Coenzyme Q10 or CoQ10 (correctly called ubiquinone) was first isolated from beef heart mitochondria by Dr. Frederick Crane in 1957. It is a fat-soluble, vitamin-like substance that is ubiquitous (present everywhere) in every cell of the body and is involved in biochemical reactions that produce energy. It is manufactured from the amino acid tyrosine in a multistage process requiring at least eight vitamins and several trace elements.
Coenzymes are substances upon which complex enzymes depend for their function. Coenzyme Q10 is the coenzyme for at least three mitochondrial enzymes including adenosine triphosphate (ATP) as well as enzymes in other parts of the cell.
It is described by its promoters as an energy producing, heart protective antioxidant and is present in a variety of foods, particularly all meats, soybean oil, sardines, mackerel and peanuts.
The body uses ubiquinone to promote cell growth, stimulate the immune system, increases resistance to certain infections and types of cancer, and to protect cells from damage that could lead to cancer. When used as a medication it can interact with other medications including doxorubicin, a drug used to treat cancer.
Coenzyme Q10 is marketed as a dietary supplement not a drug. It is not regulated by governments and has not been carefully evaluated for safety and effectiveness. CoQ10 need to be further evaluated by conducting well designed clinical trials involving large numbers of patients over a long time. Until more data is available, it cannot be recommended for the treatment of heart failure, cancer or any other medical condition.