Coenzyme Q10 is an important, vitamin-like compound that is present throughout the body. While there are 10 other coenzyme Q compounds present in nature, coenzyme Q10 is the only one present in humans. Although coenzyme Q10 is widely used throughout Europe and Asia, its value is just beginning to be recognized in the United States for its support of cardiovascular health and more.
Coenzyme Q10’s benefits are due to the following two attributes. First, Co-Q10 is an important fat-soluble antioxidant that is uniquely able to protect the cells’ energy producing machinery, known as mitochondria, from free radical damage. (1) Second, coenzyme Q10 is necessary for the production of energy in all cells of the body.
Even though coenzyme Q10 occurs in the cells of all plants and animals, dietary sources do not provide adequate levels of this nutrient.
Most Common Dosage
Softgel capsules containing CO-Q10 suspension in oil, powder-filled hardshell capsules, powder-based tablets, and liposomal sprays.
Interactions and Depletions
- HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors
- Thiazide diuretics
- Tricyclic antidepressants
Co-Q10 plays a vital role in the production of energy within the body’s cells. It also functions as a fat-soluble antioxidant. The most important application for Co-Q10, however, is in the treatment and prevention of cardiovascular disease and related disorders that involve the heart, including atherosclerosis. (2) , (3) , (4) , (5) Studies have suggested that Co-Q10 can reduce the frequency of angina episodes, strengthen the heart muscle, and increase quality of life and survivability in those with congestive heart failure. (6) , (7) , (8) , (9) Coenzyme Q10 has also been shown to decrease blood pressure in patients with high blood pressure. (10) , (11)
Doctors have used Co-Q10 to treat breast cancer and support health in patients receiving chemotherapy. (12) , (13) Of potential benefit to diabetics is the fact that Co-Q10 may enhance insulin production. (14) Co-Q10 has also been used with favorable results to treat symptoms of muscular dystrophy and gum disease, both of which are linked to Co-Q10 deficiency. (15) , (16)
Laboratory studies indicate that patients with Parkinson’s disease may benefit from Co-Q10 supplementation. (17) , (18) , (19) , (20) In fact, a human study involving 80 patients with early Parkinson’s disease, placed each in one of four groups; Co-Q10 300 milligrams per day (mg/d), Co-Q10 600 mg/d, Co-Q10 1,200 mg/d or in the placebo group. The researchers concluded that those receiving Co-Q10 developed less disability than those taking placebo. (21)
Obesity may also be linked to a deficiency of Co-Q10. Studies have suggested that supplementation can enhance weight loss (22) and it has been suggested that Co-Q10 could be beneficial in the treatment of patients with chronic fatigue syndrome. (23) In studies involving infertile men, Co-Q10 has been associated with an increase in sperm count, (24) improved sperm motility and improved rates of fertilization. (25) Also of important note is the fact that Co-Q10 may protect against the side effects of drugs such as beta-blockers and some antipsychotics. Ingestion of one or more drugs may interrupt the synthesis of coenzyme Q10. (26)
Toxicities & Precautions
[span class=alert]Be sure to tell your pharmacist, doctor, or other health care providers about any dietary supplements you are taking. There may be a potential for interactions or side effects.[/span]
This dietary supplement is considered safe when used in accordance with proper dosing guidelines.
If you have cardiovascular or heart disease talk to your doctor before taking this dietary supplement. Coenzyme Q10 strengthens the heart which can affect the dose and activity of the other medications you are taking for this health condition. (27) Reducing or discontinuing prescription medications for this condition must be supervised by your physician.
Pregnancy / Breast Feeding
To date, the medical literature has not reported any adverse effects related to fetal development during pregnancy or to infants who are breast-fed. Yet little is known about the use of this dietary supplement while pregnant or breast-feeding. Therefore, it is recommended that you inform your healthcare practitioner of any dietary supplements you are using while pregnant or breast-feeding.
To date, the medical literature has not reported any adverse effects specifically related to the use of this dietary supplement in children. Since young children may have undiagnosed allergies or medical conditions, this dietary supplement should not be used in children under 10 years of age unless recommended by a physician.
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- View Abstract: Oda T. Effect of Coenzyme Q10 on Stress-induced Cardiac Dysfunction in Paediatric Patients with Mitral Valve Prolapse: A Study by Stress Echocardiography. Drugs Exp Clin Res. 1985;11(8):557-76.
- View Abstract: Mortensen SA, Leth A, Agner E, Rohde M. Dose-related decrease of serum coenzyme Q10 during treatment with HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors. Mol Aspects Med. 1997;18 Suppl:S137-44.
- View Abstract: Langsjoen PH, Langsjoen Am. Overview of the use of CoQ10 in cardiovascular disease. Biofactors. 1999;9(2-4):273-84.
- View Abstract: Singh RB, Neki NS, Kartikey K, et al. Effect of coenzyme Q10 on risk of atherosclerosis in patients with recent myocardial infarction. Mol Cell Biochem. Apr2003;246(1-2):75-82.
- View Abstract: Kamikawa T, et al. Effects of Coenzyme Q10 on Exercise Tolerance in Chronic Stable Angina Pectoris. Am J Cardiol. Aug1985;56(4):247-51.
- View Abstract: Sinatra ST. Coenzyme Q10: A Vital Therapeutic Nutrient for the Heart with Special Application in Congestive Heart Failure. Conn Med. Nov1997;61(11):707-11.
- View Abstract: Langsjoen PH, et al. A Six-year Clinical Study of Therapy of Cardiomyopathy with Coenzyme Q10. Int J Tissue React. 1990;12(3):169-71.
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- View Abstract: Burke BE, Neuenschwander R, Olson RD. Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of coenzyme Q10 in isolated systolic hypertension. South Med J. Nov2001;94(11):1112-7.
- View Abstract: Lockwood K, et al. Progress on therapy of Breast Cancer with Vitamin Q10 and the Regression of Metastases. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. Jul1995;212(1):172-77.
- View Abstract: Tsubaki K, et al. Investigation of the Preventive Effect of CoQ10 against the Side-effects of Anthracycline Antineoplastic Agents. Gan To Kagaku Ryoho. Jul1984;11(7):1420-27.
- Kishi T, et al. Inhibition of Myocardial Respiration by Psychotherapeutic Drugs and Prevention by Coenzyme Q10. In: Yamamura Y, Folkers K, Ito Y, eds. Biomedical and Clinical Aspects of Coenzyme Q10. Vol. 2. Amsterdam: Elsevier/North-Holland Biomedical Press;1980:139-54.
- View Abstract: Folkers K, et al. Two Successful Double-blind Trials with Coenzyme Q10 (Vitamin Q10) on Muscular Dystrophies and Neurogenic Atrophies. Biochem Biophys Acta. May1995;1271(1):281-86.
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- View Abstract: Muller T, Buttner T, Gholipour AF, Kuhn W. Coenzyme Q10 supplementation provides mild symptomatic benefit in patients with Parkinson’s disease. Neurosci Lett. May2003;341(3) 201-4.
- View Abstract: Winkler-Stuck K, Wiedemann FR, Wallesch CW, Kunz WS. Effect of coenzyme Q10 on the mitochondrial function of skin fibroblasts from Parkinson patients. J Neurol Sci. May2004;220(1-2):41-8.
- View Abstract: Shults CW, Oakes D, Kieburtz K, Beal MF, Haas R, Plumb S, et al. Effects of coenzyme q10 in early Parkinson disease: evidence of slowing of the functional decline. Arch Neurol. Oct2002;59(10):1541-50.
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