Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is a molecule produced in the body. It aids mitochondria during energy production. CoQ10 is a widely used alternative medication or dietary supplement and one of its roles is as an antioxidant. Decreased levels have been demonstrated in diseased myocardium and in Parkinson's disease.
CoQ10 is ubiquitous in human tissues, although its level is variable. The level of CoQ10 is the highest in organs with high rates of metabolism such as the heart, kidney, and liver (114, 66.5, and 54.9g/g tissue, respectively), where it functions as an energy transfer molecule. It naturally functions as a coenzyme and component of oxidative phosphorylation in mitochondria. The primary biochemical action of CoQ10 is as a cofactor in the electron-transport chain, in the series of redox reactions that are involved in the synthesis of adenosine triphosphate.
Several diseases are associated with low CoQ10 levels, including fibromyalgia and the aftermath of a heart attack, known as post-myocardial infarction. Depression, Prader-Willi syndrome, male infertility, Peyronie’s disease, migraines, and Parkinson’s also cause a CoQ10 deficiency. Supplementation of CoQ10 is recommended to anyone with the listed diseases, but particularly for heart attack victims and people suffering from fibromyalgia.
CoQ10 is one of the most significant lipid antioxidants, preventing the generation of free radicals and modifications of proteins, lipids, and DNA. CoQ10 can also enhance blood flow and protect the blood vessels. This mechanism is related to nitric oxide preservation, as seen with grape seed extract pycnogenol, and resveratrol. COQ10 can reduce the damage oxidized Low-density Lipoprotein (LDL) can do to blood vessels, as well as reduce plaque buildup in the arteries.
Several pharmaceuticals are known to deplete COQ10 levels (statin drugs are a good example). Doctor-supervised supplementation can reduce this effect. There is no evidence that COQ10 improves life expectancy or is able to induce fat loss or muscle tissue growth, even though it is present in mitochondria.