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What is Ubidecarenone?

By J.M. Densing
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Ubidecarenone, better known as coenzyme Q10, is a substance that is usually present in the human body and is thought to support health and help fight certain diseases. More research is needed on its action and effectiveness in fighting illness. This substance can be obtained naturally by eating particular foods, such as beef, soybeans, and peanuts, or from commercially manufactured dietary supplements. The supplements are available in many forms including liquid, powder, or tablets, and people who take it should follow the dosage instructions carefully. Side effects are minimal, but supplement use should be discussed with a medical professional to avoid complications.

As a coenzyme, ubidecarenone works in combination with certain enzymes to affect some of the chemical reactions that occur in the body; it is considered to be an antioxidant, which is a substance that prevents free radicals from damaging cells. It is thought to function in the body to promote good health and fight disease. Some research suggests that it may be useful for the treatment of cancer in combination with vitamins and other therapies, and that deficiencies may contribute to the development of certain types of the disease. It is also can be used as a supplement to assist in the treatment of heart problems, high blood pressure, Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, and muscular dystrophy. More research is needed on its effectiveness, but small studies suggest that it is a promising treatment.

Coenzyme Q10 is usually naturally present in the body, but it can also be acquired from dietary sources so that the body has a sufficient quantity. Some of the foods that are good sources of it include beef, salmon, mackerel, sardines, soybeans, peanuts, walnuts, broccoli, and spinach. Other sources include whole grains, wheat germ, and oils such as rapeseed, soybean, and sesame. Often, the levels of this important coenzyme decrease with age or illness, and supplementation can be helpful.

There are many ubidecarenone supplements available in liquid, powder, or tablet form. These supplements are typically not regulated, so it's important for consumers to read labels carefully to avoid undesired added ingredients. Dosage instructions may vary widely, depending on the manufacturer and the form of the supplement, and they should be followed precisely to obtain the maximum benefit. This coenzyme has minimal side effects, which may include upset stomach, nausea, diarrhea, and reduced appetite; in rare cases, allergic reactions can occur characterized by rash, itching, dizziness, difficulty breathing, and swelling of the tongue, throat, or face. The use of this supplement should be discussed with a healthcare professional to avoid potential complications or drug interactions.

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Discussion Comments
By pastanaga — On Jan 08, 2013

@Fa5t3r - That's the thing though. We don't really know if ubidecarenone is all that necessary to people. It shouldn't be marketed as being a cure-all, or an essential supplement when most people will get a fair amount in the average diet (even with fish sticks) and it's not all that special in the first place.

By Fa5t3r — On Jan 08, 2013

@clintflint - Well, on the one hand I know what you mean and I agree, but I do think there is a place for education and supplementation of these kinds of substances.

People simply don't get enough of what they need in their diets. And that's not always through bad choices. If you've got five kids to feed and you don't have a lot of money to do it, you're going to choose refined fish fingers over salmon, because the fish fingers will go further on your budget.

And it's possible that means your kids aren't getting as much omega acids, or the right coenzyme Q10 dosage. I can actually see why it would be cheaper to buy that dose back in supplements than try to put the right kinds of foods on the table in the first place, and that's sad, but also better than having no way to provide it at all.

By clintflint — On Jan 07, 2013

I think it's all too common for people to look for this kind of solution to a medical problem, rather than taking the more difficult step of a real lifestyle change.

I don't know whether coenzyme Q10 actually has benefits or not, but I do know that it gets used a lot in advertising for "health" products and it really annoys me. Because no matter how great it is, it can't substitute for proper diet and exercise and there are too many people who don't feel well because of stress and bad lifestyle choices who are willing to pay too much money for something that isn't going to the root of their problem.

It just feels exploitative to me.

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