Coenzyme Q-10

Coenzyme Q-10 is also known as CoQ-10, Q-10 or uniquinone. It has a similar structural form to vitamin E, and it plays a key role in producing cellular energy. Coenzyme Q-10 is also a protective antioxidant (1). High concentrations of CoQ-10 can be found in the brain, heart, liver, kidney and both muscle and pancreatic tissue. As the body ages, it becomes less able to naturally synthesize CoQ-10, which is why CoQ-10 supplements are a popular way to enhance health and vitality. In fact, CoQ-10 is frequently found on lists of best vitamins for men over 40, as it can help prevent and treat heart disease, diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure, all leading causes of death in men (2).

CoQ-10 Health Benefits

Coenzyme Q-10 has important benefits to overall health, including:

  • Antioxidant and cofactor in cellular energy production
  • Robust lipid antioxidant – protects LDL cholesterol from oxidation(3), benefitting those with high cholesterol
  • Essential for cells with extremely high energy requirements (brain, immune system and heart muscle)

How CoQ-10 Helps Create Energy

Most cells include mitochondria, and cells depend on these structures for energy. Mitochondria use CoQ-10 for the oxidation of fatty acids, which are rich in energy. Because the heart muscle is dependent on fatty acids for two-thirds of its energy needs, CoQ-10 is especially important. This energy requirement by the heart is more than any other bodily system.

How to Use CoQ-10

The proper dosage of Coenzyme Q-10 depends upon your reason for using it. For general health, 100 milligrams (100 mg.) is recommended. For certain specific conditions, higher quantities have been used on an experimental basis. CoQ10 is fat-soluble. This supplement should be taken with either food that contains fat or fat-based supplements such as omega-3 fish oil.

CoQ-10 Side Effects and Cautions

Coenzyme Q-10 will rarely cause any side effects. In some people, rashes, mild insomnia and nausea have been reported. Women who are pregnant or nursing should not use CoQ-10, as it has not been proven safe for these individuals. CoQ-10 supplement should not be used as a treatment for medical conditions. Certain drugs that may lower blood sugar or cholesterol might inhibit CoQ-10 from being effective. CoQ-10 may also interfere with the body's response to certain prescription medications.


  • 1. OSU: LPIMIC
  • 2.
  • 3. Free Radic Biol Med. 2000 Apr 1;28(7):1100-5.

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