What Is Coenzyme Q10 Used For? Health Benefits, Side Effects & Drug Interactions

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Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is an antioxidant and a popular supplement in alternative and holistic medicine.

Learn more about this substance, which is sold as a dietary supplement, its potential health benefits, what foods contain it and about its safety.

1. What is Coenzyme Q10?


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CoQ10 is a substance that helps convert food into energy, according to a Mount Sinai overview. An antioxidant, it helps prevent or reduce damage to your cells.

In the body, CoQ10 is mostly found in the heart, brain, muscles and liver, according to Dr. Chiti Parikh, a New York City-based specialist in internal medicine. Levels of the enzyme decrease with age.

2. Potential health benefits of Coenzyme Q10

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Some studies have shown that CoQ10 benefits people with congestive heart failure, according to Parikh, executive director of the Integrative Health and Wellbeing Program at New York-Presbyterian, in collaboration with Weill Cornell Medicine.

Other studies have found the enzyme offers modest help in lowering cholesterol and blood sugar, reducing migraine, boosting energy and fertility, she added.

3. Coenzyme Q10 foods

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Parikh said these foods are good sources of CoQ10:

  • Organ meats (like liver)

  • Fatty fish such as sardines

  • Salmon

  • Broccoli

  • Spinach

  • Cauliflower

4. Potential drug interactions of Coenzyme Q10

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The U.S. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health notes that CoQ10 may interact with the blood thinner warfarin and the diabetes drug insulin. It may also be incompatible with some cancer treatments.

And some medications can affect CoQ10 levels in the body.

“Certain medications — such as cholesterol-lowering drugs, statins, beta blockers and certain antidepressant and antipsychotic medications — can reduce the level of CoQ10 in the body,” Parikh said. “People who are on these medications can discuss with their physicians to see if CoQ10 supplementation is right for them.”

5. Dosage

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For adults, the recommended dose for CoQ10 supplementation is 30 to 200 mg daily, according to Mount Sinai. Higher doses may be recommended for specific conditions. Because CoQ10 is fat soluble, it should be taken with a meal containing fat so your body can absorb it. Taking it at night may help the body's ability to use it, Mount Sinai adds.

6. Source and more information

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