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Coenzyme Q10
What is it? Overview Usage Side Effects and Warnings

What is Coenzyme Q10?

Coenzyme Q 10 (CoQ 10 ), also known as ubiquinone, is a major part of the body's mechanism for producing energy. The name of this supplement comes from the word ubiquitous, which means "found everywhere." Indeed, CoQ 10 is found in every cell in the body. It plays a fundamental role in the mitochondria, the parts of the cell that produce energy from glucose and fatty acids.

Japanese scientists first reported therapeutic properties of CoQ 10 in the 1960s. Some evidence suggests that CoQ 10 might assist the heart during times of stress on the heart muscle, perhaps by helping it use energy more efficiently.

CoQ 10 's best-established use is for congestive heart failure, but the evidence that it works is not entirely consistent. Ongoing research suggests that it may also be useful for...

Although not all studies have been positive, some evidence supports the use of CoQ 10 for treating congestive heart failure . 1 Keep in mind that CoQ 10 is taken along withconventional medications, not as a replacement for them.

Weaker evidence suggests that this supplement may be useful for heart attack recovery , 2 cardiomyopathy , 3 4 hypertension , 5 diabetes , 6 strengthening the heart prior to heart surgery, 7 and migraine headaches . 8 Although CoQ 10 has been widely advertised as effective for treating and Parkinson's disease , in fact, there is only minimal evidence that it works, and some evidence that it does not work. 9 CoQ 10 has shown the potential to prevent heart damage and other side effects caused by certain types of cancer...

Safety Issues

In general, CoQ 10 appears to be extremely safe. No significant side effects have been found, even in studies that lasted a year. 10 However, people with severe heart disease should not take CoQ 10 (or any other supplement) except under a doctor's supervision.

As noted above, two studies suggest that CoQ 10 might reduce blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. 11 While this could potentially be helpful for treatment of diabetes, it might present a risk as well; people with diabetes who are using CoQ 10 might inadvertently push their blood sugar levels dangerously low. However, another trial in people with diabetes found no effect on blood sugar control. 12 The bottom line: If you have diabetes, make sure to track your blood sugar closely if you...