Coenzyme Q10 supplements

Coenzyme Q10 is available in tablets and capsules. Oil-based supplements may be the best absorbed form. The amount of coenzyme Q10 available from dietary sources is likely to be insufficient to produce the clinical effects of high dose coenzyme Q10. Coenzyme Q10 may take up to four to eight weeks to build up to peak concentration in the body, and it may take several weeks of daily dosing to see noticeable effects.

Toxic effects

No toxic effects have been reported, even at high doses.

coenzyme Q10 supplementsTherapeutic uses of coenzyme Q10 supplements

Increasing scientific evidence suggests that coenzyme Q10 is a safe and effective therapy for a wide range of cardiovascular diseases such as congestive heart failure, cardiomyopathy, high blood pressure, mitral valve prolapse and angina. It has also been used to treat patients undergoing coronary artery bypass surgery. Coenzyme Q10 appears to exert its beneficial effects both by improving energy production and by acting as an antioxidant. See Coenzyme Q10 heart


As an antioxidant, coenzyme Q10 may have a role to play in both cancer prevention and cancer treatment. In a 1994 study, 32 breast cancer patients, aged 32 to 81 years and classified 'high risk' due to the spread of their tumors to the lymph nodes in their armpits, were studied for 18 months following an Adjuvant Nutritional Intervention in Cancer (ANICA) protocol. This nutritional protocol was added to the surgical and therapeutic treatment of breast cancer and involved treatment with a combination of nutritional antioxidants, (vitamin C: 2850 mg, vitamin E: 2500 IU, beta carotene 32.5 IU, selenium 387 mcg plus secondary vitamins and minerals) essential fatty acids, (1.2 g gamma-linolenic acid and 3.5g of omega-3 fatty acids) and 90 mg of coenzyme Q10 per day.

The researchers measured various biochemical markers of cancer progression, tumor spread and the clinical condition of the patients. Quality of life and survival were also assessed during the trial. The main observations were that none of the patients died during the study period. (The expected number was four); none of the patients showed signs of further distant metastases; quality of life was improved (no weight loss, reduced use of pain killers); six patients showed apparent partial remission.

In one of these six cases, the dosage of coenzyme Q10 was increased to 390 mg. In one month, the tumor was no longer palpable and in another month, mammography confirmed that the tumor had disappeared. Encouraged by these results, the researchers gave 300 mg a day of coenzyme Q10 to another patient who had been surgically treated but still had evidence of some tumor remaining. A tter three months, the patient was in excellent clinical condition and there was no residual tumor tissue.

Periodontal disease

The treatment of periodontal disease with coenzyme Q10 is controversial and research has produced mixed results, but there have been positive outcomes in Home studies.

coenzyme Q10 supplementsMuscular dystrophy

Deficiency of coenzyme Q10 has been found in the mitochondria of the muscle tissue of patients with muscular dystrophy.

Two double-blind trials have been carried out involving patients with muscular dystrophies. The first trial involved 12 patients, ranging from 7 to 69 years of age, with diseases including the Duchenne, Becker, and the limb-girdle dystrophies; myotonic dystrophy; Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease; and the Welander disease. The coenzyme Q10 blood levels in these patients were low at the beginning of the study. The patients were then treated for three months with 100 mg daily of coenzyme Q10 or a matching placebo. The second double- blind trial was similar, and involved 15 patients having the same categories of disease. Since heart disease is known to be associated with these muscle diseases, cardiac function was also monitored. The researchers recorded definite improvements in physical performance in both studies.


Due to its role in energy production, coenzyme Q10 has also been used to enhance athletic performance. Because exercise increases the risk of oxidative damage, coenzyme Q10 as an antioxidant may have a role to play in protection from such damage. In a 1997 study done in Finland, the effects of coenzyme Q10 supplements were studied in a double-blind cross-over study of 25 cross- country skiers. The results showed that all measured indexes of physical performance improved significantly. Ninety-four per cent of the athletes felt that the supplements had been beneficial in improving their performance and recovery time, whereas only 33 per cent of those in the placebo group did.

Other uses

Coenzyme Q10 may be beneficial in patients with diabetes and may help improve diabetic control. Coenzyme Q10 levels have also been shown to be low in obese people, and when combined with a low-calorie diet coenzyme Q10 may speed up weight loss. Coenzyme Q10 has also been used to treat the neurological disorder, Huntington's chorea, and to improve sperm function and motility.

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