Co q10 is a molecule of the ubiquinone family of compounds . The ubiquinones are substances that are found throughout the body, hence the term “ubiquitous”. It is not considered a vitamin because it can be made by the body. Coenzyme q10 is found in cell membranes, where it has two functions: (1) it is an essential compound used by the cell to form energy in the form of ATP, from carbohydrates to be used by the cell, (2) it is involved in free radical scavenging.
Our bodies have the capability to manufacture Coq10. It is also available from food sources such as meat, poultry, fish, soybean oil, canola oil, and nuts. Fruits and vegetables are also a source of Co q10.
Although deficiencies of Co q10 are relatively unknown, the reason for supplementation is because the levels in our bodies decrease as we get older, or to treat a specific condition. Coenzyme q10 supplementation has been used to treat cardiovascular disease, neuro-degenerative diseases, diabetes, and cancer.
Co Q10 and the Eye
A search of ongoing clinical trials shows that there are presently 127 studies utilizing Coenzyme q10. Most all of them are in the areas of diseases of the heart, neurological disease, some psychological disorders, pregnancy, and statin users. There is some research looking at the role of decreasing levels of Co q10 in the retina and possible link to age related macular degeneration. The decreasing role of co q10 in energy production and free radical scavenging may be linked to the progression of macular degeneration.
An animal (mouse) based study indicated that Co q10 may play role for protecting the retina from programmed cell death retinopathies.
While there are a few, the study of Co q10 as an ocular supplement is not an active area of research.
Co Q10 Supplements
Co q10 is a naturally occurring substance that is found in many of the foods we eat, and is also produced in our bodies. Supplementation is advised for those whose levels may be low do to aging or disease.
There is no recommended daily values. Most commercially available supplements are 100 mg / capsule, but can be purchased as high as 400 mg / capsule.
The role of Co q10 supplementation and its role in either disease prevention or halting disease progression is not fully understood at this time. Research is a slow and ongoing process.