CoQ10 is a potent antioxidant that is produced by most tissues in the human body. We get CoQ10 from the food we eat, and we make it ourselves to help protect our cells from oxidative damage.

There is a theoretical advantage to taking CoQ10 with statins, as the active compound in statins inhibits production of CoQ10 by the liver. CoQ10 depletion has been associated with the muscle aches that occur in a minority of people taking statins; however, most studies show that CoQ10 supplementation does not reduce the incidence of statin side effects.

That’s for statins. Red yeast rice has a very small amount of active ingredients that interfere with CoQ10 production, probably too small to make a difference. Further, the incidence of muscle aches with red yeast rice is near zero – in fact, multiple studies show that red yeast rice is a viable alternative for those who have side effects from statins. For these reasons, even if you take red yeast rice daily you don’t necessarily need to take CoQ10.

That being said, CoQ10 has been shown to be effective as an antioxidant. It reduces the oxidation of lipids that causes heart attack and stroke, and has even been shown to reduce the transient oxidative stress of vigorous exercise, essentially helping the body to recover faster. Doses of 100-300 mg daily are effective in boosting the body’s protective and recovery stores of CoQ10.

So if you are taking red yeast rice there’s no urgency to take CoQ10, but if you want to maximize your body’s protection from oxidative stress, 100-300mg daily is the optimal dose range.