This coenzyme is a vitamin-like substance found in all body cells, but especially in the blood, heart muscle and nerve tissue. It is obtained from the diet, but it is also made by the body. It functions by helping the transfer of energy from the blood to body cells, and equally between various cell components. The cell cannot function efficiently without CoQ10, and this is strikingly shown by low levels of the coenzyme in heart tissue of persons with heart problems, in the brain cells of people with mental disorders, and in the blood cells of persons with infections. A deficiency is also related to aging, and several age criteria including gum deterioration improve considerably after CoQ10 supplementation.
Coenzyme Q10 is fat soluble and was earlier extracted from heart, liver and kidney tissue, but it is now produced through bacterial fermentation. Its structure is somewhat intermediate between vitamins E and K, and its functions overlap to an extent these of the two vitamins, from antioxidant agent to immune system booster.
The best documented use of CoQ10 is for treating congestive heart failure. Evidence exists that it may be also helpful in cardiomyopathy and other kinds of heart disease. It has been used against high blood pressure, angina, male infertility, and periodontal (gum) disease. Also to counteract nutrient depletion caused by medication. It may help prevent heart damage from certain types of chemotherapy,
CoQ10 appears to be very safe, with no adverse results reported. However, patients with severe heart disease should consult an experienced health professional before taking coenzyme supplements. Simultaneous administration of a number of drugs, from cholesterol-lowering preparations to oral diabetes drugs, tricyclic antidepressants and others, may require higher amounts of the coenzyme.