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Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)

What is CoQ10 and where is it found?

CoQ10 is a compound from the ubiquinone family that is similar to a vitamin found. It is found in every cell of the body. CoQ10 functions as a coenzyme for many steps during aerobic respiration so the body can produce energy for growth and maintenance. It is also a powerful antioxidant. CoQ10 is found in meat, poultry, peanuts, and fish, and it can also be taken as a supplement.

What are the benefits?

CoQ10 can be used orally or topically. Orally, people use CoQ10 to improve heart related conditions such as CHF (congestive heart failure), angina, cardiomyopathy, and hypertension. Some people take it to improve symptoms of diabetes, chemotherapy, breast cancer, Parkinson’s disease, muscular dystrophy, Lyme disease, autism, and pre-eclampsia. It is also used to improve exercise tolerance and to reduce chronic fatigue syndrome. Others use CoQ10 to stimulate the immune system in patients with HIV and to treat migraines. It is used topically for periodontal disease.

Are there interactions with food or medications?

People taking antihypertensive drugs, warfarin, and those receiving chemotherapy should consult a doctor before taking CoQ10 because of potential interactions. Also CoQ10 levels appear to be affected by acacia, beta-carotene, omega-3 fatty acids, yeast, and vitamins A, C, E, and K.

Are there side effects?

There are infrequent reports of insomnia, upset stomach, nausea, loss of appetite, and diarrhea.

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