat-soluble, it should always be taken in connection with fat or oil. Broccoli, for example, needs some butter or oil or some other fatty food by its side so that the body can draw Q10 from it.
How does Q10 affect the skin?
Due to its antioxidant effect (against free radicals), Q10 is said to be an absolute wrinkle killer. According to beauty manufacturers, it stimulates cell renewal in the skin and strengthens the connective tissue. The skin becomes more elastic and firmer. As a radical scavenger, Q10 is therefore mainly used in anti-aging agents such as creams, lotions, and sprays for external use on wrinkles.
Capsules with Q10: what are they used for?
Coenzyme Q10 can be used not only externally, but also internally. Here, like the cream to be applied, it should help the skin to regenerate cells from the inside and act as a radical catcher. In most cases, however, a different indication is provided for dietary supplements with Q10, namely that Q10 has a positive effect on the heart and eyes and should even be helpful in the case of a previously unsuccessful desire to have children since according to science it increases the quality of egg cells and sperm.
Which Q10 side effects can result from ingestion?
Taking too high doses of Q10 can cause side effects such as insomnia, nausea, loss of appetite, and diarrhea. The skin may react with a rash. Q10 can also lead to interactions with other drugs or vitamin K. If you take the coenzyme for medical purposes, you should therefore always clarify the correct dose with your doctor.
Difference: active Q10 and its precursor in cosmetics and food supplements
There may be different levels of coenzyme Q10 in creams, lotions, or capsules – which can usually be recognized not only by the name but also by the price:
Q10 as a precursor (ubiquinone) is usually contained in a higher dose in the product (e.g. 200 mg). However, this preliminary stage has yet to be activated in the body. The corresponding products are therefore usually cheaper.
If the already activated coenzyme is present (ubiquinol), a lower dose (eg 100 mg) is sufficient. The products are often much more expensive for this.