A coenzyme is a substance that enhances the action of an enzyme. (An enzyme is a protein that functions as a catalyst to accelerate a chemical reaction). Coenzymes are small molecules. They cannot by themselves catalyze a reaction but they can help enzymes to do so. In technical terms, coenzymes are organic nonprotein molecules that bind with the protein molecule (apoenzyme) to form the active enzyme (holoenzyme). A number of the water-soluble vitamins such as vitamins B1, B2 and B6 serve as coenzymes. Co-enzyme Q10 is of special interest.
Levels of co-Q10 peak at age 2 and ½ years. After that it is all downhill and by age 80 levels are a tiny fraction of what is needed. Co-Q10 maintains the vitality of the heart, the gums and the immune system. It is an excellent adjunctive treatment for congestive heart failure. It prevents recession of gums, thus giving us a chance to keep our teeth past 100. Any condition which requires an active alert immune system is benefitted by co-Q10.
The lipid lowering agents, Lipitor and its cousins, deplete co-Q10 and weaken the heart. If you feel you must take these drugs, it would be wise to supplement co-Q10.
Co-Q10 is a conditional nutrient. For further information on conditional nutrients, follow this hyperlink: conditional nutrients.