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Coenzyme Q10 or CoQ10 has exploded onto the healthcare industry. It has been touted by both alternative and traditional medicine as a dietary supplement that may reduce the risks of cardiovascular disease and reduce the signs of photoaging of the skin, among its many actions.

It functions as a vitamin and is present in the inner membrane of the mitochondria. Its primary function is an antioxidant which stablizes the membrane activity and prevents depletion of metabolites necessary for the resynthesis of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). The reduced form of the CoQ10 inhibits lipid peroxidation and protects against oxidative stress.

Several studies have documented both in vitro and in vivo effectiveness in the treatment of several diseases.

The dosage is controversial and has varied depending upon the disease being treated. In addition, the form of the supplement is may have variable absorption. Commercially available supplements are present in oil-baed suspensions as soft-gel capsules, cap-tabs, powder-filled hard tabs. Side effects have included a jittery caffeine-like effect, loss of appetite, palpitations, diarrhea, and mild nausea. It is not recommended for healthy pregnant women, nursing mothers, neonates, and young children due to insufficient data on these populations. CoQ10 may deplete the effects of some cholesterol lowering agents.

Disease Effect Reference
Cancer Reduce tumor size in mice exposed to chemical carcinogens Proc Natl Acad Sci 1973;70:390-394.
Deficiency of CoQ10 in some patients with cancer Biochem Biphys Res Commun 1997;234:296-299.
Remission in metastatic breast cancer Biochem Biophys Res Commun 1995;212
Periodontal disease Lower levels in patients with disease Proc Natl Acad Sci 1971;68:2332-2335
Suppression of gingival inflammation with patients taking CoQ10 J of Dental Health 1993;43:667-672
Neurodegenerative Diseases Huntington's disease trials in progress  
Familial Alzheimer's disease progression prevented with combination of CoQ10 and vitamin B6 and iron The Lancet 1992;340:671
Parkinson's disease have lower levels of CoQ10 Annals of Neurology 1997;42:261-264
Diabetes mellitus Diabetics have lower levels of CoQ10 J Medicine 1976;7:307
Male infertility CoQ10 improves sperm motility and protects seminal fluid from free radical injury Clin Chem 1995;41:217-219
Cardiovascular disease

Strong correlation between tissue levels of CoQ10 and severity of heart failure. May be beneficial by:

Directly supporting ATP in the mitochondria
Antioxidant action
Stabilize cell membranes
Reduce platelet size and limitation of platelet activity

The Clinical Investigator 1993;71:SI34-SI36
Improvement of symptoms in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy patients Molecular Aspcets of Med. 1997;18:S145-S151
Hypertensive patients have reduced levels. Supplementation found significant decreases in systolic and diastolic pressures after 12 weeks Biomedical and Clinical Aspects of CoenzymeQ10 1986;5:337-343.
Significant reduction in exercise-induced EKG abnormalities in patients with chronic stable angina Am J Cardiol 1985;56:247-251
Significant reduction of plasma levels of lipid peroxidation products after CoQ10 supplementation J Biol Chem 1995;270:5756-5763.
Skin photoaging Topical formulations (0.3%) may protect and reduce the effects of skin photoaging  

Henry JB. Clinical Diagnosis and Management by Laboratory Methods. Twentieth Edition. WB Saunders. 2001.

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ATP-Adenosine triphosphate is a key currency of cellular energy.

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