CoQ10 Overview

CoQ10 is a catalyst that facilitates creation of Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP), which is one of the body's main sources of chemical energy. CoQ10 is particularly abundant in places where high energy is important, such as the heart and liver. It is also a strong antioxidant.

CoQ10 production in the body declines with age, much like DHEA, hormones and lots of other vital, youth preserving substances. Its decline is thought to be a causative factor in many disorders such as heart disease and cancer. Lowered levels of CoQ10 have been reported in people with diabetes, periodontal disease, muscular dystrophy, cancer, obesity, premature aging, and heart disease.

Conditions it has been known to affect include:

  • Heart disease. CoQ10 is popular in Japan (where about 10% of the population takes it) to treat congestive heart failure (CHF), cardiomyopathy, and angina. CoQ10 is much more effective than Vitamin E for preventing the oxidization of LDL cholesterol. It is oxidized LDL cholesterol that clogs up arteries. CoQ10 supplementation has allowed angina victims to significantly improve their treadmill times without discomfort. Three fourths of people with cardiomyopathy improve after taking CoQ10. CoQ10 powers the heart back up for people with failing hearts. In one study, it improved the mean CHF score by 27% after four months.
  • Hypertension. Almost 40% of people with high blood pressure are deficient in CoQ10. In one study, patients given 100 mg of CoQ10 daily went from a blood pressure averaging 161/99 to 142/83 in 10 weeks. Their cholesterol dropped from 227 mg/dl to 204 mg/dl. Ironically, and unknown to many doctors, anticholesterol "statin" drugs such as Mevacor, Zocor, Lescol or Lipitor, stop the body's ability to make CoQ10. Interestingly enough, 100mg per day of CoQ10 provides optimal antioxidant protection for LDL cholesterol, and it is oxidized cholesterol that causes problems.
    In another study, 85% of patients taking 225mg of CoQ10 reduced their blood pressure significantly after 3-4 months. Heart function improved and they were able to stop taking from 1 to 3 antihypertensive medications. 25% were able to control blood pressure with CoQ10 alone.
  • Cancer. A doctor treating a heart patient noticed that his patient's liver cancer disappeared after giving him high doses of CoQ10. This was followed by a study in which 100 mg of CoQ10 caused breast cancer tumors to shrink in the women in the study group. After upping the dose to 390 mg per day, the tumors disappeared altogether! European studies have confirmed this in breast and prostate cancer where patients who initially responded to CoQ10 continue to do well. This is a new development and not well understood but is being intensively researched. According to some recent research, one line of thinking is "cancer may be thought of as a CoQ10 deficiency disease."
  • Muscular dystrophy. CoQ10 is one of the only substances which can effectively improve this condition. In one study, subjects took 100 mg of CoQ10 for 3 months. While the placebo group continued to suffer progressively worse symptoms, the CoQ10 group "improved dramatically." It might be tried also on Multiple Sclerosis, ALS, or other degenerative diseases.
  • Periodontal disease. Subjects with gum disease tend to have significantly low levels of CoQ10. A study group given 60 mg of CoQ10 for 8 weeks yielded the conclusion that CoQ10 was effective in suppressing gingival inflammation.
  • AIDS. AIDS victims have far less CoQ10 in their blood than healthy people. In one study, patients given 200 mg a day of CoQ10 started feeling better soon after beginning treatment. The results were "very encouraging and, at times, even striking." In another study, patients with ARC (AIDS Related Complex) survived 4 to 5 years without exhibiting signs of the disease. CoQ10 is an immune system stimulant.
  • Post-Operative recovery. People who take CoQ10 before surgery recover much more quickly according to studies.
  • Obesity. Because CoQ10 powers every cell in the body, it is responsible for burning calories. People deficient in CoQ10 tend to gain weight and lack energy. About 50% of obese people are greatly deficient in CoQ10.
  • Aging. Although it is too soon to tell with humans (though studies are under way,) laboratory animals live out to as much as the equivalent of 150 human years in youthful condition when given CoQ10. In one study, for example, it extended the remaining lifespan of old mice from 36 to 86 weeks. It is thought that CoQ10 might protect the mitochondria from attack by the hydroxyl radical and that this attack is the ultimate source of aging.
  • Neurological protection. CoQ10 protects against dopamine depletion in the brain. Dopamine depletion is the source of Parkinson's disease. CoQ10 also regenerates Vitamin E, in effect, reloading it so it can be used again and again.

"Normal" CoQ10 is also known as Ubiquinone. In order to be useful in the body, it has to be converted (reduced) to a form called Ubiquinol. In some people, and in everyone as we age, the process of converting from Ubiquinone to Ubiquinol can slow down or be impaired. For that reason, if you're older or if you have a more serious health condition, or if regular CoQ10 supplements don't help as much as you think they should, you should consider taking Ubiquinol instead.


None. Benefits seem to increase with dose.


Healthy people over 40 years of age could benefit from 30mg a day or more. Anyone with a serious illness should take 100 mg daily or more. Cancer patients should take 400mg per day. Once taken for cancer it should not be stopped. Patients improve as long as they take it but the problem can come back once it is discontinued. One woman with lung cancer took CoQ10 and 30 months later was free of any sign of the tumor so she stopped taking the CoQ10. Six days later she died of pulmonary edema.

CoQ10 is better absorbed with Brewer's yeast or in the presence of fats.


Doctor's Best makes an inexpensive, high-quality product, available in 100mg and 200mg caps. They also have Ubiquinol, 100mg or 200mg. Although it's more expensive per capsule, I also like Jarrow's CoQ10, also available in 100mg, and 200mg. Jarrow brands their Ubiquinol as "QH-Absorb", available in 100mg softgels