Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is required by every cell in our body and is key to the chemical reactions that produce cellular energy.
In scientific circles, Coenzyme Q10 is called ubiquinone, derived from ubiquitous, which means "everywhere at the same time". The name is appropriate because every cell in our body requires CoQ10, so it is required for ideal health. However, as we age body stores of CoQ10 diminish and some theorize that reduced CoQ10 might be responsible for poor health and our susceptibility to degenerative diseases as we grow older.
CoQ10 soaks up free radicals with such dispatch that it can take its place next to the other heavyweight antioxidants: vitamins C, E, the carotenoids, and selenium. Just like vitamin E, coenzyme Q10 is particularly good at protecting low-density lipoproteins (the bad cholesterol) from oxidation, a process that contributes to plaque build up in the arteries.
Those using "statin drugs" to lower cholesterol should be aware of their special need to supplement with CoQ10. Statin drugs work by interfering with the liver's manufacture of cholesterol. Unfortunately, they also inhibit the liver's manufacture of CoQ10 at the same time. CoQ10 is critical for muscle energy and function, and the heart and blood vessels involve muscle. Statin drugs may create a severe deficiency of CoQ10, causing side-effects of muscle deterioration, weakness and pain. The solution is to supplement with sufficient CoQ10.