Coenzyme Q10, or CoQ10, is an enzyme that plays a role in energy production in every cell of the body. Its function is to help other enzymes do their job, particularly in the area of muscle contraction and creation of protein. CoQ10 acts as an antioxidant since it has the ability to neutralize free radicals. It is synthesized by the body and the remaining is supplied through diet. Though more research is needed, some studies point to health benefits of CoQ10.
Heart Disease and CoQ10
CoQ10 boosts energy and is able to prevent and treat heart disease by keeping blood clots from forming, according to the 2008 "Journal of the American College of Cardiology." The journal goes on to explain that a lack of CoQ10 may even exacerbate chronic heart failure. The study's results show that plasma levels of CoQ10 in patients with chronic heart failure are a good predictor of survival. A 2009 study in "Pharmacology and Therapeutics" further indicates that CoQ10 is improves lab values for conditions associated with heart failure, hypertension, ischemic heart disease and other cardiac illnesses.
Aging Diseases and CoQ10
Some aging disorders are related to deficiencies of CoQ10 and cell damage. The 2007 journal "Mitochondrion" reviewed studies involving CoQ10 and supplementation in aging diseases such as Huntington's disease and Parkinson's disease. These studies demonstrated CoQ10's ability to protect the nerve fibers in the brains of patients with Parkinson's disease. CoQ10 was also shown to delay motor deficits which are frequently seen in Huntington's disease.
Exercise Performance and CoQ10
CoQ10 is beneficial for exercise performance because it is used for energy production in muscle cells. A 2008 study the "Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition" looked at supplementation of CoQ10 to increase plasma and muscle concentrations of CoQ10 and improvement in aerobic and anaerobic exercise performance. Researchers found that, after two weeks of supplementation, that plasma levels of CoQ10 were higher and participants could exercise longer.