The characteristic clinical features of diabetes mellitus with mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) 3243(A-G) mutation are progressive insulin secretory defect, neurosensory deafness and maternal inheritance, referred to as maternally inherited diabetes mellitus and deafness (MIDD). A treatment for MIDD to improve insulin secretory defects and reduce deafness has not been established. The effects of coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) treatment on insulin secretory response, hearing capacity and clinical symptoms of MIDD were investigated. 28 MIDD patients (CoQ10-DM), 7 mutant subjects with impaired glucose tolerance (IGT), and 15 mutant subjects with normal glucose tolerance (NGT) were treated daily with oral administration of 150 mg of CoQ10 for 3 years. Insulin secretory response, blood lactate after exercise, hearing capacity and other laboratory examinations were investigated every year. In the same way we evaluated 16 MIDD patients (control-DM), 5 mutant IGT and 5 mutant NGT subjects in yearly examinations. The insulin secretory response assessed by glucagon-induced C-peptide secretion and 24 h urinary C-peptide excretion after 3 years in the CoQ10-DM group was significantly higher than that in the control-DM group. CoQ10 therapy prevented progressive hearing loss and improved blood lactate after exercise in the MIDD patients. CoQ10 treatment did not affect the diabetic complications or other clinical symptoms of MIDD patients. CoQ10 treatment did not affect the insulin secretory capacity of the mutant IGT and NGT subjects. There were no side effects during therapy. This is the first report demonstrating the therapeutic usefulness of CoQ10 on MIDD.