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Co-Enzyme Q10 (CoQ10, Ubiquinone or Ubiquinol)

How it is given

Tablets, capsules or oil-based gel capsules


Uses may include prevention and treatment of heart disease, specifically high blood pressure and type II diabetes1. It may protect normal tissues from free radical damage and oxidation caused by certain cancer treatments. Production of free radicals regulate cell growth in humans is a function of the body also sometimes killing bacteria, fungi. Other potential benefits of CoQ10 include treatment of gum disease, muscular dystrophy, migraines, renal disease and early Parkinson’s disease. There is evidence Co Q10 may improve function in athletic performance.

What is CoQ10?

CoQ10 is a substance made naturally in the body and found in most tissues. It is used by the body to help to produce energy within the mitochondria — "the energy power house" of body cells. It can also be artificially made in the laboratory and sold as a dietary supplement. As an antioxidant, it helps protect cells from oxygen damage. It is found in meats, fish and many foods2.

What has CoQ10 proven?

Research on CoQ10 as a treatment for cancer began in the 1970s. Some studies have shown patients with cancer have low levels of Co Q103. Studies suggest that coenzyme Q10 provides protection against Adriamycin and lovastatin cardiotoxicity. The University of Texas Center for alternative medicine (UTCAM) conducted an extensive human studies literature review of Co Q10. After review of the available studies, UTCAM reports that Co Q10 may provide good results as an extra cancer therapy through anti-oxidant and immune system enhancing properties. Be cautious, Co Q10 is not a cure for cancer when taken alone. The use of Co Q10 as a treatment for cancer in humans has been investigated in only a limited manner. Most studies consist of anecdotal reports, case reports, case series and uncontrolled clinical studies.

What are the side effects?

Side effects are rare, but have been reported in high doses (600-1200mg/day). Side effects include heartburn, nausea, headaches, fatigue, dizziness, sensitivity to light, irritability, involuntary movements, diarrhea (mild) and skin reactions.

What is the usual dosage?

Doses may range from 60mg to 390mg per day. (The artificial form may be absorbed better if eaten with a meal high in fat or if the supplement is made with natural Vitamin E.) It may take 1-4 weeks to notice results.

Special considerations

CoQ10 may interact with coumadin. Ask your health care provider before starting this or any other dietary supplement. (There currently is not enough data to suggest this could replace any standard treatment and should not be used in place of any other therapies.) You should talk with a dietician about whole natural foods that contain CoQ10.


  1. Hodgson, JM et al. Coenzyme Q10 improves blood pressure and glycemic control: a controlled trial in subjects with type II diabetes. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2002 Nov; 56 (11) 137-42.
  2. National Cancer Institute Coenzyme Q10 (PDQ®)–Health Professional Version
  3. Folkers, K. Osterborg, A. Nylander, M. et al. Activities of vitamin Q10 in animal models and a serious deficiency in patients with cancer. Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. 1997:234:296-299

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