Because of its ability to transfer electrons and therefore act as an antioxidant, Coenzyme Q is also used as a dietary supplement. When one is younger the body can synthesize Q10 from the lower-numbered ubiquinones such as Q6 or Q8. The elderly and sick may not be able to make enough, thus Q10 becomes a vitamin later in life and in illness. Supplementation of Coenzyme Q10 has been found to have a beneficial effect on the condition of some sufferers of migraine headaches. So far, three studies have been done, of which two were small, did not have a placebo group, were not randomized, and were open-label, and one was a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial, which found statistically significant results despite its small sample size of 42 patients. It is also being investigated as a treatment for cancer, and as relief from cancer treatment side-effects.
Heart disease. Cancer. AIDS. As unbelievable as it might sound, each of these deadly diseases often responds to a coenzyme Q10, a little known nutrient that can make a big difference in your health. CoQ10 plays a key role in producing energy in the mitochondria, the part of a cell responsible for the production of energy in the form of ATP. This oil-soluble vitamin-like substance is present in most eukaryotic cells, primarily in the mitochondria. It is a component of the electron transport chain and participates in aerobic cellular respiration, generating energy in the form of ATP. Ninety-five percent of the human body’s energy is generated this way. Therefore, those organs with the highest energy requirements – such as the heart and the liver – have the highest CoQ10 concentrations.
CoQ10 is a little easier to appreciate when you remember that vitamins function as co-enzymes in the body, furthering thousands of essential biochemical reactions. CoQ10's key role is in producing adenosine triphosphate (ATP), needed for energy production in every cell of the body. Secondary to that, CoQ10 functions as a powerful antioxidant. This vitamin-like nutrient occurs widely in the food supply, though not always in significant amounts. In addition, each cell in the body manufactures CoQ10, though not always very efficiently. That means you may not be getting enough for optimal health. Ask your doctor about CoQ10, though, and he'll probably say he's never heard of it. Part of the problem is CoQ10's name. "Most doctors don't know what a coenzyme is," said Karl Folkers, Ph.D., one of the researchers who pioneered CoQ10. Most biochemists know it as ubiquinone, an equally arcane name.