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Coenzyme Q10
What is it? Overview Usage Side Effects and Warnings

Coenzyme Q10 Usage

Written by FoundHealth.


Effect of Coenzyme Q10 on Congestive Heart Failure (CHF)

The exact effect of CoQ10 on congestive heart failure is not entirely clear. Some evidence suggests that CoQ10 might assist the heart during times of stress on the heart muscle, perhaps by helping it...

Read more about Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) and Coenzyme Q10.

Effect of Coenzyme Q10 on Heart Attack

The effects of CoQ10 on heart attacks and related conditions are not completely clear. Some evidence suggests that CoQ10 might assist the heart during times of stress on the heart muscle, perhaps by...

Read more about Heart Attack and Coenzyme Q 10 (CoQ 10 ).

Effect of Coenzyme Q10 on Hypertension

It is not yet clear how CoQ10 helps lower blood pressure. The supplement is used for other cardiovascular conditions because, among other things, it might assist the heart during times of stress on...

Read more about Hypertension and Coenzyme Q10.

Therapeutic Uses

Although not all studies have been positive, some evidence supports the use of CoQ 10 for treating congestive heart failure . 1 Keep in mind that CoQ 10 is taken along withconventional medications, not as a replacement for them.

Weaker evidence suggests that this supplement may be useful for heart attack recovery , 2 cardiomyopathy , 3 4 hypertension , 5 diabetes , 6 strengthening the heart prior to heart surgery, 7 and migraine headaches . 8 Although CoQ 10 has been widely advertised as effective for treating and Parkinson's disease , in fact, there is only minimal evidence that it works, and some evidence that it does not work. 9 CoQ 10 has shown the potential to prevent heart damage and other side effects caused by certain types of cancer chemotherapy . 10 11 This evidence is weak, however, and as yet it cannot be stated with any certainty that CoQ 10 is actually helpful. 12 CoQ 10 has shown some preliminary promise as an aid to the treatment of kidney failure. 13

Note:People with severe illnesses, such as heart disease, cancer, or kidney failure, should not use CoQ 10 , or any supplement, except under physician supervision.

Highly preliminary studies suggest CoQ 10 might be helpful for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis . 14 CoQ 10 has been tried but not found effective for the treatment of Huntington's disease. 15 Certain medications may interfere with the body's production of CoQ 10 , or partially block its function. The best evidence regards cholesterol-lowering drugs in the statin family, such as lovastatin (Mevacor), simvastatin (Zocor), and pravastatin (Pravachol), along with the supplement red yeast rice (which contains naturally occurring statins). These medications impair CoQ 10 synthesis as an inevitable side effect of their mechanism of action. 16 Since these drugs are used to protect the heart, and since CoQ 10 deficiency could in theory impair heart function, it has been suggested that this side effect may work against the intended purpose of taking statins. Furthermore, one might naturally guess that some of the side effects of statins could be caused by this induced CoQ 10 deficiency. However, studies designed to determine whether the use of CoQ ()supplements actually offers any benefit to people taking statins have returned inconsistent results at best. 17 For several other categories of drugs, the evidence that they interfere with CoQ 10 is provocative but even less reliable. These include oral diabetes drugs (especially glyburide, phenformin, and tolazamide), beta-blockers (specifically propranolol, metoprolol, and alprenolol), antipsychotic drugs in the phenothiazine family, tricyclic antidepressants , methyldopa , hydrochlorothiazide , clonidine , and hydralazine . 18 19 20 21 22 Again, while in theory CoQ 10 supplementation might be helpful for people using these medications, there is no direct evidence to support this hypothesis.

CoQ 10 has also been suggested as a performance enhancer for athletes. However, while one double-blind study of 25 highly trained cross-country skiers found some benefit, 23 most studies evaluating potential sports supplement uses of CoQ 10 have returned negative rather than positive results. 24 25 CoQ 10 is also sometimes claimed to be an effective treatment for periodontal disease . However, the studies on which this idea is based are too flawed to be taken as meaningful. 26 Even weaker evidence, far too weak to rely upon at all, hints that CoQ 10 might be useful in some cases of tinnitus (ringing in the ear).

One preliminary study of CoQ 10 for people undergoing treatment for HIV found conflicting results; the supplement appeared to improve general well-being, but it did not protect mitochondria (as the researchers had hoped it would) and actually seemed to worsen symptoms of nerve-related pain (peripheral neuropathy). 27 Preliminary evidence, far too weak to be relied upon at all, has been used to suggest that coenzyme Q10 might be helpful for asthma , 28 as well as reducing the side effects (specifically, cardiac toxicity) of the cancer chemotherapy drug doxorubicin . 29 CoQ 10 has additionally been proposed as a treatment for a wide variety of other conditions, including angina , cancer , male infertility , muscular dystrophy, and obesity , but there is, as yet, no evidence that it is effective.


  1. Morisco C, Trimarco B, Condorelli M. Effect of coenzyme Q 10 therapy in patients with congestive heart failure: a long-term multicenter randomized study. Clin Investig. 1993;71(suppl 8):S134-S136.
  2. Singh RB, Wander GS, Rastogi A, Shukla PK, Mittal A, Sharma JP, Mehrotra SK, Kapoor R, Chopra RK. Randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled trial of coenzyme Q10 in patients with acute myocardial infarction. Cardiovasc Drugs Ther. 12(4):347-53.
  3. Langsjoen H, Langsjoen P, Langsjoen P, et al. Usefulness of coenzyme Q 10 in clinical cardiology: a long-term study. Mol Aspects Med. 1994;15(suppl):S165-S175.
  4. Langsjoen PH, Vadhanavikit S, Folkers K. Response of patients in classes III and IV of cardiomyopathy to therapy in a blind and crossover trial with coenzyme Q 10. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 1985;82:4240-4244.
  5. Digiesi V, Cantini F, Brodbeck B. Effect of coenzyme Q 10 on essential arterial hypertension. Curr Ther Res. 1990;47:841-845.
  6. Singh RB, Niaz MA, Rastogi SS, et al. Effect of hydrosoluble coenzyme Q 10 on blood pressures and insulin resistance in hypertensive patients with coronary artery disease. J Human Hypertens. 1999;13:203-208.
  7. Rosenfeldt F, Marasco S, Lyon W, et al. Coenzyme Q 10 therapy before cardiac surgery improves mitochondrial function and in vitro contractility of myocardial tissue. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2005;129:25-32.
  8. Sándor PS, Di Clemente L, Coppola G, Saenger U, Fumal A, Magis D, Seidel L, Agosti RM, Schoenen J. Efficacy of coenzyme Q10 in migraine prophylaxis: a randomized controlled trial. Neurology. 64(4):713-5.
  9. Shults CW, Oakes D, Kieburtz K, Beal MF, Haas R, Plumb S, Juncos JL, Nutt J, Shoulson I, Carter J, Kompoliti K, Perlmutter JS, Reich S, Stern M, Watts RL, Kurlan R, Molho E, Harrison M, Lew M, Parkinson Study Group. Effects of coenzyme Q10 in early Parkinson disease: evidence of slowing of the functional decline. Arch Neurol. 59(10):1541-50.
  10. Combs AB, Choe JY, Truong DH, et al. Reduction by coenzyme Q 10 of the acute toxicity of adriamycin in mice. Res Commun Chem Pathol Pharmacol. 1977;18:565-568.
  11. Judy WV, Hall JH, Dugan W, et al. Coenzyme Q 10 reduction of Adriamycin cardiotoxicity. Biomed Clin Aspects Coenzyme Q. 1984;4:231-241.
  12. Roffe L, Schmidt K, Ernst E, et al. Efficacy of coenzyme Q 10 for improved tolerability of cancer treatments: a systematic review. J Clin Oncol. 2004;22:4418-4424.
  13. Singh RB, Khanna HK, Niaz MA. Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of coenzyme Q10 in chronic renal failure: discovery of a new role. J Nutr Environ Med. 2000;10:281-288.
  14. Matthews RT, Yang L, Browne S, et al. Coenzyme Q10 administration increases brain mitochondrial concentrations and exerts neuroprotective effects. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 1998;95:8892-8897.
  15. Huntington Study Group. A randomized, placebo-controlled trial of coenzyme Q 10 and remacemide in Huntington's disease. Neurology. 2001;57:397-404.
  16. Bargossi AM, Grossi G, Fiorella PL, et al. Exogenous CoQ 10 supplementation prevents plasma ubiquinone reduction induced by HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors. Mol Aspects Med. 1994;15(suppl):S187-S193.
  17. Stocker R, Pollicino C, Gay CA, et al. Neither plasma coenzyme Q(10) concentration, nor its decline during pravastatin therapy, is linked to recurrent cardiovascular disease events: A prospective case-control study from the LIPID study. A therosclerosis. 2005 Oct 8. [Epub ahead of print]
  18. Kishi T, Kishi H, Watanabe T, Folkers K. Bioenergetics in clinical medicine. XI. Studies on coenzyme Q and diabetes mellitus. J Med. 7(3-4):307-21.
  19. Kishi H, Kishi T, Folkers K. Bioenergetics in clinical medicine. III. Inhibition of coenzyme Q 10 -enzymes by clinically used anti-hypertensive drugs. Res Commun Chem Pathol Pharmacol. 1975;12:533-540.
  20. Kishi T, Watanabe T, Folkers K. Bioenergetics in clinical medicine XV. Inhibition of coenzyme Q 10 -enzymes by clinically used adrenergic blockers of beta-receptors. Res Commun Chem Pathol Pharmacol. 1977;17:157-164.
  21. Folkers K. Basic chemical research on coenzyme Q 10 and integrated clinical research on therapy of diseases. Biomed Clin Aspects Coenzyme Q. 1985;5:457-478.
  22. Kishi T, Makino K, Okamoto T, et al. Inhibition of myocardial respiration by psychotherapeutic drugs and prevention by coenzyme Q. Biomed Clin Aspects Coenzyme Q. 1980;4:139-157.
  23. Ylikoski T, Piirainen J, Hanninen O, et al. The effect of coenzyme Q 10 on the exercise performance of cross-country skiers. Mol Aspects Med. 1997;18(suppl):S283-S290.
  24. Zuliani U, Bonetti A, Campana M, et al. The influence of Ubiquinone (Co Q 10 ) on the metabolic response to work. J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 1989;29:57-62.
  25. Zhou S, Zhang Y, Davie A, et al. Muscle and plasma coenzyme Q(10) concentration, aerobic power and exercise economy of healthy men in response to four weeks of supplementation. J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2005;45:337-346.
  26. Watts TL. Coenzyme Q 10 and periodontal treatment: Is there any beneficial effect? Br Dent J. 1995;178:209-213.
  27. Christensen ER, Stegger M, Jensen-Fangel S, et al. Mitochondrial DNA levels in fat and blood cells from patients with lipodystrophy or peripheral neuropathy and the effect of 90 days of high-dose coenzyme Q treatment: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot study. Clinical Infectious Diseases. 2004;39:1371-1379.
  28. Gvozdjakova A, Kucharska J, Bartkovjakova M, et al. Coenzyme Q 10 supplementation reduces corticosteroids dosage in patients with bronchial asthma. Biofactors. 2006;25:235-240.
  29. Conklin KA. Coenzyme Q 10 for prevention of anthracycline-induced cardiotoxicity. Integr Cancer Ther. 2005;4:110-130.


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