In many ways, Coenzyme Q10, or CoQ10, is one of the most powerful nutrients in our bodies. It plays a critical role in the proper functioning of our cells as both an energy producer and as an antioxidant. It is crucial to maintain the health of your brain, heart, immune system, eye health, gum health and more. Because our CoQ10 levels naturally begin to decline as early as age 20, CoQ10 also gets a lot of attention from the anti-aging crowd.

Here are the Top 13 Reasons to Take CoQ10:

1. Hypertension: Various studies have supported the use of CoQ10 for reductions in blood pressure. Patients have seen reductions in systolic from 12 to17 points and reductions in diastolic from 6 to10 points. These numbers are as impressive as many prescription drugs, without the side effects.

2. Atherosclerosis: A study in 2001 showed that CoQ10 could help slow atherosclerosis development. Interestingly, combining it with Vitamin E worked even better.

3. Diabetes: The role of CoQ10 in diabetes is more about protecting the cardiovascular system from the ravages of diabetes than about reversing the disease itself. It has been shown that diabetic patients have lower CoQ10 levels and that supplementing helps with endothelial function as well as lowering blood pressure.

4. Angina: A 2001 study from showed that CoQ10 helped with ejection fraction, stroke volume, exercise tolerance and cardiac output in patients with angina and chronic heart failure.

5. Male infertility and sperm health: A study out of Iran showed that 300mg per day of CoQ10 increased both sperm count and motility.

6. Muscle and exercise performance: The results from CoQ10 studies on exercise performance have mostly focused on aerobic capacity and exercise induced muscle injury. One interesting study on top-level Finnish cross-country skiers using 90mg of CoQ10 showed a significant improvement in VO2 Max and both aerobic and anaerobic performance. In addition, 94% of the treatment group felt they had better recovery. Another study in Japan showed that 300mg of CoQ10 may be protective of muscle injury during extended training sessions like those used by martial artists—in this case, Kendo practitioners who trained 5½ hours per day.

7. Immune function: The National Cancer Institute (U.S.) lists CoQ10 as a known immune system booster and as far back as 1985, a study demonstrated that CoQ10 is “an immunomodulating agent” and “essential for the optimal function of the immune system.”

8. Cancer: Cancer research and CoQ10 is still in its infancy, but there have been some interesting observations already made. They’ve found that cancer patients typically have lower CoQ10 levels than ordinary individuals. One pilot trial also followed 41 end-stage cancer patients and supplemented them with CoQ10 and various other antioxidants—these end-stage patients survived 40% longer than the average patient with the same disease!

9. Periodontal health: Several studies have shown links between diseased gum tissue and CoQ10 deficiency and improvement with CoQ10 treatment. Interestingly, there is a definite relationship between periodontal disease and cardiovascular disease.

10. Eye health/macular degeneration: Similar to many of the other conditions listed, CoQ10 levels have been found to be lower in those with macular degeneration, as well. In addition, the blood in the non-diseased control group showed a better ability to resist oxidative damage which is believed to contribute to macular degeneration.

11. Alzheimer’s and dementia: The studies on neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s suggest a role for CoQ10 in either the prevention or treatment, although the data are still not conclusive. CoQ10 is known to act as both an antioxidant and a support of mitochondrial function and has shown reductions in beta-amyloid plaquing in mouse models.

12. Parkinson’s Disease: A study on Parkinson’s and CoQ10 showed that dosages at 1,200mg per day slowed the progression of the disease better than lower doses of 300 or 600mg.

13. Statin Drug Effects, also known as HMG CoA reductase inhibitors: These drugs block an enzyme that is involved in the synthesis of cholesterol. Unfortunately, this enzyme is also used by the body to produce CoQ10. Among the more common side-effect complaints from statin drug use are weak, achy, and fatigued muscles.

So the recommendations for CoQ10 are straightforward. If you have one of the conditions listed above. CoQ10 should be part of your daily regimen at a dose of 100-300mg per day or higher.