Available data on the absorption, metabolism and pharmacokinetics of coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) are reviewed in this paper. CoQ10 has a fundamental role in cellular bioenergetics. CoQ10 is also an important antioxidant. Because of its hydrophobicity and large molecular weight, absorption of dietary CoQ10 is slow and limited. In the case of dietary supplements, solubilized CoQ10 formulations show enhanced bioavailability. The T(max) is around 6 h, with an elimination half-life of about 33 h. The reference intervals for plasma CoQ10 range from 0.40 to 1.91 micromol/l in healthy adults. With CoQ10 supplements there is reasonable correlation between increase in plasma CoQ10 and ingested dose up to a certain point. Animal data show that CoQ10 in large doses is taken up by all tissues including heart and brain mitochondria. This has implications for therapeutic applications in human diseases, and there is evidence for its beneficial effect in cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases. CoQ10 has an excellent safety record.