As supplements go, ubiquinone is fairly safe. In fact, CoQ10 side effects are more or less limited to the gastrointestinal tract. In this article, we’ll explain why that is, and we’ll also cover what you can do to navigate around it.
But first, we need to distinguish between side effects and drug interactions. CoQ10 is known to have some reported drug interactions with warfarin (1). If you are taking anticoagulant warfarin (Coumadin), then you need to check with your doctor before supplementing with CoQ10. Second, if you are taking statins like Zocor or Lipitor, you may be interfering with your body’s capacity to make CoQ10. As a result, you will want to discuss your CoQ10 levels with your doctor.
What is behind CoQ10 side effects?
Imagine a big, oily bead just sitting in your stomach. Your bile acids are jumping all over it, trying to get a foot in the door, trying to liberate some of the nutrients, but this stuff is just sticking together like vaseline. That’s what you’ve got when you take lots of CoQ10.
CoQ10 is poorly absorbed. CoQ10 is just so greasy that the human body can’t take up the material fast enough, so gastrointestinal problems like nausea, diarrhea and other discomforts ensue. You can also wind up with loose and greasy stools.
Here is what to do
First, check in to see if CoQ10 supplements are really right for you (LINK). If you are healthy, you may not need CoQ10 at all. Also, check what kind of dose you want to be taking. CoQ10 side effects usually show up above 300 mg per day. In this case, you can space out the doses throughout the day to decrease the problems.
If you increase CoQ10 absorption, you will decrease the problems associated with it sitting around in your system. To do this, eat CoQ10 with fatty, or greasy food. Yogurt is fine. Because “like dissolves like” the food you eat will help to spread out the CoQ10 in your stomach, making it easier to absorb.
Two quick points:
1. There are two forms of CoQ10, ubiquinone and ubiquionol. One is absorbed better, leading to lower side effects. Check out which one HERE.
2. Solubilized products like Q-Nol and Q-Gel have much higher bioavailability. You can probably get away with lower doses and reduce CoQ10 side effects.
Here’s the CoQ10 side effects skinny
CoQ10 is pretty safe. The side effects come from poor absorption into the system. Solubilized Q10 gels and eating Q10 with fatty foods will go a long way to increasing the absorption.