Coenzyme Q-10, or CoQ10, exists in the tissues throughout your body, especially within the cells of your liver, pancreas, heart and kidneys. Your body produces less CoQ10 as you grow older. Your doctor may prescribe this nutrient to treat medical conditions. Some people take CoQ10 supplements to increase energy, longevity and immunity, although research fails to support these claims. CoQ10 supplements may cause side effects and toxic reactions in some people.
A vitamin-like substance, CoQ10 is also known as vitamin Q10 and ubiquinone. Few people experience deficiencies of this nutrient, although metabolic and mitochondrial disorders may increase the risk. Meats and seafood are natural sources of CoQ10. Although this substance requires more study, it may be effective in treating congestive heart failure, Huntington’s disease, high blood pressure, migraine headaches and Parkinson’s disease, according to MedlinePlus. Although no standard dosage exists, studies using CoQ10 include dosages between 50 and 1,200 mg per day.
Although CoQ10 seldom causes problems in most people, it may cause toxic reactions in some individuals. Possible reactions to taking CoQ10 supplements include heartburn, nausea, vomiting, rash, itching, diarrhea and headache. You may also experience difficulty sleeping and lose your appetite. Some evidence suggests that people with heart disease who take CoQ10 may experience a decrease in blood pressure during intense exercise, according to MayoClinic.com. The resulting lack in oxygen may lead to organ damage. This substance might also affect sperm production, cause a decrease in blood pressure and lead to an elevation in liver enzymes.
Some people experience allergic reactions to CoQ10 supplements. These reactions generally include the appearance of a rash. Itching may also occur.
Consult your doctor before taking CoQ10 supplements, especially if you suffer from low blood pressure, heart disease or other chronic conditions. CoQ10 may interact with certain prescription drugs, including blood pressure medications and blood-thinning medication. This supplement contains insufficient scientific research to establish the safety of taking it while you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Although CoQ10 may be safe for children, always talk to your pediatrician before giving your child nutritional or dietary supplements. MedlinePlus warns against taking CoQ10 within the two weeks prior to surgery.