Coenzyme Q10, also known as CoQ10, is produced by the human body and is necessary for basic functioning in cells. CoQ10 levels are reported to decrease with age and to be low in patients with some chronic diseases such as heart conditions, muscular dystrophies, Parkinson's disease, cancer, diabetes, and HIV/AIDS. Some prescription drugs may also lower CoQ10 levels. CoQ10 helps convert food into energy. CoQ10 is found in almost every cell in the body, and it is a powerful antioxidant.
Antioxidants fight damaging particles in the body known as free radicals, which damage cell membranes, tamper with DNA, and even cause cell death. Scientists believe free radicals contribute to the aging process, as well as a number of health problems, including heart disease and cancer. Antioxidants, such as CoQ10, can neutralize free radicals and may reduce or even help prevent some of the damage they cause.
CoQ10 has been used, recommended, or studied for numerous conditions, but remains controversial as a treatment in many areas.