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Coenzyme Q10

By Shaun Holt

Coenzyme Q10 is also known as vitamin Q10 despite not actually being a vitamin, as the body produces its own supply. Levels decrease with age, in patients with some chronic diseases and also as a side effect of some prescription drugs. Its main functions in the body are acting as a potent antioxidant and also as a cofactor (assistant) in many metabolic pathways.

CoQ10 is remarkably safe with no major side effects, however, there are interactions with medicines to be aware of, in particular, it can increase the effects of medicines that lower blood sugar, lower blood pressure and thin the blood.

There are several medical conditions that it may well be helpful for, these include:

Reducing statin side effects - statin drugs are commonly prescribed to lower cholesterol levels, but they also lower CoQ10 levels, which may explain why CoQ10 can help the common side effect of muscle pains.

High blood pressure - studies have found that CoQ10 can decrease systolic blood pressure by 16 mm Hg - this is as good as some blood pressure medicines, which usually also have side effects.

Heart failure - a leading medical researcher recently called for all patients with heart failure to take CoQ10 in addition to their prescribed medicines.

Others - there are also some positive trial results for patients with diabetes and migraines, and even some studies showing that it may increase exercise capacity.