Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is an antioxidant produced naturally by your body. Found in almost every cell in your body, CoQ10 is used for energy production within cells and protection against cellular oxidative damage.

According to a 2014 review, low CoQ10 levels have been associated with certain neurodegenerative disorders and muscular and cardiovascular diseases. However, researchers aren’t sure if low levels of CoQ10 are a result of these conditions or if the low levels play a role in causing them. 

CoQ10 supplements are being studied as a potential treatment for:

Research is not conclusive, but CoQ10 may be effective in improving your physical performance by, among other things, decreasing oxidative stress in the cells.  

Side effects 

CoQ10 treatment does not cause serious adverse effects in humans. However, research suggests that CoQ10 might produce a few mild side effects, such as:

  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness and fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Light sensitivity
  • Nausea

There is the possibility of a reaction with CoQ10 if you’re also taking an anticoagulant (blood-thinning) drug, such as warfarin. CoQ10 may make this type of medication less effective, increasing the risk of a blood clot. 

Increasing CoQ10 levels

While CoQ10 is found in a variety of foods (organ meat, fatty fish, whole grains), most people can’t significantly increase their body’s CoQ10 levels with food.

As a supplement, CoQ10 is available without a prescription in many forms, including tablets and capsules. Doses for adults range from 30 to 100 milligrams per day.

Before adding a CoQ10 supplement to your diet, talk with your doctor about the appropriate dosage for you.

Takeaway 

CoQ10 is an antioxidant produced naturally by your body and available through certain foods and by supplement.

Although the research is not conclusive, CoQ10 seems to offer benefits for people with a wide variety of health conditions.

Talk with your doctor to see if taking CoQ10 is a good idea based on your current health and medication regimen.