CoQ10: What You Need to Know

CoQ10 Benefits

­As an over-the-counter nutritional supplement, CoQ10 has been used to treat many things, from heart disease, high blood pressure and high cholesterol to diabetes, breast cancer and gum disease. But that's not all. CoQ10 supposedly can help with immune deficiencies, increase fertility, treat Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, reduce ringing in the ears, delay aging and improve skin, and increase athleticism. That's quite a tall order. But what are CoQ10's real benefits?

At this point, there are no complete, sure bets with CoQ10. It is suspected to be beneficial in numerous applications, most notably heart-related damage, but until additional larger, longer and better-controlled studies are performed, no one can say for sure.

Currently, however, CoQ10 has shown the most definitive benefits in treating hypertension, or high blood pressure. People with high blood pressure have been shown to have less CoQ10 than normal, and CoQ10 has been shown to reduce blood pressure in early research [source: Mayo Clinic]. The treatment of hypertension is the only CoQ10 application that has received a "B" rating, meaning there is good, solid scientific evidence that this is helpful -- though of course, more research is needed to be completely confident.

Beyond that, nothing is quite as promising, though there are some glimmers of potential out there in the scientific world. CoQ10 is suspected, through numerous trials and research, that it has the potential to protect the heart from damage resulting from other maladies. For example, CoQ10 may help to protect the heart from heart-damaging side effects of a cancer drug, diabetes and heart disease, and may improve heart function [sources: National Cancer Institute, Langsjoen, Connolly].

If there's the possibility that CoQ10 might help treat something that's affecting you, it can't hurt to try it then, right? Not so fast. Read on to discover CoQ10 side effects.