Coenzyme Q10 is also known as COQ10 or ubiquinone. Found in every cell in the body, it is a vitamin-like substance which is synthesised in the liver using the amino acid tyrosine.
First discovered in 1957, it is a substance which other enzymes depend upon in order to function correctly. It is essential in order for mitochondria to correctly produce energy.
Deficiency in coenzyme Q10 has been theoretically linked to a number of conditions, including fibromyalgia, Parkinson's, depression and post-myocardial infarction.
As well as being synthesised by the liver, coenzyme Q10 is present in the diet. Good sources of coenzyme Q10 include oily fish, beef, poultry, nuts and seeds. It is also widely available as a supplement, usually in tablet or capsule format.
There is some evidence that patients taking statins may have low COQ10 levels and may benefit from supplementation. Likewise, people who have previously had a heart attack may benefit from extra doses of this coenzyme.
Coenzyme Q10 is known to have antioxidant effects, and may also have cardio-protective properties. Research is ongoing into whether COQ10 supplements may benefit those with Parkinson's disease or mitochondrial disorders.