The skeletal muscles, heart, brain and other organs require Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) to create optimal energy production for growth and repair. The powerhouse of every cell is the mitochondria, which generates the ATP cells use for energy. CoQ10 helps supply this powerhouse with needed fuel.
Currently, CoQ10 is used to battle heart failure, aid in stroke recovery and for anti-aging skin treatments. This nutrient has shown promise in combating Parkinson’s disease, chronic kidney failure and migraines. It’s used regularly in fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue protocols for its effect on energy production. Gum disease has also responded well to supplemental CoQ10.
Production of CoQ10 decreases with age and certain medications. Statin drugs (including any drug with a name ending in, “statin”) are very effective at lowering cholesterol levels, but can also block the body’s natural ability to make this energetic nutrient. Many speculate this decrease in CoQ10 leads to some of the side effects that patients may experience. For statin drug users, physicians recommend supplementing with CoQ10 to alleviate the potential for fatigue or muscle cramps.
Other commonly prescribed drugs that deplete the body’s CoQ10 levels include clonidine, glyburide, hydrochlorothiazide, nortriptyline, doxepin, glipizide, beta-blockers (meds that end in “olol”) [Source: Drug-induced Nutrient Depletion Handbook].
Nearly everyone with a chronic illness is a candidate for supplemental CoQ10, including those with symptoms of fatigue, muscle aches, brain fog or loss of stamina. This nutrient has become very important in the treatment of cardiac and neurologic problems. Additionally, a study in the Archives of Neurology showed the use of CoQ10 was well tolerated and reduced the worsening of Parkinson’s disease [Source: Schults]. Patients interested in wellness and disease prevention should consider CoQ10 one of the top nutrients to include in their regimen.
With studies including daily dosages up to 3000 mg, CoQ10 maintains a strong safety record. Recommended dosages are 50 mg-400 mg, with food. There are no known significant toxicities or interactions associated with CoQ10, found in ubiquinol and ubiquinone forms. The newest form, ubiquinol, is thought to be absorbed better, though most of the successful research to date has been done on ubiquinone. Clinically, both forms benefit the conditions mentioned in this article.
For those on statin drugs for cholesterol: 100 mg daily
Migraine headache sufferers: 100 mg daily
Heart failure: 150-300 mg daily
Parkinson ’s disease and other neurologic conditions: 300-1,200 mg daily
Hypertension: 75-200 mg daily
Fatigue: 50-150 mg daily
Patients can start at the lower dose and increase to the higher dose after 3-4 weeks if symptoms persist. CoQ10 may take 2-3 months to achieve its full effect and should be taken during or after meals.
Are there food sources of Coenzyme Q10?
Coenzyme Q10 exists in every plant and animal cell. The best sources are fatty fish, like salmon and mackerel, spinach, broccoli and whole grains. For CoQ10 to be received from these foods, they must be raw and unprocessed.
Can my Co10 level be measured?
No consistent, reliable method for measuring CoQ10 levels has been established to date, primarily due to the lack of side effects.
- Schults, W., et al. (2002). Arch Neuro, 59: 1541-1550.
- Drug-Induced Nutrient Depletion Handbook. 1999-2000.