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What Is Coenzyme Q10 Deficiency?

By Meshell Powell
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Coenzyme q10 is an important enzyme produced by the body and is responsible for energy production and enables the cells to function properly. A coenzyme q10 deficiency is thought to cause a variety of health concerns, including fatigue, high blood pressure, and heart failure. The exact cause of this deficiency is not always clearly understood, although nutritional deficiencies and metabolic or cellular disorders are thought to be contributing factors. Meat, fish, and soybeans are good sources of this nutrient and may be used along with over-the-counter supplements to treat coenzyme q10 deficiency. Questions or concerns about coenzyme q10 deficiency and individualized dosing needs should be discussed with a doctor or other medical professional.

Fatigue is one of the primary symptoms of a coenzyme q10 deficiency. This can cause physical feelings of extreme tiredness and may also lead to mental fatigue and trouble concentrating. Mood disorders such as depression, anxiety, and irritability may also develop when the body is deficient in this nutrient.

Cardiac issues may develop as a result of a coenzyme q10 deficiency, especially if this condition is present for a prolonged period of time. High blood pressure, heart disease, and elevated cholesterol levels are the most common heart-related issues that may develop due to this type of deficiency. Some studies have indicated that a person with lowered coenzyme q10 levels may have an increased risk of becoming overweight or obese.

Immune system dysfunction and chronic pain are thought to be potential symptoms of a coenzyme q10 deficiency. Increased infections and susceptibility to cold and flu are possible complications of a weakened immune system. Muscle and joint pain are the primary symptoms of a condition known as fibromyalgia. A coenzyme q10 deficiency can cause similar symptoms and may actually contribute to the development of fibromyalgia in some people. Headaches, including migraines, are also common pain issues experienced when the body does not contain enough of this enzyme.

A coenzyme q10 deficiency may increase the risks of developing neurological disorders such as Parkinson's disease, diabetes, and certain forms of cancer. Nutritional supplementation is often recommended, and increased intake of foods such as fish, soybeans, and spinach is typically used to raise the levels of coenzyme q10. The exact dosage used depends on individual needs and is often based on the results of specialized blood tests. It is important to discuss specific dosing needs and potential drug interactions with a doctor before taking any nutritional supplements.

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Discussion Comments
By fBoyle — On Jul 21, 2013

Is a coenzyme q10 deficiency hereditary? My dad has this deficiency and now it has also shown up in my sister.

By literally45 — On Jul 21, 2013

@ddljohn-- A blood test is all that is required to check for a COQ10 deficiency. Not every clinic will offer it though, so your doctor might have to get you referred.

I doubt that most people who have this deficiency get diagnosed. It's not spoken about much in the medical community as far as I'm aware.

My sister has fibromyalgia and she realized that she is deficient in COQ10 on her own. She started taking a supplement for it with the recommendation of one of her friends and her health started to improve. Her pain became less severe. She went off of the supplements and her pain worsened. She got a blood test at that point and was diagnosed with a deficiency. She takes COQ10 supplements regularly now.

By ddljohn — On Jul 20, 2013

I would have never thought that someone could be deficient in this coenzyme. I suppose it's possible to be deficient in every enzyme, vitamin or mineral that the body needs to function.

But how is a coenzyme q10 deficiency diagnosed? Can coenzyme q10 levels be checked with a blood test? How common is this deficiency?

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