Clinical applications of coenzyme Q10.

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) or ubiquinone was known for its key role in mitochondrial bioenergetics as electron and proton carrier; later studies demonstrated its presence in other cellular membranes and in blood plasma, and extensively investigated its antioxidant role. These two functions constitute the basis for supporting the clinical indication of CoQ10. Furthermore, recent data indicate that CoQ10 affects expression of genes involved in human cell signalling, metabolism and transport and some of the effects of CoQ10 supplementation may be due to this property. CoQ10 deficiencies are due to autosomal recessive mutations, mitochondrial diseases, ageing-related oxidative stress and carcinogenesis processes, and also a secondary effect of statin treatment. Many neurodegenerative disorders, diabetes, cancer, fibromyalgia, muscular and cardiovascular diseases have been associated with low CoQ10 levels. CoQ10 treatment does not cause serious adverse effects in humans and new formulations have been developed that increase CoQ10 absorption and tissue distribution. Oral CoQ10 treatment is a frequent mitochondrial energizer and antioxidant strategy in many diseases that may provide a significant symptomatic benefit.