CoQ10 (Coenzyme Q10) is an endogenously produced, lipid-soluble compound that is concentrated in mitochondrial membranes, plasma membranes, and circulating lipoproteins. CoQ10 is essential for ATP production via the mitochondrial electron transport chain and also scavenges free radicals.*1,2 CoQ10's roles as a mitochondrial nutrient and a systemic compound justify its use to replenish known drug-nutrient depletions and to support cardiovascular, neurological, and muscular health.*
One of the most popular uses for CoQ10 is to support patients taking medications aimed at normalizing lipid profiles. These medications may interfere with endogenous production of CoQ10, creating a drug-nutrient depletion (practitioners can check for any potential drug interactions here.)3 Results of human clinical trials are mixed, but some studies suggest that supplementation can support healthy levels of CoQ10 and support healthy mitochondrial function in patients taking medications for lipid metabolism.*4 The dosages used in these studies ranged from 100 to 240 mg/day.
CoQ10 is also widely used to support heart and vascular function.* Higher levels of CoQ10 are found in the myocardium. Clinical trials suggest that CoQ10 supplementation may support normal heart contractility and ejection fraction.*5 A 2014 randomized controlled trial found 2 years of CoQ10 supplementation at 300 mg/day to support heart health,*6 as did a 2015 meta-analysis.*7
In vitro studies have evaluated the potential role for CoQ10 in vascular endothelial function.* The proposed mechanisms are inhibition of LDL oxidation, modulating nitric oxide production, and others.*8
The benefits of CoQ10 may be less widely used for neurological and muscular support,* but studies addressing these body systems show promise. A randomized controlled trial in 80 subjects found CoQ10 to support neurological and muscular function over the course of 16 months.*9 Three dosages were evaluated in this study (300, 600, and 1200 mg/day), and only the highest dosage of CoQ10 produced a statistically significant effect in comparison with placebo.
In addition, a series of studies have found CoQ10 supplementation to support mitochondrial function*, energy production*, and comfort* to maintain neuromuscular function.*10,11,12
The vast majority of clinical trials of CoQ10 evaluate its ability to support cardiovascular health, and many evaluate its use for neuromuscular function.* A smaller number of trials suggest that CoQ10 has the potential to also support blood sugar metabolism,* neurovascular function,* immune function,* and kidney health.*13,14,15,16
Clinical trials of CoQ10 have evaluated dosages that range from 60 to 1200 mg/day and durations of use that range from 3 to 48 months. Dosages of 100-300 mg/day are most common, but higher amounts may be needed in select cases.*
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- Mohammadi-Bardbori A, Najibi A, Amirzadegan N, et al. Coenzyme Q10 remarkably improves the bio-energetic function of rat liver mitochondria treated with statins. Eur J Pharmacol. 2015;762270-274.
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- Mortensen SA, Rosenfeldt F, Kumar A, et al. The effect of coenzyme Q10 on morbidity and mortality in …: results from Q-SYMBIO: a randomized double-blind trial. JACC Heart Fail. 2014;2(6):641-649.
- de Frutos F, Gea A, Hernandez-Estefania R, Rabago G. Prophylactic treatment with coenzyme Q10 in patients undergoing …: could an antioxidant reduce complications? A systematic review and meta-analysis. Interact Cardiovasc Thorac Surg. 2015;20(2):254-259.
- Tsai KL, Huang YH, Kao CL, et al. A novel mechanism of coenzyme Q10 protects against human endothelial cells from oxidative stress-induced injury by modulating NO-related pathways. J Nutr Biochem. 2012;23(5):458-468.
- Shults CW, Oakes D, Kieburtz K, et al. Effects of coenzyme Q10 in early …: evidence of slowing of the functional decline. Arch Neurol. 2002;59(10):1541-1550.
- Cordero MD, Cano-García FJ, Alcocer-Gómez E, De Miguel M, Sánchez-Alcázar JA. Oxidative stress correlates with …: coenzyme Q10 effect on clinical improvement. PLoS One. 2012;7(4):e35677.
- Cordero MD, Alcocer-Gómez E, de Miguel M, et al. Can coenzyme Q10 improve clinical and molecular parameters in …. Antioxid Redox Signal. 2013;19(12):1356-1361.
- Miyamae T, Seki M, Naga T, et al. Increased oxidative stress and coenzyme Q10 deficiency in juvenile …: amelioration of … by ubiquinol-10 supplementation. Redox Rep. 2013;18(1):12-19.
- Kolahdouz Mohammadi R, Hosseinzadeh-Attar MJ, Eshraghian MR, Nakhjavani M, Khorami E, Esteghamati A. The effect of coenzyme Q10 supplementation on metabolic status of type 2 diabetic… patients. Minerva Gastroenterol Dietol. 2013;59(2):231-236.
- Rozen TD, Oshinsky ML, Gebeline CA, et al. Open label trial of coenzyme Q10 as a migraine preventive…. Cephalalgia. 2002;22(2):137-141.
- Lockwood K, Moesgaard S, Folkers K. Partial and complete regression of breast cancer… in patients in relation to dosage of coenzyme Q10. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1994;199(3):1504-1508.
- Sakata T, Furuya R, Shimazu T, Odamaki M, Ohkawa S, Kumagai H. Coenzyme Q10 administration suppresses both oxidative and antioxidative markers in hemodialysis .. patients. Blood Purif. 2008;26(4):371-378.