Description/Source: Coenzyme Q10 is a potent antioxidant and nutrient which is essential to the production of energy by every cell in the body. It has been called "the single most important nutritional supplement" by many nutritionists. Coenzyme Q10 is an essential component of the mitochondrial electron transport chain, which is the microscopic "energy-plant" of every living cell. Supplementation with CoQ10 increases mitochondrial energy production and may combat fatigue. Unlike drugs which have a pharmacologic onset of action within minutes or hours, CoQ10 is a vitamin-like substance which acts by natural biochemical and intrinsic mechanisms in the body over a period of up to three months of chronic supplementation. 1087 Cellular levels of coenzyme Q10 decline in a linear fashion with age, and supplementation may be beneficial in many persons after the age of 40. There is some evidence that CoQ10 can help to recycle, or revitalize, vitamin E which is expended in neutralizing free radicals. 1163 Animal studies suggest that this supplement has the potential to extend lifespan. When given coenzyme Q10 on a regular basis, laboratory rats lived up to 56% longer. Pure pharmaceutical grade coenzyme Q10 is naturally bright yellow in color and has little taste in its powdered form.
Source: Mackerel, salmon and sardines contain the largest amounts of coenzyme Q10. 846 Heart, muscle and organ meats, egg yolk, liver, milk fat, wheat germ and whole grains also contain fair amounts. 1090
Clinical research suggests that Coenzyme Q10 may be beneficial in the treatment of numerous degenerative diseases including cardiomyopathy, 975, 976, 977 tumors, leukemia, immune system dysfunction, allergies, asthma, respiratory disease, COPD, schizophrenia, Alzheimer's disease, memory dysfunction, senility, aging, obesity, candidiasis, multiple sclerosis, periodontal disease, 981, 982, 983, 984, 985, 986 and diabetes. Coenzyme Q10 is listed as one of the 33 ergogenic substances which when taken orally, may increase muscle levels of creatine phosphate and enhance energy performance and exercise performance, 1084 however studies evaluating the effects of ubiquinone on exercise performance in healthy athletes have had inconsistent results.
AIDS and Immune Deficiencies: In 1991, Karl Folkers reported that coenzyme Q10 raised the CD4:CD8 ratios of small groups of healthy and HIV-positive volunteers, indicating an increased ability to fight infection.
Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia: Limited clinical and anecdotal data suggests a benefit of supplementation with CoQ10 in Alzheimer's disease and dementia.
Angina, Arrhythmia, and Myocardial Ischemia: Animal studies suggest that CoQ10 may be beneficial in the treatment of reperfusion-induced arrhythmias, and in the treatment of myocardial ischemia. 977, 1374 In a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled cross-over trial of 12 patients with stable angina pectoris, Kamikawa and associates reported in the American Journal of Cardiology that 50 mg of oral coenzyme Q10 TID (150 mg per day) reduced anginal frequency from 5.3 to 2.5 attacks over a period of 2 weeks (p=ns). Exercise tread-mill time increased from 345 seconds with placebo to 406 seconds during treatment with CoQ10 (p<0.05), and the time until 1 mm of ST-segment depression (an indication of myocardial ischemia on the electrocardiogram) occurred increased from 196 seconds with placebo to 284 seconds with CoQ10 treatment (p<0.001). The average plasma CoQ10 concentration increased from 0.95 µg/ml prior to treatment to 2.2 µg/ml following treatment with CoQ10, and the increase in plasma CoQ10 levels was significantly related to the increase in exercise duration (r=0.68; p<0.001). 1440
Breast Cancer: Limited clinical data and anecdotal evidence suggests a benefit of CoQ10 supplementation in patients with breast cancer. The National Center For Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) has published a point paper on the use of coenzyme q-10 in cancer.
Open Heart Surgery: There have been a number of animal and clinical studies which suggest a role of CoQ10 in the preservation of the reperfused ischemic myocardium, and numerous researchers have postulated its benefit in patients undergoing open heart surgery. 977
Chemotherapy: Coenzyme Q10 may protect against the cardiotoxic effects of chemotherapy. 987, 988, 989, 990, 991, 992, 993, 994, 995, 996, 997
Congestive Heart Failure, Cardiac Disease, and Cardiomyopathies:
"Since the discovery of the vitamin-like nutrient coenzyme Q10 (ubiquinone, CoQ10) by Frederick Crane et al. in 1957  and by other investigators , and since the first patients with heart failure were treated with coenzyme Q by Yuichi Yamamura [87-89], there has been a slow but steady accumulation of worldwide clinical experience with CoQ10 in heart disease over the ensuing 30 years. CoQ10 is a coenzyme for the inner mitochondrial enzyme complexes involved in oxidative phosphorylation. [44,45,49]. This bioenergetic effect of CoQ10 is believed to be of fundamental importance in its clinical application, particularly as relates to cells with exceedingly high metabolic demands such as cardiac myocytes. The second fundamental property of CoQ10 involves its antioxidant (free radical scavenging) functions [5,15,62,82]. CoQ10 is the only known naturally occurring lipid soluble antioxidant for which the body has enzyme systems capable of regenerating the active reduced ubiquinol form . CoQ10 is known to be closely linked to Vitamin E and serves to regenerate the reduced (active) a-tocopherol form of Vitamin E . Other aspects of CoQ10 function include its involvement in extramitochondrial electron transfer, e.g. plasma membrane oxidoreductase activity [41,82], involvement in cytosolic glycolysis [41,46,48], and potential activity in both Golgi apparatus and lysosomes [11,12]. CoQ10 also plays a role in improvement in membrane fluidity [42,43,62] as evidenced by a decrease in blood viscosity with CoQ10 supplementation . The rationale behind the use of CoQ10 in heart failure has focused primarily on the correction of a measurable deficiency of CoQ10 in both blood and myocardial tissue with the degree of CoQ10 deficiency correlating directly with the degree of impairment in left ventricular function . CoQ10 supplementation corrects measurable deficiencies of CoQ10 in blood and tissue [16,17,30,31,34,47,55]. Exogenous CoQ10 is taken up by CoQ10-deficient cells and can be demonstrated to be incorporated into the mitochondria . The role of free radicals in cell injury and in cell death in settings of ischemia and reperfusion is becoming increasingly well established. CoQ10's antioxidant properties and its location within the mitochondria (the center of free radical production) make it an obvious candidate for a potential therapeutic agent in these situations .
Congestive Heart Failure Controlled Trials:
Since the Japanese pioneering studies in the late 1960's, there have been at least 15 randomized controlled trials involving a total of 1,366 patients with both primary and secondary forms of myocardial failure. The first randomized controlled trial by Hashiba et al in 1972 involving 197 patients  documented significant improvement using 30 mg CoQ10/day. Similar observations were made in another controlled trial by Iwabuchi et al., again using 30 mg of oral CoQ10 in 38 patients with heart failure . The first controlled trial in idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy in the United States was published by Per Langsjoen in 1985 using 100 mg of CoQ10 per day in 19 patients with double-blind crossover design and three month treatment periods . Significant improvements were noted in ejection fraction as well as functional status. Three controlled trials in 1986 by VanFraechem et al., Judy et al. and Schneeberger et al. confirmed these findings, again using 100 mg of CoQ10 per day [25,71,81]. In 1990 Oda documented normalization of load-induced cardiac dysfunction in 40 patients with mitral valve prolapse using a double blind placebo controlled design . In 1991, Rossi et al. showed significant improvement in ischemic cardiomyopathy in 20 patients using 200 mg per day . Poggesi et al. documented significant improvement in myocardial function in 20 patients with either ischemic or idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathies using 100 mg of CoQ10 per day . Judy et al. randomized 180 patients to receive either 100 mg per day of CoQ10 versus placebo and noted significant improvement in long-term survival with patients followed up to eight years . The only controlled study to show no benefit in heart failure was published by Permanetter et al. in 1992 . This was a well designed study looking specifically at idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy in 25 patients with documented normal coronary anatomy by cardiac catheterization. After a two month stabilization period, patients were treated with either placebo or CoQ10 for a duration of four months in a double-blind crossover design. No significant improvement in exercise tolerance or measurements of myocardial function could be demonstrated. Possible reasons for the lack of therapeutic efficacy of CoQ10 in this trial merit discussion. Although the 100 mg per day dose of CoQ10 used in this trial was shown to give a threefold increase plasma CoQ10 levels in healthy volunteers, the plasma levels in the patients during the trial were not measured and it is conceivable that many of the cardiomyopathy patients may have had poor absorption of the CoQ10 and, therefore, may have had only marginal increases in their plasma Q levels. Another point is that all prior trials in heart failure involved patients with a mixture of etiologies, which frequently included patients with ischemic heart disease. It has become clear in recent years that the ischemic cardiomyopathy patients with viable but weak myocytes, often show the most dramatic improvements with supplemental CoQ10 (author's observations) perhaps related to the large free radical burden in ischemic tissue. Furthermore, the duration of idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy prior to the institution of CoQ10 supplementation was not specified in this study and is of considerable importance in so much as those patients treated shortly after the diagnosis of dilated cardiomyopathy show the greatest degree of improvement as opposed to patients with long-standing dilated cardiomyopathy who frequently show minimal changes, presumably related to the gradual loss of myocytes in this disease with an increasingly thin and fibrotic myocardium. In 1993, Rengo et al. documented clinical and echocardiographic improvement in 60 patients treated with 100 mg of CoQ10 for seven months . The largest controlled trial to date was published in 1993 by Morisco et al, in which 641 patients were randomly assigned to receive either placebo or CoQ10 at 2 mg/kg per day in a one year double-blind trial . 118 patients in the controlled group required hospitalization for heart failure in the one year follow-up compared to 73 in the CoQ10 treated group (P < 0.001). In addition to the obvious improvement in quality of life for these patients, the reduction in hospitalization rate has strong implications in the growing problem of health care cost containment. A year later in 1994, Morisco et al. documented significant improvements in ejection fraction, stroke volume and cardiac output as measured by radio nuclide scanning in six patients treated with 150 mg of CoQ10 per day in a double-blind crossover design . Lastly, in 1995, Swedberg et al. published a study on 79 patients with severe chronic congestive heart failure whose mean ejection fraction at rest was 22% +/-10% . There was a slight but significant improvement in volume load ejection fraction measurement and a significant improvement in quality of life assessment. A meta analysis of controlled studies in heart failure by Soja et al. demonstrated significant improvement in measurements of cardiac function .
Open Label and Long Term Congestive Heart Failure Trials
Dr. Yuichi Yamamura published an excellent review of all early Japanese trials prior to 1984 . By mid 1980's it became apparent that CoQ10 was safe and effective in the short-term treatment of patients with heart failure. Several long-term trials were undertaken to determine if this effect would be sustained and to determine long-term safety. In 1985, Mortensen et al. observed sustained benefit and safety in idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy on 100 mg per day of CoQ10 . In 1990, we published our observations on 126 patients with dilated cardiomyopathy followed for six years, again noting sustained benefit with remarkable long-term safety and lack of side effects . In 1994, Baggio et al. published the largest open trial in heart failure involving 2,664 patients treated with up to 150 mg of CoQ10 per day, again noting significant benefit and lack of toxicity . Also, in 1994, we published observations on 424 patients with a broader spectrum of myocardial disease including ischemic cardiomyopathy, dilated cardiomyopathy, primary diastolic dysfunction, hypertensive heart disease, and valvular heart disease . Patients were treated with an average of 240 mg of CoQ10 per day and followed for up to eight years with mean follow-up of 18 months. We observed significant improvement in NYHA functional classification, improvement in measurements of myocardial function, an average of 50% reduction in the requirement for concomitant cardiovascular drug therapy, and a complete lack of toxicity. Myocardial function became measurably improved within one month with maximal improvement usually obtained by six months and this improvement appears to be sustained in the majority of patients. The withdrawal of CoQ10 therapy resulted in a measurable decline in myocardial function within one month and a return to pretreatment measurements within three to six months. This return to baseline myocardial function after withdrawal of CoQ10 therapy was also observed by Mortensen et al. .
After initial favorable observations in advanced congestive heart failure with predominant systolic dysfunction, our group and others began to look at earlier stages of myocardial dysfunction, specifically, diastolic dysfunction. This filling phase of the cardiac cycle involves the ATP-dependent clearance of calcium which in turn is required for the breaking of the actin-myosin binding. Diastolic dysfunction often precedes more advanced stages of congestive heart failure and is commonly seen in a wide variety of clinical syndromes, including symptomatic hypertensive heart disease with left ventricular hypertrophy, symptomatic mitral valve prolapse, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, the aging heart, and is often seen in fatigue states such as chronic fatigue syndrome. In 1993, we published observations on 115 patients with isolated diastolic dysfunction - 60 with hypertensive heart disease, 27 with mitral valve prolapse syndrome, and 28 with chronic fatigue syndrome . The administration of CoQ10 resulted in improvement in diastolic function, a decrease in myocardial thickness, and an improvement in functional classification. In 1994, Oda published results on 30 patients with load-induced diastolic dysfunction and documented normalization of diastolic function in all patients after CoQ10 supplementation . In 1994, we published data on 109 patients with hypertensive heart disease and again noted not only improvement in NYHA functional classification and left ventricular hypertrophy, but we also observed significant improvement in diastolic function as measured by doppler echocardiography . We noted improvement in blood pressure and a lessening in the requirement for antihypertensive drug therapy which occurred in tempo with the improvement in diastolic function. In 1997, we published data on seven patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and again noted significant improvement in diastolic function as well as a lessening in hypertrophy and an improvement in functional status . Also in 1997, we published data on 16 otherwise healthy elderly patients over the age of 80, all of whom had significant diastolic dysfunction prior to treatment and all of whom had normalization of diastolic function within three months of CoQ10 supplementation . In summary, there appears to be an improvement in diastolic function in all categories of cardiac disease and this improvement occurs earlier and is more consistent than improvements in systolic function. This is understandable given the frequent occurrence of permanent myocardial fibrosis in advanced idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy and the permanent myocardial scarring seen in advanced ischemic heart disease. Diastolic dysfunction is easily identified by non-invasive techniques and appears to be readily reversible with supplemental CoQ10 with gratifying clinical improvement.
Ischemic Heart Disease Controlled Trials
Controlled trials in angina did not begin until the mid 1980's with the first publication by Hiasa in 1984 in which 18 patients were randomized to receive either intravenous CoQ10 or placebo . The treated patients showed an increase in exercise tolerance of one stage or greater in a modified Bruce protocol as compared to no increase in exercise tolerance in the placebo group, showed less ST-segment depression with exercise and experienced less angina with no alteration in heart rate or blood pressure. A year later in 1985, Kamikawa et al. studied 12 patients with chronic stable angina in a double-blind placebo controlled randomized crossover protocol using 150 mg a day of oral CoQ10 . Exercise time increased significantly from 345 seconds to 406 seconds with CoQ10 treatment and time until 1 mm of ST depression increased significantly from 196 seconds to 284 seconds (P < 0.01). Again, no significant alteration in heart rate or blood pressure was observed. In 1986, Schardt et al. studied 15 patients with exercise-induced angina treated with 600 mg per day of CoQ10 with a placebo controlled double-blind crossover design . Again, a significant decrease in ischemic ST-segment depression was noted with CoQ10 treatment. Since the CoQ10 treatment caused no significant alteration in heart rate or blood pressure, it was concluded that the mechanism of action was related to a direct effect on myocardial metabolism. In 1991, Wilson et al. studied 58 patients with up to 300 mg per day of CoQ10 compared to placebo and again noted significant improvement in exercise duration to the onset of angina without a change in peak rate pressure product, suggesting an improvement in myocardial efficiency . Also, in 1991, Serra et al. showed significant improvement in 20 patients with chronic ischemic heart disease using 60mg of CoQ10 per day for 4 weeks, documenting improvements in myocardial function measurements, improved exercise capacity, and a significant reduction in the number of anginal episodes and nitrate consumption . In 1994, Kuklinski et al. studied 61 patients with acute myocardial infarction, randomized to obtain either placebo or 100 mg of CoQ10 with 100 mg of selenium for a period of one year . The treatment group showed no prolongation of the QT-interval whereas, in the placebo group, 40% showed prolongation of the corrected QT-interval of greater than 440 milliseconds (P < 0.001). Although there were no significant differences in the acute hospitalization, the one year follow-up revealed six patients (20%) in the control group died from re-infarction, whereas one patient in the treatment group suffered a noncardiac death. The prevention of QT-interval prolongation can be explained by an enhancement in myocardial bioenergetics with an improvement in sodium potassium ATPase function, thereby optimizing membrane repolarization.
LDL Cholesterol Oxidation
The antioxidant properties of CoQ10 and the fact that 60 % of CoQ10 is carried in the plasma with LDL cholesterol , has led to investigations as to whether or not CoQ10 has any clinically relevant antioxidant function in terms of decreasing the oxidation of cholesterol [23,79]. It is generally believed that the oxidation of LDL cholesterol is of primary importance in the development of atherosclerosis. In 1996 in Australia, Stocker's group showed in vitro that supplemental CoQ10 prevented the pro-oxidant effect of alpha-tocopherol . Supplementation with vitamin E alone resulted in an LDL which was more prone to oxidation as compared to the combination of CoQ10 and vitamin E which increased the resistance to oxidation. Alleva et al. showed that supplemental CoQ10 increased the amount of CoQ10 in LDL (especially LDL3) and lowered the peroxidizability of the LDL. Aejmelaeus et al. documented a doubling of CoQ10 content in LDL particles after CoQ10 supplementation at 100 mg/day .
Statins and CoQ10
Harry Rudney was among the first to recognize the importance of HMG-CoA reductase in the biosynthesis of CoQ10. In January 1981 at the 3rd International Symposium on the Biomedical and Clinical Aspects of Coenzyme Q held in Austin, Texas, USA, he stated "... a major regulatory step in CoQ10 synthesis is at the level of HMG-CoA reductase" . In 1990 Willis et al.  studied 40 rats and demonstrated significant tissue CoQ10 deficiency in heart and liver in the lovastatin treated rats which could easily be prevented by co-administration of CoQ10. Later in the same year, Langsjoen et al. noted not only a decline of CoQ10 blood levels, but also a significant clinical decompensation with a reduction in ejection fraction in 5 heart failure patients after the addition of lovastatin to their standard medical therapy plus 100 mg CoQ10 per day . This decompensation was reversed by a doubling of their CoQ10 dose from 100 mg to 200 mg/day. In 1992 Ghirlanda et al. showed in a double blind controller trial in 40 hypercholesterolemic patients a 40% drop in blood CoQ10 level after treatment with either pravastatin or simvastatin . In 1994 Bargossi et al. randomized 30 patients to receive either 20 mg simvastatin or 20 mg simvastatin plus 100mg CoQ10 and followed them for 90 days . The lowering of cholesterol was significant and similar in both groups and the simultaneous CoQ10 therapy prevented both the plasma and platelet CoQ10 depletion induced by simvastatin administration. In 1997 Mortensen et al. observed similar reductions in serum CoQ10 levels in a placebo controlled double blind trial . The authors concluded that "although HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors are safe and effective within a limited time horizon, continued vigilance of possible adverse consequences from CoQ10 lowering seems important during long term therapy". Also in 1997, Palomaki et al. documented a decrease in the resistance of LDL cholesterol to oxidative stress after 6 weeks of lovastatin therapy in a double blind, placebo controlled, cross over trial on 27 hypercholesterolemic men . This enhanced oxidizability of LDL cholesterol is believed to be related to a decrease in the number of molecules of CoQ10 per each LDL cholesterol particle and may lessen the benefit of LDL cholesterol reduction. The CoQ10 lowering effect of statins is now well established with a significant depletion in plasma and platelets in humans and with a significant depletion in blood, liver and heart in rats. Human skeletal muscle CoQ10 may actually increase with statin therapy as documented by a Finnish study  but human heart muscle tissue CoQ10 data are presently lacking and, when available, should help clarify the mechanism of clinical deterioration noted in some cardiomyopathy patients treated with statins. The concern over the long term consequences of statin-induced CoQ10 deficiency is heightened by the rapidly increasing number of patients treated and the increasing dosages and potencies of the statin drugs. As the "target" or "ideal" cholesterol level is steadily lowered, the CoQ10-lowering effect will be more pronounced and the potential for long term adverse health effects enhanced. Before the results of this vast human experiment become obvious over the next decade, it is incumbent upon the medical profession to more closely evaluate the clinical significance of this drug-induced CoQ10 depletion. The combined use of CoQ10 and statins not only prevents the depletion of CoQ10, but may also enhance the benefits of the cholesterol lowering by lessening the oxidation of LDL cholesterol.
A tendency to decrease blood pressure in patients with established hypertension has been noted as far back as 1976 by Nagano, who studied 45 patients on 30-60 mg of CoQ10 per day . A year later, Yamagami published data on 29 patients using 1-2 mg of CoQ10 per kg body weight per day . From 1980 through 1984, three smaller studies again showed favorable improvement in hypertension with CoQ10 supplementation [20,67,80] and in 1986, Yamagami evaluated 20 patients in randomized controlled fashion using 100 mg of CoQ10 per day and again observed a favorable effect . Further uncontrolled open studies [14,38,50] all uniformly found a favorable influence on hypertension when CoQ10 supplementation was added to standard antihypertensive drug therapy. We postulate that the blood pressure lowering effect of CoQ10 may in part be an indirect effect, whereby improved diastolic function leads to a lessening in the adaptive high catecholamine state of hypertensive disease. In addition, effects on vascular endothelium may be involved. It is also possible that the blood viscosity lowering effect of CoQ10 may favorably influence hypertension .
In a small controlled clinical study of patients suffering from Parkinson's disease, researchers found that supplementation with coenzyme Q10 slowed the early development of symptoms of Parkinson's Disease (PD).
Controlled Trials in Cardiovascular Surgery
The first controlled study evaluating the effectiveness of CoQ10, administered preoperatively, was published by Tanaka et al. in 1982 . Fifty patients undergoing heart valve replacement were randomized to receive either placebo or CoQ10 at a dose of 30-60 mg per day for six days before surgery. The treatment group showed a significantly lower incidence of low cardiac output state during the postoperative recovery period. In 1991, Sunamori et al. studied 78 patients undergoing coronary artery bypass graft surgery . Sixty of these patients were given 5 mg per/kg of CoQ10 intravenously two hours prior to cardiopulmonary bypass. Postoperatively, there was a significant benefit to left ventricular stroke work index in the CoQ10 treated group as compared to controls and a significant decrease in postoperative CPK MB measurements in the treated group. In 1993, Judy et al. studied 20 patients undergoing either coronary artery bypass surgery (16 patients) or combined bypass surgery with valve replacement (4 patients) . Patients were randomized to receive either placebo or administration of oral 100 mg per day of CoQ10 for 14 days prior to surgery and continued for 30 days postoperatively. The treatment group showed significant elevations not only in blood CoQ10 level but also in myocardial tissue CoQ10 content as measured in atrial appendage. Significant improvement in postoperative cardiac index and left ventricular ejection fraction were noted in the treatment group, and a significant shortening of the postoperative recovery time was observed. In 1994, Chello et al. randomized 40 patients to receive either placebo or 150 mg per day of oral CoQ10 one week prior to coronary artery bypass graft surgery . A significant decrease in postoperative markers of oxidative damage was observed in the treatment group with lower concentrations of coronary sinus thiobarbituric acid reactive substances, conjugated dienes and cardiac isoenzymes of creatine kinase. The treatment group also showed a significantly lower incidence of ventricular arrhythmias in the recovery period and the mean dose of dopamine required to maintain stable hemodynamics was significantly lower in the CoQ10 treated group. In 1994, Chen et al. randomized 22 patients to receive either CoQ10 or placebo prior to coronary artery bypass surgery and observed improvement in left atrial pressure and an improvement in the incidence of low cardiac output state in the postoperative period . Right and left ventricular myocardial ultrastructure was better preserved in the CoQ10 treated group as compared to placebo. In 1996, Chello randomized 30 patients to receive either placebo or 150 mg oral CoQ10 for 7 days before abdominal aortic surgery and documented a significant decrease in markers of peroxidative damage in the CoQ10 treated patients . In 1996 Taggart et al. randomized 20 patients undergoing coronary revascularization surgery to receive either placebo or 600 mg of oral CoQ10 12 hours prior to operation with no significant effects observed, confirming the lack of acute pharmacologic or clinical changes with CoQ10 . Typically, oral CoQ10 supplementation rarely causes measurable effect before one week and is not maximal for several months.
In summary, coenzyme Q10 is a deceptively simple molecule which lies at the center of mitochondrial ATP production and appears to have clinically relevant antioxidant properties manifested by tissue protection in settings of ischemia and reperfusion. Congestive heart failure has served as a model for measurable deficiency of CoQ10 in blood and tissue, which when corrected, results in improved myocardial function. Ischemic heart disease, anginal syndromes, and most recently the ischemia reperfusion injury of coronary revascularization has provided clear evidence of clinically relevant antioxidant cell protective effects of CoQ10. Newer P31 NMR spectroscopy studies such as those conducted by Whitman's group in Philadelphia have documented enhanced cellular high energy phosphate concentrations with CoQ10 supplementation in models of ischemia and reperfusion . Sophisticated biochemical markers of oxidative injury are now demonstrating in-vivo the antioxidant cell protective effects of CoQ10. Upon review of the 30 years of clinical publications on CoQ10 and the author's own clinical experience, it is clear that there are several consistent and unique characteristics of the clinical effects of CoQ10 supplementation which are worthy of discussion and may for simplicity be termed the "Q effect". The benefits of CoQ10 supplementation are likely not due solely to a correction of deficiency in so far as clinical improvements are frequently seen in patients with "normal" pre-treatment CoQ10 blood levels and optimum clinical benefit requires above normal CoQ10 blood levels (2 to 4 times higher). High blood levels may be required to attain an elevation of tissue CoQ10 levels or to rescue defective mitochondrial function perhaps by driving cytosolic glycolysis or the plasma membrane oxidoreductase or by directly enhancing the function of defective mitochondria. There is almost always a delay in the onset of clinical change of one to four weeks and a further delay in maximal clinical benefit of several months. Possible reasons for this delay include time to attain adequate tissue levels of CoQ10 or time to synthesize CoQ10-dependent apoenzymes. Supplemental CoQ10 appears to affect much more than just cardiac myocytes and many aspects of patients' health tend to improve which cannot be explained by the observed improvement in heart function. CoQ10 does not lend itself to traditional organ-specific or disease-specific strategy and requires a reassessment and a rethinking of medical theory and practice. The combination of the ready availability of pure crystalline CoQ10 in quantity from the Japanese pharmaceutical industry and increasingly sophisticated and standardized methodology to directly measure CoQ10 in both blood and tissue, brings us to a point where we can more readily and accurately expand upon the preceding 30 years of pioneering clinical work on this extraordinary molecule."
1. Gian Paolo Littarru (1994) Energy and Defense. Facts and perspectives on CoenzymeQ10 in biology and medicine. Casa Editrice Scientifica Internazionale, pp 1-91.
2. Crane F.L., Hatefi Y., Lester R.I., Widmer C. (1957) Isolation of a quinone from beef heart mitochondria. In: Biochimica et Biophys. Acta, vol. 25, pp 220-221.
3. Morton R.A., Wilson G.M., Lowe J.S., Leat W.M.F. (1957) Ubiquinone. In: Chemical Industry, pp 1649.
4. Mellors A., Tappel A.L. (1966) Quinones and quinols as inhibitors of lipid peroxidation. Lipids, vol. 1, pp 282-284.
5. Mellors A., Tappel A.L. (1966) The inhibition of mitochondrial peroxidation by ubiquinone and ubiquinol. J. Biol. Chem., vol. 241, pp 4353-4356.
6. Littarru G.P., Ho L., Folkers K. (1972) Deficiency of Coenzyme Q10 in human heart disease. Part I and II. In: Internat. J. Vit. Nutr. Res., 42, n. 2, 291:42, n. 3:413.
7. Mitchell P. (1976) Possible molecular mechanisms of the protonmotive function of cytochrome systems. In: J. Theoret. Biol., vol. 62, pp 327-367.
8. Mitchell P. (1991) The vital protonmotive role of coenzyme Q. In: Folkers K., Littarru G.P., Yamagami T. (eds) Biomedical and Clinical Aspects of Coenzyme Q, vol. 6, Elsevier, Amsterdam, pp 3-10.
9. Mitchell P. (1988) Respiratory chain systems in theory and practice. In: Advances in Membrane Biochemistry and Bioenergetics, Kim C.H., et al. (eds), Plenum Press, New York, pp 25-52.
10. Mitchell P. (1979) Kelin's respiratory chain concept and its chemiosmotic consequences. In: Journal Science, vol. 206, pp 1148-1159.
11. Ernster L. (1977) Facts and ideas about the function of coenzyme Q10 in the Mitochondria. In: Folkers K., Yamamura Y. (eds) Biomedical and Clinical Aspects of Coenzyme Q. Elsevier, Amsterdam, pp 15-8.
12. Littarru G.P., Lippa S., Oradei A., Fiorni R.M., Mazzanti L. Metabolic and diagnostic implications of blood CoQ10 levels. In: Biomedical and Clinical Aspects of Coenzyme Q, vol. 6 (1991) Folkers K., Yamagami T., and Littarru G. P. (eds) Elsevier, Amsterdam, pp 1-555.
13. Ghirlanda G., Oradei A., Manto A., Lippa S., Uccioli L., Caputo S., Greco A.V., Littarru G.P. (1993) Evidence of Plasma CoQ10 - Lowering Effect by HMG-CoA Reductase Inhibitors: A double blind , placebo-controlled study. Clin. Pharmocol., J. 33, 3, 226-229.
14. Folkers K., Langsjoen Per H.,Willis R., Richardson P., Xia L.,Ye C., Tamagawa H. (1990) Lovastatin decreases coenzyme Q levels in humans. Proc. Natl. Acad Sci. Vol. 87, pp.8931-8934.
15. Folkers K., Vadhanavikit S., Mortensen S.A. (1985) Biochemical rationale and myocardial tissue data on the effective therapy of cardiomyopathy with coenzyme Q10. In: Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci., U.S.A., vol. 82(3), pp 901-904.
16. Mortensen S.A., Vadhanavikit S., Folkers K. (1984) Deficiency of coenzyme Q10 i myocardial failure. In: Drugs Exptl. Clin. Res. X(7) 497-502.
17. Hiasa Y., Ishida T., Maeda T., Iwanc K., Aihara T., and Mori H. (1984) Effects of coenzyme Q10 on exercise tolerance in patients with stable angina pectoris. In: Biomedical and Clinical Aspects of Coenzyme Q, vol. 3 (1981) Folkers K., Yamamura Y., (eds) Elsevier, Amsterdam, pp 291-301.
18. Kamikawa T., Kobayashi A., Yamashita T., Hayashi H., and Yamazaki N. (1985) Effects of coenzyme Q10 on exercise tolerance in chronic stable angina pectoris. In: Am. J. Cardiol.; 56:247-251.
19. Langsjoen Per.H., Vadhanavikit S., Folkers K. (1985) Response of patients in classes III and IV of cardiomyopathy to therapy in a blind and crossover trial with coenzyme Q10. In: Proc. Natl. Acad. of Sci., U.S.A., vol. 82, pp 4240-4244.
20. Judy W.V., Hall J.H., Toth P.D., Folkers K. (1986) Double blind-double crossover study of coenzyme Q10 in heart failure. In: Folkers K., Yamamura Y. (eds) Biomedical and clinical aspects of coenzyme Q, vol. 5. Elsevier, Amsterdam, pp 315-323.
21. Rossi E., Lombardo A., Testa M., Lippa S., Oradei A., Littarru G.P., Lucente M. Coppola E., Manzoli U. Coenzyme Q10 in ischaemic cardiopathy. In: Biomedical and Clinical Aspects of Coenzyme Q, vol. 6 (1991) Folkers K., Yamagami T., and Littarru G. P. (eds) Elsevier, Amsterdam, pp 321-326.
22. Morisco C., Trimarco B., Condorelli M. Effect of coenzyme Q10 therapy in patients with congestive heart failure: A long-term multicenter randomized study. In: Seventh International Symposium on Biomedical and Clinical Aspects of Coenzyme Q Folkers K., Mortensen S.A., Littarru G.P., Yamagami T., and Lenaz G. (eds) The Clinical Investigator, (1993) 71:S 34-S 136.
23. Schneeberger W., Muller-Steinwachs J., Anda L.P., Fuchs W., Zilliken F., Lyson K., Muratsu K., and Folkers K. A clinical double blind and crossover trial with coenzyme Q10 on patients with cardiac disease. In: Biomedical and Clinical Aspects of Coenzyme Q, vol. 5 (1986) Folkers K., Yamamura Y., (eds) Elsevier, Amsterdam, pp 325-333.
24. Schardt F., Welzel D., Schiess W., and Toda K. Effect of coenzyme Q10 on ischaemia-induced ST-segment depression: A double blind, placebo-controlled crossover study. In: Biomedical and Clinical Aspects of Coenzyme Q, vol. 6 (1991) Folkers K., Yamagami T., and Littarru G. P. (eds) Elsevier, Amsterdam, pp 385-403.
25. Swedberg K., Hoffman-Berg C., Rehnqvist N., Astrom H. (1991) Coenzyme Q10 as an adjunctive in treatment of congestive heart failure. In: 64th Scientific Sessions American Heart Association, Abstract 774-6.
26. Biomedical and Clinical Aspects of Coenzyme Q. (1977) Folkers K., Yamamura Y. (eds) Elsevier, Amsterdam, pp 1-315.
27. Biomedical and Clinical Aspects of Coenzyme Q, Vol. 2 (1980) Yamamura Y., Folkers K., and Ito Y. (eds) Elsevier, Amsterdam, pp 1-456.
28. Biomedical and Clinical Aspects of Coenzyme Q, Vol. 3 (1981) Folkers K., Yamamura Y., (eds) Elsevier, Amsterdam, pp 1-414.
29. Biomedical and Clinical Aspects of Coenzyme Q , Vol. 4 (1983) Folkers K., Yamamura Y., (eds) Elsevier, Amsterdam, pp 1-432.
30. Biomedical and Clinical Aspects of Coenzyme Q, Vol. 5 (1986) Folkers K., Yamamura Y., (eds) Elsevier, Amsterdam, pp 1-410.
31. Biomedical and Clinical Aspects of Coenzyme Q, Vol. 6 (1991) Folkers K., Yamagami T., and Littarru G. P. (eds) Elsevier, Amsterdam, pp 1-555.
32. Seventh International Symposium on Biomedical and Clinical Aspects of Coenzyme Q (1993) Folkers K., Mortensen S.A., Littarru G.P., Yamagami T., and Lenaz,G. (eds) The Clinical Investigator, Supplement to Vol.71 / Issue 8, pp S51-S177.
33. Eighth International Symposium on Biomedical and Clinical Aspects of Coenzyme Q (1994) Littarru G.P., Battino M. , Folkers K. (Eds) The Molecular Aspects of Medicine, Vol. 15 (Supplement), pp S1-S294.
34. Spigset O. (1994) Reduced effect of warfarin caused by ubidecarenone. Lancet Nov 12 Vol. 344, pp. 8933.
35. Mortensen S.A., Vadhanavikit S., Folkers K. (1984) Deficiency of coenzyme Q10 in myocardial failure. In: Drugs Exptl. Clin. Res., vol. X(7), pp 497-502.
36. Mortensen S.A., Vadhanavikit S., Baandrup U., Folkers K. (1985) Long term coenzyme Q10 therapy: a major advance in the management of resistant myocardial failure. In: Drugs Exp. Clin. Res., vol. 11(8), pp 581-593.
37. Langsjoen P.H., Folkers K., Lyson K., Muratsu K., Lyson T., Langsjoen P. H. Effective and safe therapy with coenzyme Q10 for cardiomyopathy. In: Klin. Wochenschr. (1988) 66:583-593.
38. Langsjoen P. H., Langsjoen, P. H., Folkers, K. (1989) Long term efficacy and safety of coenzyme Q10 therapy for idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy. In: The American Journal of Cardiology, vol. 65, pp 521 - 523.
39. Mortensen S.A., Vadhanavikit S., Muratsu K., Folkers K. (1990) Coenzyme Q10: Clinical benefits with biochemical correlates suggesting a scientific breakthrough in the management of chronic heart failure. In: Int. J. Tissue React., vol. 12 (3), pp 155-162.
40. Ursini T., Gambini C., Paciaroni E., and Littarru G.P. Coenzyme Q10 treatment of heart failure in the elderly: Preliminary results. In: Biomedical and Clinical Aspects of Coenzyme Q, vol. 6 (1991) Folkers K., Yamagami T., and Littarru G. P. (eds) Elsevier, Amsterdam, pp 473-480.
41. Poggessi L., Galanti G., Comeglio M., Toncelli L., Vinci M. (1991) Effect of coenzyme Q10 on left ventricular function in patients with dilative cardiomyopathy. Curr. Ther. Res. 49:878-886.
42. Langsjoen H.A., Langsjoen P. H., Langsjoen P. H., Willis R., Folkers K. (1994) Usefulness of coenzyme Q10 in clinical cardiology, a long-term study. In: Eighth International Symposium on Biomedical and Clinical Aspects of Coenzyme Q, Littarru G.P., Battino M. , Folkers K. (Eds) The Molecular Aspects of Medicine, Vol. 15 (Supplement), pp S165-S175.
43. Baggio E., Gandini R., Plancher A.C., Passeri M., Carmosino G. Italian multicenter study on safety and efficacy of coenzyme Q10 adjunctive therapy in heart failure. In: Eighth International Symposium on Biomedical and Clinical Aspects of Coenzyme Q (1994) Littarru G.P., Battino M. , Folkers K. (Eds) The Molecular Aspects of Medicine, Vol. 15 (Supplement), pp S287-S294.
44. Langsjoen Per H., Langsjoen Peter H., Folkers K. Isolated diastolic dysfunction of the myocardium and its response to CoQ10 treatment. In: Seventh International Symposium on Biomedical and Clinical Aspects of Coenzyme Q. Folkers, K., Mortensen S.A., Littarru G.P., Yamagami T., and Lenaz G. (eds) The Clinical Investigator, (1993) 71:S 140-S 144.
45. Oda T. Recovery of the Frank-Starling mechanism by coenzyme Q10 in patients with load-induced contractility depression. In: Eighth International Symposium on Biomedical and Clinical Aspects of Coenzyme Q (1994) The Molecular Aspects of Medicine, in print.
46. Langsjoen P. H., Langsjoen P. H., Willis R., Folkers K. (1994) Treatment of essential hypertension with coenzyme Q10. In: Eighth International Symposium on Biomedical and Clinical Aspects of Coenzyme Q (1994) Littarru G.P., Battino M. , Folkers K. (Eds) The Molecular Aspects of Medicine, Vol. 15 (Supplement), pp S287-S294.
47. Pihko H., Saarinen U., and Paetau A. (1989) Wernicke encephalopathy - a preventable cause of death: Report of 2 children with malignant disease. Pediatric Neurology vol. 5 no. 4, pp 237-242.
48. Hansen I.L. (1976) Bioenergetics in clinical medicine. Gingival leucocytic deficiencies of coenzyme Q10 in patients with periodontal disease. In: Research Communications in Chemical Pathology and Pharmacology, vol. 14, no. 4, pp 729-738.
49. Iwamoto Y., Watanabe T., Okamoto H., Ohata N., Folkers K. Clinical effect of coenzyme Q10 on periodontal disease. In: Folkers, K., Yamamura, Y., (eds) Biomedical and Clinical Aspects of Coenzyme Q10, (1981) vol. 3, Elsevier, Amsterdam, pp 109-119.
50. Folkers K., Langsjoen P. H., et al. (1988) Biochemical deficiencies of coenzyme Q10 in HIV-infection and the exploratory treatment. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications vol. 153, no. 2, pp 888-896.
51. Langsjoen P. H., Langsjoen P. H., Folkers K., Richardson P. Treatment of patients with human immunodeficiency virus infection with coenzyme Q10. In: Folkers K., Littarru G.P., and Yamagami, T., (eds) Biomedical and Clinical Aspects of Coenzyme Q, (1991) vol. 6, pp 409-415.
52. Cortes E.P, Mohinder G., Patel M., Mundia A., and Folkers K. Study of Administration of coenzyme Q10 to Adriamycin treated cancer patients. In:Biomedical and Clinical Aspects of Coenzyme Q (1977). Folkers K., Yamamura Y. (eds) Elsevier, Amsterdam, pp 267-273.
53. Combs A.B., Faria D.T., Leslie S.W., and Bonner H.W. (1981) Effect of coenzyme Q10 on Adriamycin induced changes in myocardial calcium. In: Biomedical and Clinical Aspects of Coenzyme Q, vol. 3 Folkers, K., Yamamura Y., (eds) Elsevier, Amsterdam, pp 137-144.
54. Judy W.V. Hall J., H., Dugan W., Toth P.D., and Folkers K. Coenzyme Q10 reduction of Adriamycin toxicity. In: Biomedical and Clinical Aspects of Coenzyme Q (1983), vol. 4 Folkers K., Yamamura Y., (eds) Elsevier, Amsterdam, pp 231-241.
55. Lockwood K., Moesgaard S., Yamamoto T., Folkers K. Progress on therapy of breast cancer with vitamin Q10 and the regression of metastases. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 1995 Jul 6;212(1):172-7.
56. Lockwood K., Moesgaard S., Hanioka T., Folkers K. Apparent partial remission of breast cancer in 'high risk' patients supplemented with nutritional antioxidants, essential fatty acids and coenzyme Q10. Mol Aspects Med 1994;15 Suppl:s231-40.
57. 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 Mar 30;199(3):1504-8.
58. Folkers K., Brown R., Judy W.V., and Morita M. (1993) Survival of cancer patients on therapy with coenzyme Q10. Biochem. Biophys. Res. Comm., Ms. No. G-8658.
59. Mellstedt H., Osterborg A., Nylander M., Morita M., and Folkers K. A deficiency of coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) in conventional cancer therapy and blood levels of CoQ10 in cancer patients in Sweden. In: Eighth International Symposium on Biomedical and Clinical Aspects of Coenzyme Q (1994) The Molecular Aspects of Medicine, in print.
60. Bowry V.W., Mohr D., Cleary J., Stocker R. (1995) Prevention of tocopherol-mediated peroxidation in ubiquinol-10-free human low density lipoprotein. J Biol Chem 1995 Mar 17;270(11):5756-63.
61. Ingold K.U., Bowry V.W., Stocker R., Walling C. (1993) Autoxidation of lipids and antioxidation by alpha-tocopherol and ubiquinol in homogeneous solution and in aqueous dispersions of lipids: unrecognized consequences of lipid particle size as exemplified by oxidation of human low density lipoprotein. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 1993 Jan 1;90(1):45-9.
62. Sun I.L., Sun E.E., Crane F.L., Morre, V.J., Lindgren A., and Low H. Requirement for coenzyme Q in plasma membrane electron transport. In: Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. U SA 89, 11126-11130 (1992).
63. Linnane A.W., Zhang C., Baumer A., Nagley P. (1992) Mitochondrial DNA mutation and the aging process: bioenergy and pharmacological intervention. Mutation Research 275, pp. 195-208.
64. Martinius R.D., Linnane A.W., Nagley P. (1993) Growth of human namalwa cells lacking oxidative phosphorylation can be sustained by redox compounds potassium ferricyanide or coenzyme Q10 putatively acting through the plasma membrane oxidase. In: Biochem. Mol. Biol. Internat. 31, 997-1005.
65. Lawin A., Martinius R.D., McMullen G., Nagley P., Vaillant F., Wolvetang E. J., Linnane A.W. The universality of bioenergetic disease: The role of mitochondrial DNA mutation and the putative inter-relationship between mitochondria and plasma membrane NADH oxidases. In: Eighth International Symposium on Biomedical and Clinical Aspects of Coenzyme Q (1994) Littarru G.P., Battino M. , Folkers K. (Eds) The Molecular Aspects of Medicine, Vol. 15 (Supplement), pp S13-S27.
Excerpted from International Coenzyme Q10 Association, http://wwwcsi.unian.it/coenzymeQ/index.html.
Coenzyme Q10 is probably one of the most promising nutritional therapies for patients with heart failure. 977 In a large trial in Italy, patients with congestive heart failure who took 100 to 150 mg of coenzyme Q10 daily for one year reported fewer complications or hospitalizations. 1164 Patients with cardiac failure taking 100 mg for three months were able to pedal harder on stationary bicycles and reported a slightly increased feeling of well-being. 1165 Coenzyme Q10 has shown benefit in patients with both ischemic and non-ischemic cardiomyopathy. 975, 976, 977 In a double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over trial conducted by Langsjoen et al, 1438 12 patients with documented class III to IV congestive heart failure were treated with 33.3 mg of CoQ10 TID for 12 weeks and demonstrated a significant increase in stroke volume and ejection fraction during treatment with CoQ10 as compared to placebo. These same investigators reported their experience in the American Journal of Cardiology in a trial of 126 patients with idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy who were given coQ10 in an open label study lasting over 6 years. 1439 The clinical response and survival of these patients was comparable to the favorable results found with vasodilators and angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors. In a clinical study conducted by Davini, Cellerini and Topi, 1375 exogenous coenzyme Q10 was studied in a group of 63 patients with myocardial contractile dysfunction of various etiologies (29 dilated cardiomyopathies, 15 valvular cardiopathies, and 19 ischemic cardiopathies) who presented with a NYHA class of 3 or 4 (moderate to severe heart failure). The patients were subdivided into two groups, one of which received conventional therapy for heart failure, the other group received conventional therapy and coenzyme Q10. After four months of followup, clinical (NYHA class and exercise tolerance) and echocardiographical (ventricular diameter and contraction fraction percent) parameters were markedly improved in those patients taking coenzyme Q10. Patients who suffered from dilated cardiomyopathy had the greatest benefit from supplementation (including a significant reduction in NYHA class and a significant improvement in echocardiographic parameters), and although the improvements in the other groups of patients who received coenzyme Q10 did not always achieve statistical significance, the trend was consistently positive. Researchers at the Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis and at the Institute for Biomedical Research at the University of Texas reported significant benefits when treating heart failure patients with coenzyme Q10. 472, 975 Approximately 91% of the patients studied showed improvement within 30 days of beginning supplementation with CoenzymeQ10. 472 Doses in many of these studies averaged between 100 and 240 mg per day. Coenzyme Q10 may reduce the potential for contraction band necrosis from circulating catecholamines during periods of acute and chronic stress.
Hypercholesterolemia: Like other antioxidants, CoQ10 can neutralize free radicals and, in theory, prevent the oxidation of LDL cholesterol. CoQ10 probably plays a lesser role in preventing atherogenesis than does the lipophilic vitamin E, which outnumbers CoQ10 by about 30 to 1 within the LDL molecule. Patients receiving HMG co-reductase inhibitors may experience a depletion of coenzyme Q10. Reduced ubiquinone (coenzyme Q10) levels have been seen in clinical studies following treatment with lovastatin. 1081 According to one scientific source, patients who initially have reduced levels of coenzyme Q10 and modest or poor cardiac function when treated with lovastatin (and possibly with other HMG co-A reductase inhibitors) may be at increased risk of certain life threatening cardiac events since ubiquinone is essential in cardiac energy metabolism. Harold Baum, a biochemist and dean of the Basic Medical and Health Sciences School at King's College, London states that lovastatin blocks metabolic pathways that regulate both the production of cholesterol and ubiquinone, and recommends vitamin E supplementation to offset the loss of ubiquinone following treatment with lovastatin. 1081 Hypolipidemic agents which have the potential of causing myopathy may theoretically cause this side effect by the mechanism of reducing skeletal muscle levels of coenzyme Q10.
Weight Loss: Coenzyme Q10 is listed as one of the 33 ergogenic substances which when taken orally, may increase muscle levels of creatine phosphate and enhance energy performance and exercise performance, facilitating increases in lean muscle mass and mild weight loss. 1084
Coenzyme Q10 may protect against the cardiotoxic effects of chemotherapy. 987, 988, 989, 990, 991, 992, 993, 994, 995, 996, 997 Patients receiving HMG co-A reductase inhibitors may experience a depletion of coenzyme Q10. Supplementation with vitamin E and coenzyme Q10 may be prudent in patients treated with HMG co-A reductase inhibitors.
Coenzyme Q10 Deficiencies:
Normal blood and tissue levels of CoQ10 have been well established by numerous investigators in the clinical literature. Significantly decreased levels of CoQ10 have been associated with a wide variety of diseases in both animal and human studies. CoQ10 deficiency may be caused by insufficient dietary CoQ10, impairment in CoQ10 biosynthesis, excessive utilization of CoQ10 by the body (due to excessive free-radical load), or any combination of the three. Decreased dietary intake is often the cause of deficiencies in chronic malnutrition and cachexia. The relative contribution of CoQ10 biosynthesis versus dietary CoQ10 is under investigation. Karl Folkers takes the position that the dominant source of CoQ10 in man is biosynthesis. This complex, 17 step process, requiring at least seven vitamins (vitamin B2 - riboflavin, vitamin B3 - niacinamide, vitamin B6, folic acid, vitamin B12, vitamin C, and pantothenic acid) and several trace elements, is, by its nature, highly vulnerable. Karl Folkers argues that suboptimal nutrient intake in man is almost universal and that there is subsequent secondary impairment in CoQ10 biosynthesis. This would mean that average or "normal" levels of CoQ10 are really suboptimal and the very low levels observed in advanced disease states represent only the tip of a deficiency "ice berg". HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors used to treat elevated blood cholesterol levels by blocking cholesterol biosynthesis also block CoQ10 biosynthesis(13). The resulting lowering of blood CoQ10 level is due to the partially shared biosynthetic pathway of CoQ10 and cholesterol. In patients with heart failure this is more than a laboratory observation. It has a significant harmful effect which can be negated by oral CoQ10 supplementation(14). Increased body consumption of CoQ10 is the presumed cause of low blood CoQ10 levels seen in excessive exertion, hypermetabolism, and acute shock states. It is likely that all three mechanisms (insufficient dietary CoQ10, impaired CoQ10 biosynthesis, and excessive utilization of CoQ10) are operable to varying degrees in most cases of observed CoQ10 deficiency.
Antioxidants and B vitamins, fat-soluble antioxidants, and vitamin E. Interactions:
Data suggests that HMG co-A reductase inhibitors may lower coenzyme Q10 levels. 1081 Heat and light can destroy the potency of coenzyme Q10. Pure coenzyme Q10 will deteriorate at temperatures above 115 degrees F (most enzymes and coenzymes are destroyed by temperatures between 115-118° F). 846 It is fat soluble and should be ingested with a meal containing some fat or oil, or mixed with olive oil (avoid less stable oil-based formulations, however, since antioxidants such as coenzyme Q10 may expend themselves neutralizing free radicals in rancid oils).
None Known. The Physicians Desk Reference states that there have been no side effects reported to date. 1087 Patients may possibly experience transient insomnia due to increased energy levels. Asymptomatic elevations in LDH and mild elevations in SGOT have been seen in patients taking 300 mg of CoQ10. 977
30-120 mg/day; Maintenance dosage range is 60-100 mg/day; 120-240 mg/day in severe cardiac disease or heart failure. Coenzyme Q10 is fat soluble and should be ingested with a meal containing some fat or oil, or mixed with olive oil for optimum absorption. Laboratrory studies suggest that emulsified forms of CoQ 10 may be significantly more bioavailable than dry formulations. In one study, 30 mg of emulsified Coenzyme Q-10 caused an increase in serum Coenzyme Q10 that was almost equivalent to that achieved following supplementation with 100 mg of dry Coenzyme Q10. HYDROSOLUBLE CoQ10, has been proven via four separate relative bioavailability studies in human subjects, to be the most bioavailable oral form of CoQ10. Additional studies have been carried out in rats to determine tissue uptake. A fifth bioavailability study carried out by an independent group has confirmed the superiority of hydrosoluble coenzyme Q10 over oil suspension softgels.
Physiologics (physiologics.com, and Life Extention Foundation (LEF.org) are both excellent sources of quality formulations of coenzyme Q10.
Disclaimer: Please note: we are not affiliated with nor are we reimbursed by either organization for this recommendation.