Written on 02.04.2020. Posted in ingredient series.
Is Q10 working? A science perspective.
Ubiquinone (or its most common form Q10) is ubiquitous in animals including humans and most bacteria (hence the name ubiquinone). It is important for energy production in the cells (in the mitochondria) and found in all cell membranes. It is most densely accumulated in the heart, the liver and kidneys. Within the cell it is also an important anti-oxidant.
There are several studies showing that with higher age, the Q10 concentration in mammals drops which can mean that some of its important functions are fulfilled less well. For example, Q10 can reduce free radicals and through this lower chronic age-related inflammation. Also, higher Q10 levels are linked to better functioning of the heart in high age and a reduced risk of different age-related diseases.
Younger, healthy humans do not need to ingest additional Q10 since it is produced in virtually all types of tissue, especially in the liver. Still, it is present in many animals and vegetables that we eat. But when eaten, Q10 is processed very slowly and sparsely in the human small intestine. The majority leaves the body without being processed.
When used in skin care, there is no evidence that applying Q10 has any positive effect for the skin. Except for specific diseases, there is no Q10 shortage in skin cells and it is questionable if Q10 can be absorbed by the skin at all.
Unless in case of specific diseases, when Q10 might be prescribed by a doctor as food supplement (similar to vitamins), there is no evidence that applying or ingesting Q10 has any beneficial effects to the human health.