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Coenzyme Q10 is a vitamin-like substance found throughout the body, but especially in the heart, liver, kidney, and pancreas. It is eaten in small amounts in meats and seafood. Coenzyme Q10 can also be made in a laboratory.

Coenzyme Q10 is most commonly used for conditions that affect the heart such as heart failure, chest pain, and high blood pressure. It is also used for preventing migraine headache, Parkinson's disease, and many other conditions.
Coenzyme Q10 was first identified in 1957. The "Q10" refers to the chemical make-up of the substance.
How does it work?

Coenzyme Q10 is an important vitamin-like substance required for the proper function of many organs and chemical reactions in the body. It helps provide energy to cells. Coenzyme Q10 also seems to have antioxidant activity. People with certain diseases, such as congestive heart failure, high blood pressure, periodontal disease, Parkinson's disease, certain muscular diseases, and AIDS, might have lower levels of coenzyme Q10.


Likely Effective for:
Coenzyme Q10 deficiency. Taking coenzyme Q10 by mouth seems to improve symptoms of coenzyme Q10 deficiency. This is a very rare condition. The symptoms include weakness, fatigue, and seizures.
Inherited or acquired disorders that limit energy production in the cells of the body (mitochondrial disorders). Taking coenzyme Q10 by mouth seems to reduce symptoms of mitochondrial disorders. However, improvement in symptoms is slow. Some people have to take coenzyme Q10 for 6 months to get the most benefit.

Possibly Effective for:
Age-related vision loss (age-related macular degeneration). Taking a specific product containing coenzyme Q-10, acetyl-L-carnitine, and omega-3 fatty acids (Phototrop) by mouth seems to improve vision in people with age-related vision loss.
Mortality due to heart problems. Some research suggests that taking coenzyme Q10 along with selenium might reduce the chance of heart-related death in the elderly.
Heart failure. Early research suggests that heart failure might be linked with low coenzyme Q10 levels. Some research shows that taking coenzyme Q10 might helps reduce some symptoms of heart failure. , But it is unclear if coenzyme Q10 helps for other heart failure problems.
Nerve damage caused by diabetes (diabetic neuropathy). Research shows that taking coenzyme Q-10 improves nerve damage and nerve pain in people with nerve damage caused by diabetes.
Fibromyalgia. Some research show that taking coenzyme Q10 by mouth seems to reduce pain by over 50%, fatigue by 47%, morning tireness by 56%, and tender points by 44% in people with fibromyalgia.
HIV/AIDS. Taking coenzyme Q10 by mouth seems to improve immune function in people with HIV/AIDS.
An inherited neurological disorder called Huntington's disease. Ubiquinol, an altered form of coenzyme Q10, has been granted "Orphan Drug Status" by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This gives the maker of Ubiquinol some financial incentives to study its effectiveness for Huntington's, a condition that is so rare (affecting less than 200,000 individuals) that pharmaceutical companies might not otherwise invest in developing a drug for it. However, taking coenzyme Q10 by mouth in doses of 600 mg daily or less does not seem to be effective for slowing the progression of Huntington's disease.
High blood pressure. The majority of early research shows that taking coenzyme Q10 by itself or along with other medications for treating high blood pressure seems to help lower blood pressure. However, one small study suggests that taking coenzyme Q10 by mouth may not lower blood pressure in people that also have a condition called metabolic syndrome.
Blood vessel complications caused by heart bypass surgery. Reduced blood supply during heart or blood vessel surgery can deprive tissue of oxygen. When blood supply returns to this tissue, the tissue can become damaged. There is some evidence that taking coenzyme Q10 by mouth for at least one week before heart bypass surgery or blood vessel surgery might help to reduce tissue damage. However, not all research agrees with this finding.
A specific type of high blood pressure. Taking coenzyme Q10 by mouth daily appears to lower systolic blood pressure (the top number) in some people with high systolic blood pressure but normal diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number).
Migraine headache. Taking coenzyme Q10 by mouth seems to help prevent migraine headaches. Studies show it can decrease the frequency of headaches by about 30% and the number of days with headache-related nausea by about 45% in adults. Taking coenzyme Q10 also appears to reduce migraine frequency in children who have low levels of coenzyme Q10. It can take up to 3 months for significant benefit. However, coenzyme Q10 does not seem to be effective in treating migraines once they have developed.
An inherited muscle disorder called muscular dystrophy. Taking coenzyme Q10 by mouth seems to improve physical performance in some people with muscular dystrophy.
Heart attack. When started within 72 hours of a heart attack and taken for one year, coenzyme Q10 appears to lower the risk of heart-related events, including another heart attack.
Peyronie's disease (painful erection in men). Research shows that taking coenzyme Q10 improves erectile function in men with painful erections.

Possibly Ineffective for:
Alzheimer's disease. Taking coenzyme Q10 does not seem to improve mental function in people with Alzheimer's disease.
Neurodegenerative disease called ALS or Lou Gehrid's disease. Research shows that taking coenzyme Q10 does not slow the progression of ALS.
Cocaine dependence. Taking a combination of coenzyme Q10 and L-carnitine does not reduce cocaine use.
High cholesterol. Taking coenzyme Q10 does not seem to reduce total cholesterol, triglycerides, or low-density lipoprotein (LDL or "bad") cholesterol, or increase high-density lipoprotein (HDL or "good") cholesterol.
Symptoms affecting polio survivors (post-polio syndrome). Research shows that taking coenzyme Q10 does not improve muscle strength or muscle function in people with post-polio syndrome.

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