Coenzyme Q-10 (CoQ-10) is a vitamin-like substance found throughout the body, but especially in the heart, liver, kidney, and pancreas. It is eaten in small amounts in meats and seafood. Coenzyme Q-10 can also be made in a laboratory. It is used as medicine.
Many people use coenzyme Q-10 for treating heart and blood vessel conditions such as congestive heart failure (CHF), chest pain (angina), high blood pressure, and heart problems linked to certain cancer drugs. It is also used for diabetes, gum disease (both taken by mouth and applied directly to the gums), breast cancer, Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, muscular dystrophy, increasing exercise tolerance, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), and Lyme disease. Some people think coenzyme Q-10 will treat hair loss related to taking warfarin (Coumadin), a medication used to slow blood clotting.
Some people also think coenzyme Q-10 might help increase energy. This is because coenzyme Q-10 has a role in producing ATP, a molecule in body cells that functions like a rechargeable battery in the transfer of energy. Coenzyme Q-10 been tried for treating inherited or acquired disorders that limit energy production in the cells of the body (mitochondrial disorders), and for improving exercise performance.
Some people have also used coenzyme Q-10 for strengthening the immune systems of people with HIV/AIDS, male infertility, migraine headache, and counteracting muscle pain sometimes caused by a group of cholesterol-lowering medications called “statins.”
Coenzyme Q-10 has even been tried for increasing life span. This idea got started because coenzyme Q-10 levels are highest in the first 20 years of life. By age 80, coenzyme-Q10 levels can be lower than they were at birth. Some people thought that restoring high levels of coenzyme-Q10 late in life might cause people to live longer. The idea works in bacteria, but not in lab rats. More research is needed to see if this works in people.
It’s not only time that uses up the body’s store of coenzyme Q-10. Smoking does, too.
Coenzyme Q-10 was first identified in 1957. The “Q-10” refers to the chemical make-up of the substance. These days coenzyme Q-10 is used by millions of people in Japan for heart disease, especially congestive heart failure. Coenzyme Q-10 is also used extensively in Europe and Russia. Most of the coenzyme Q-10 used in the US and Canada is supplied by Japanese companies. Coenzyme Q-10 is manufactured by fermenting beets and sugar cane with special strains of yeast.
Natural Medicines 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.
The effectiveness ratings for COENZYME Q-10 are as follows:
More evidence is needed to rate coenzyme Q-10 for these uses.
Coenzyme Q-10 is LIKELY SAFE for most adults when taken by mouth or when applied directly to the gums. While most people tolerate coenzyme Q-10 well, it can cause some mild side effects including stomach upset, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. It can cause allergic skin rashes in some people. It also might lower blood pressure, so check your blood pressure carefully if you have very low blood pressure. Dividing the total daily dose by taking smaller amounts two or three times a day instead of a large amount all at once can help reduce side effects.
Coenzyme Q-10 is POSSIBLY SAFE for children when taken by mouth. However, coenzyme Q-10 should not be used in children without medical supervision.
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Coenzyme Q-10 is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth appropriately during preganancy. Coenzyme Q-10 has been used safely twice daily starting at 20 weeks until delivery. Not enough is known about the use of coenzyme Q-10 during breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
Chemotherapy: There is some concern that coenzyme Q-10 might lower the effectiveness of some chemotherapy drugs. People undergoing chemotherapy with certain drugs should use coenzyme Q-10 with caution.
High blood pressure or low blood pressure: Coenzyme Q-10 might lower blood pressure. It can increase the effects of medications used to lower blood pressure. Discuss your use of coenzyme Q-10 with your healthcare provider if you have blood pressure problems.
Smoking: Cigarette smoking depletes the amount of coenzyme Q-10 stored by the body.
Surgery: Coenzyme Q-10 might interfere with blood pressure control during and after surgery. Stop using coenzyme Q-10 at least two weeks before a scheduled surgery.
Interaction Rating = Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.
Coenzyme Q-10 is an antioxidant. There is some concern that antioxidants might decrease the effectiveness of some medications used for cancers. But it is too soon to know if the interaction occurs.
Coenzyme Q-10 seems to decrease blood pressure. Taking coenzyme Q-10 along with medications for high blood pressure might cause your blood pressure to go too low.
Some medications for high blood pressure include captopril (Capoten), enalapril (Vasotec), losartan (Cozaar), valsartan (Diovan), diltiazem (Cardizem), Amlodipine (Norvasc), hydrochlorothiazide (HydroDIURIL), furosemide (Lasix), and many others.
Warfarin (Coumadin) is used to slow blood clotting while coenzyme Q-10 might increase blood clotting. By helping the blood clot, coenzyme Q-10 might decrease the effectiveness of warfarin (Coumadin) and increase the risk of dangerous clots. Be sure to have your blood checked regularly. The dose of your warfarin (Coumadin) might need to be changed.
Taking coenzyme Q-10 with acacia gum seems to increase the body's absorption of coenzyme Q-10. In theory, this might increase the effects and side effects of coenzyme Q-10.
Coenzyme Q-10 can increase blood levels of beta-carotene. In theory, this might increase the effects and side effects of beta-carotene.
Coenzyme Q-10 might decrease blood pressure. Combining coenzyme Q-10 with other herbs and supplements with that lower blood pressure might make blood pressure go too low. Some of these herbs and supplements include andrographis, casein peptides, cat's claw, fish oil, L-arginine, lycium, stinging nettle, theanine, and others.
Combining coenzyme Q-10 with omega-3 fatty acids can reduce blood levels of coenzyme Q-10. In theory, this might reduce the effects of coenzyme Q-10.
Red yeast might reduce coenzyme Q-10 levels. In theory, this might reduce the effects of coenzyme Q-10.
Coenzyme Q-10 can increase blood levels of vitamin A. In theory, this might increase the effects and side effects of vitamin A.
Coenzyme Q-10 can increase blood levels of vitamin C. In theory, this might increase the effects and side effects of vitamin C.
Coenzyme Q-10 can increase blood levels of vitamin E. In theory, this might increase the effects and side effects of vitamin E.
Coenzyme Q-10 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 Q-10 with vitamin K might cause additive effects and increase the risk of blood clotting in people taking blood thinning drugs.
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