Coenzyme Q10

Coenzyme Q10 can be synthesized by the human body and hence cannot be considered a vitamin (1); in addition, it is consumed in the diet.

Coenzyme Q10 is a member of the ‘ubiquinone’ family, referring to the ubiquitous presence of these fat-soluble compounds in living organisms. The ubiquinone found in humans is called ubidecaquinone or coenzyme Q10 (2).

Coenzyme Q10 plays a key role in the energy-generating processes, which take place in the cells in mitochondria as part of the electron transport chain.

Authored by Dr Peter Engel in 2010, reviewed and revised by Dr. D. Raederstorff on 12.04.2017

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Health Functions

The conversion of energy from carbohydrates and fats to the form of energy used by cells (‘adenosine triposphate’, ATP) requires the presence of coenzyme Q in the inner mitochondrial membrane.

Disease Risk Reduction

Oxidative damage of cell structures by free radicals is thought to play an important role in the functional declines that accompany aging (5).

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Things to know about Coenzyme Q10

  • Other Applications

    Coenzyme Q10 supplementation has resulted in clinical improvement in some patients with various types of genetic mitochondrial disorders (‘mitochondrial encephalomyopathies’), inherited abnormalities in the function of mitochondrial energy generation (12).

  • Intake Recommendations

    There are currently no specific dietary intake recommendations for coenzyme Q10 from health agencies.

  • Supply Situation

    The average daily intake of CoQ10 from food is estimated to be around 10 mg in European countries (57, 58).

  • Deficiency

    No coenzyme Q10 deficiency symptoms have been reported in the general population.

  • Sources

    Coenzyme Q10 is produced in most human tissues by the body itself. As its synthesis requires vitamin B6, adequate vitamin B6 nutrition is essential for coenzyme Q10 production (61).

  • Safety

    There have been no reports of significant adverse side effects of oral coenzyme Q10 supplementation at doses as high as 1,200 mg/day for up to 16 months (39) and 600 mg/day for up to 30 months (45).

  • References

    Consult the full list of scientific references.