Omega Fatty Acids & CoQ10-Why the buzz?

Omega Fatty Acids, CoQ10

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is an antioxidant that our body produces naturally. Our cells use it for growth and maintenance, but get this! Our bodies make less of it as we age. Of course! Just when we need it, right?

So, should this decline in production concern us? 

To answer this question, I consulted the Mayo Clinic. I loved what they had to say about exciting research regarding CoQ10’s use for “specific conditions and activities”:

  • “Heart Conditions: CoQ10 has been shown to improve symptoms of congestive heart failure […and] might help reduce blood pressure. Some research also suggests that when combined with other nutrients, CoQ10 might aid recovery in people who’ve had bypass and heart valve surgeries.
  • Diabetes: Although more studies are needed, some research suggests that CoQ10 may help reduce low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and total cholesterol levels in people with diabetes, lowering their risk of heart disease. 
  • Migraines: Some research suggests that CoQ10 might decrease the frequency of these headaches.
  • Physical performance: Because CoQ10 is involved in energy production, it’s believed that this supplement might improve your physical performance.” (End of quote)

So, what would you say? Should the decline in our body’s production of CoQ10 be concerning? I’m sure you’ll agree the evidence say’s “yes.”

Enter Omega-3s

Like CoQ10, omega-3 fats are being studied concerning some related and unrelated health benefits. Have you heard of EPA and DHA? They’re omega-3 fats that are extremely useful for the body. The chemicals in eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) help reduce inflammation and even symptoms of depression. This next one will make you stop and think. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), a 22-carbon fatty acid, makes up eight percent of our brain weight, so it has much to do with our brain development and function. 

Here is an overall view of some of the possible health benefits of taking omega-3: 

  • Heart health management
  • Supporting mental health conditions like depression, Parkinson’s disease, and psychosis. Helping brain development
  • Fighting inflammation and pain-causing conditions
  • Decreasing fat and weight

I thought I’d dig deeper into its purported benefits for depression. Why would fatty acids help? Get this! Depression seems less common in nations where the population eats more fish (which, of course, contain fatty acids)! As scientists studied this curious finding, two possibilities emerged. One, omega-3’s provided anti-inflammatory benefits; two, they can readily travel through the brain-cell membrane to interact with mood-relevant molecules. These two factors seemed significant for researchers when analyzing brain health and lessening depression and mood disorders. 

Now, here is the catch with omega-3s. They are considered “essential fats” to our bodies. We must consume them; however, they aren’t produced by our bodies. Do you see a little trend here? Our body reduces the production of Coenzyme Q10 as we age, AND our bodies don’t produce omega 3’s, so these are both issues to stay on top of and address. 

This brief rundown on why there is so much buzz about CoQ10 and omega-3s should help you see the importance of quality supplementation in these two areas. I know it made me think!


By Mayo Clinic Staff, Coenzyme Q10, Mayo Clinic, 10 Nov 2020.

Philip C Calder, Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Inflammatory Processes, PMID: 22254027, 18 Mar 2010. 

Julian G Martins, EPA but not DHA appears to be responsible for the efficacy of omega-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementation in depression: evidence from a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials, PMID: 20439549, 19 Sep 2008.

Sheila M Innis, Dietary Omega 3 fatty acids and the developing brain, PMID: 18789910, 27 Oct 2008

Omega-3 Supplementation Lowers Inflammation and Anxiety in Medical Students: A Randomized Controlled Trial, PMID: 21784145, 25 Nov 2011

P R Fortin, et al, Validation of a meta-analysis: the effects of fish oil in rheumatoid arthritis, PMID: 7490601, Nov 1995.

Alison M Hill, et al., Combining fish-oil supplements with regular aerobic exercise improves body composition and cardiovascular disease risk factors, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1 May 2007.

Shichun Du, et al., Does Fish Oil Have an Anti-Obesity Effect in Overweight/Obese Adults? A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials, PMID: 26571503, 16 Nov 2015.

L Spadaro, et al., Effects of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in subjects with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, PMID 18054848, 3 Oct 2007. 

Jaclyn M Coletta, MD, et al., Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Pregnancy, PMID: 21364848, 2010.

David Mischoulon, MD, PhD, Omega-3 fatty acids for mood disorders, Harvard Medical School, 27 Oct 2020.

Barry Sears, PhD, Anxiety and Omega=3 Fatty Acids, Psychology Today, 3 Jan 2012.