What is Coenzyme Q10?


Quick Answer

Coenzyme Q10 is an enzyme present in the mitochondria of cells that helps with energy production, according to Everyday Health. It also exhibits antioxidant activity along with vitamin E, vitamin C and selenium. CoQ10 is available as a supplement in several different forms, such as capsules, oral sprays and tablets.

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Full Answer

Small amounts of CoQ10 are present in food, notes WebMD. Organ meats, soy oil, beef, sardines and mackerel, and peanuts are particularly rich food sources. The body also makes some Coenzyme Q10 in order to prevent deficiency.

Side effects of Coenzyme Q10 include insomnia and elevated liver enzymes in people taking large quantities of the supplement, cautions WebMD. Additional side effects include rashes, nausea, upper belly pain, dizziness and fatigue. Light sensitivity, irritability, headache and heartburn have also been reported.

Coenzyme Q10 is often used as a supplement to treat cardiovascular conditions, such as high blood pressure, congestive heart failure and heart damage due to chemotherapy drugs, according to MedlinePlus. It's role in cellular energy production has made it useful for treating acquired or inherited disorders of mitochondria. It is also useful for easing the muscle pain and weakness that can occur with statin medications used for lowering cholesterol.

CoQ10 can reduce the effectiveness of the blood thinner warfarin and decrease insulin needs in diabetics, advises WebMD. It should be used with caution in diabetics and those taking blood thinners.

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