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Coenzyme Q10 is a vitamin-like substance required for the function of many organs in the body. It is eaten in small amounts in meat and seafood.

Coenzyme Q10 helps provide energy to cells. It also seems to have antioxidant activity. People with certain diseases, such as heart failure, high blood pressure, Parkinson disease, blood infections, and HIV infection, might have lower levels of coenzyme Q10. Coenzyme Q10 can also be made in a laboratory.

People most commonly use coenzyme Q10 for conditions that affect the heart such as heart failure and fluid build-up in the body, chest pain, and high blood pressure. It is also used for migraine headache, Parkinson disease, and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support many of these other uses.

NatMed Pro rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate.
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  • Athletic performance.  There is some evidence that exercise can deplete coenzyme Q10 and that supplementation will prevent this depletion. However, there is no evidence that taking coenzyme Q10 is beneficial.
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  • Huntington disease.  The ubiquinol form of coenzyme Q10 does not seem to improve function in people with this condition.
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When taken by mouth: Coenzyme Q10 is likely safe for most adults. While most people tolerate coenzyme Q10 well, it can cause some mild side effects including stomach upset, loss of appetite, nausea, and diarrhea. It can also cause allergic skin rashes in some people.

When applied to the skin: Coenzyme Q10 is likely safe for most adults when applied directly to the gums.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy: Coenzyme Q10 is possibly safe when taken by mouth during pregnancy. Coenzyme Q10 has been used safely when taken twice daily starting at the 20th week of pregnancy.

Breast-feeding: There isn't enough reliable information to know if coenzyme Q10 is safe to use when breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Children: Coenzyme Q10 is possibly safe for children when taken by mouth under the supervision of a healthcare professional.

Medications for cancer (Alkylating agents)

Interaction Rating=Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

Coenzyme Q10 is an antioxidant. There is some concern that antioxidants might decrease the effects of some medications used for cancer. If you are taking medications for cancer, check with your healthcare provider before taking coenzyme Q10.

Medications for high blood pressure (Antihypertensive drugs)

Interaction Rating=Minor Be watchful with this combination.

Coenzyme Q10 might lower blood pressure. Taking coenzyme Q10 along with medications that lower blood pressure might cause blood pressure to go too low. Monitor your blood pressure closely.

Warfarin (Coumadin)

Interaction Rating=Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

Coenzyme Q10 might increase blood clotting. Coenzyme Q10 might decrease the effects of warfarin and increase the risk of dangerous clots. Be sure to have your blood checked regularly. The dose of your warfarin might need to be changed.

Beta-carotene: Coenzyme Q10 can increase blood levels of beta-carotene. This might increase the effects and side effects of beta-carotene.
Gum arabic: Taking coenzyme Q10 with gum arabic, which is made from acacia, seems to increase the body's absorption of coenzyme Q10. This might increase the effects and side effects of coenzyme Q10.
Herbs and supplements that might lower blood pressure: Coenzyme Q10 might lower blood pressure. Taking it with other supplements that have the same effect might cause blood pressure to drop too much. Examples of supplements with this effect include andrographis, casein peptides, L-arginine, niacin, and stinging nettle.
Omega-3 fatty acids: Combining coenzyme Q10 with omega-3 fatty acids can reduce blood levels of coenzyme Q10. This might reduce the effects of coenzyme Q10.
Red yeast rice: Red yeast rice might reduce coenzyme Q10 levels in the body.
Vitamin K: Coenzyme Q10 can have effects in the body that are similar to vitamin K, including inhibiting the effects of blood thinning drugs such as warfarin. Taking coenzyme Q10 with vitamin K might increase the risk of blood clotting in people taking blood thinning drugs.

There are no known interactions with foods.

Coenzyme Q10 has most often been used by adults in doses of 60-1000 mg by mouth daily for up to 12 weeks. Doses above 100 mg daily should be divided throughout the day to reduce side effects. Coenzyme Q10 has also been used in creams and eye drops. Speak with a healthcare provider to find out what dose might be best for a specific condition.

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