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CoQ10 Overview

CoQ10, also known as ubiquinone, is found in the mitochondria of all cells. It is a compound that is made naturally in the body. Coenzyme Q10 is found in most body tissues with the highest amounts in the heart, liver, kidneys, and pancreas. Tissue levels of coenzyme Q10 decrease with age. It functions as part of cellular system that generates energy from oxygen (in the form of ATP) for all body processes. As a coenzyme, it speeds up the rate at which chemical reactions take place in the body and it is necessary for the proper functioning of an enzyme. Coenzyme Q10 is a powerful antioxidant that protects against free radicals. It is also used by cells to produce energy needed for cell growth and maintenance. CoQ10 can also act as an antioxidant to help prevent cellular damage from free radicals created during intense exercise and during the generation of energy. Research shows that it may slow the aging process; increase energy; strengthen the heart; improve immune function; promote weight loss; enhance endurance and aerobic performance; and lowers blood pressure.

Research shows that CoQ10 reduces the initiation and propagation of lipid peroxidation in cell membranes and in lipoprotein fractions. When combined with vitamin E there is a synergistic antioxidant effect on lipoproteins and a "sparing" of vitamin E. CoQ10 benefits patients with heart failure - 50mg daily for 4 weeks resulted in improvements in dyspnea, heart rate, blood pressure, and ankle edema. Cardiac patients who took CoQ10 before heart surgery recovered sooner and maintained blood and tissue levels of CoQ10 better than patients not receiving supplements. And, perhaps most important is the research showing that people taking cholesterol-lowering medications (HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors such as pravastatin) may benefit from CoQ10 supplements because these medications reduce blood levels of CoQ10.

Dosage: 50-100 mg today is the usually dose in research studies.

Side Effects: There have been few adverse side effects on doses of 100-200 mg per day. Reported side effects are rare, but tend to be various forms of epigastric distress (heartburn, nausea, stomach ache) which can be prevented by consuming the supplement with a meal.

Research Overview

Human and animal studies were reviewed.

Coenzyme Q10 supplementation has been shown to:
1. Reduce systolic blood pressure
2. Reduce oxidative stress
3. Be an effective treatment for hypertension
4. Be effective in managing chronic heart failure
5. Be effective in managing angina
6. Improve symptoms of Parkinson’s disease
7. Increase mitochondrial functioning
8. Prevent migraines
9. Increase well-being in fibromyalgia sufferers
10. Reduce apoptosis (cell death) following eye surgery
11. Improve exercise tolerance
12. Be an effective antioxidant, combating side effects of HIV drugs
13. Be an effective treatment for nephrology
14. Regenerate plasma vitamin E levels
15. Suppress atherosclerosis
16. Prevent ischemic injury
17. Treat ischemic injury
18. Improve myocardial tolerance to aerobic stress
19. Reduce brain neuron damage from free radicals
20. Decrease atherogenesis
21. Prevent and treat hyperlipidemia
22. Prevent and treat coronary artery disease
23. Combat negative effects of beta-blockers
24. Stabilize erythrocyte, reticulocyte, and leukocyte counts after radiation
25. Prevent striatal lesions in Huntington’s disease
26. Slow weight loss in Huntington’s disease
27. Improve symptoms in mitochondrial myopathy, encephalopathy, lactic acidosis, and stroke-like episodes (MELAS)
28. Improve endothelial function in Type II diabetes
29. Increase mitochondrial production
30. Improve energy production
31. Prevent lipid peroxidations

CoQ10 Citations (43)