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Coenzyme Q10
July 2002

Q. I've read about the benefits of coenzyme Q10. How do I obtain this naturally, i.e., not through vitamins. What types of food contain it? What are the side effects or risks?

A. A coenzyme is a naturally occurring protein substance in the body that is necessary for a wide variety of daily chemical processes. The coenzymes are helper substances to the enzymes. It is known to have some anti-oxidant properties which are thought to have a protective effect on the cells, and also has some ability to stimulate the immune system. It is marketed as a food supplement, not a drug, so it does not come under FDA regulation as to safety and effectiveness. Some medical research has been done on animals and a few on humans, but the results are very limited as to effectiveness as a treatment for illness. Side effects from taking supplements have included gastric upset, skin rash, and dizziness. It can interact with prescription drugs such as coumadin so should not be taken without your doctor's consent if you are taking medication.

Q10 is produced by the body. The chemical building blocks for Q10 are found in fatty fish, meat, poultry, whole grains, nuts, and certain green vegetables.



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