ubiquinone (generic name)
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CategoryHerbs & Supplements
Andelir®, CoenzymeQ, Co-enzyme Q10, Coenzyme Q (50), CoQ, CoQ10, CoQ(50), Co-Q10, CoQ-10, 2,3 dimethoxy-5 methyl-6-decaprenyl benzoquinone, Heartcin®, idebenone (synthetic analogue), Kaneka Q10™, mitoquinone, Neuquinone®, Q10, Q-Gel®, Solu™ Q10, Taidecanone®, ubidecarenone, ubiquinone, ubiquinone-10, ubiquinone-Q10, Udekinon®, vitamin q10, vitamin Q10.
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is produced by the human body and is necessary for the basic functioning of cells. CoQ10 levels are reported to decrease with age and to be low in patients with some chronic diseases such as heart conditions, muscular dystrophies, Parkinson's disease, cancer, diabetes, and HIV/AIDS. Some prescription drugs may also lower CoQ10 levels.
Levels of CoQ10 in the body can be increased by taking CoQ10 supplements, although it is not clear that replacing "low CoQ10" is beneficial.
CoQ10 has been used, recommended, or studied for numerous conditions, but remains controversial as a treatment in many areas.
EvidenceDISCLAIMER: These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.
Coenzyme Q10 deficiency:
Coenzyme Q10 is normally produced by the human body, although deficiency may occur in patients with impaired CoQ10 biosynthesis due to severe metabolic or mitochondrial disorders, not enough dietary CoQ10 intake, or too much CoQ10 use by the body. Depending on the cause of CoQ10 deficiency, supplementation or increased dietary intake of CoQ10 and the vitamins and minerals needed to produce CoQ10 may be effective.
High blood pressure (hypertension):
Preliminary research suggests that CoQ10 causes small decreases in blood pressure (systolic and possibly diastolic). Low blood levels of CoQ10 have been found in people with hypertension, although it is not clear if CoQ10 "deficiency" is a cause of high blood pressure. Well-designed long-term research is needed to strengthen this recommendation.
Age-related macular degeneration:
Early study shows that acetyl-L-carnitine, n-3 fatty acids, and Coenzyme Q10 (Phototrop®) may help age-related macular degeneration. More research is needed using Coenzyme Q10 alone before a recommendation can be made.
Promising preliminary evidence suggests that CoQ10 supplements may slow down, but not cure, dementia in people with Alzheimer's disease. Additional well-designed studies are needed to confirm these results before a firm recommendation can be made.
Angina (chest pain from clogged heart arteries):
Preliminary small human studies suggest that CoQ10 may reduce angina and improve exercise tolerance in people with clogged heart arteries. Better studies are needed before a firm recommendation can be made.
Anthracycline chemotherapy heart toxicity:
Anthracycline chemotherapy drugs, such as doxorubicin (Adriamycin®), are commonly used to treat cancers such as breast cancer or lymphoma. Heart damage (cardiomyopathy) is a major concern with the use of anthracyclines, and CoQ10 has been suggested to protect the heart. However, studies in this area are small and not high quality and the effects of CoQ10 remain unclear.
CoQ10 may benefit asthma patients when added to other therapies. Further research is needed. Asthma should be treated by a qualified healthcare provider.
Supplementation with CoQ10 has not been proven to reduce cancer and has not been compared to other forms of treatment for breast cancer.
Further research is needed to determine if CoQ10 may help cancer when used with other therapies. Cancer should be treated by a qualified healthcare provider.
Cardiomyopathy (dilated, hypertrophic):
There is conflicting evidence from research on the use of CoQ10 in patients with dilated or hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Better research is needed in this area before a recommendation can be made.
Chronic fatigue syndrome:
Early study shows that CoQ10 may improve symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome. High quality research is needed in this area before a decision can be made.
A combination of Coenzyme Q10 and L-carnitine has been studied to reduce cocaine usage, but early study is inconclusive.
Coronary heart disease:
There is not enough scientific evidence to recommend for or against the use of CoQ10 in patients with coronary heart disease.
Results are variable, with some research suggesting benefits, and other studies showing no effects. Most trials have not been well designed. Better research is necessary before a firm conclusion can be drawn.
Preliminary research reports promising evidence for the use of CoQ10 in the treatment of Friedreich's ataxia. Further evidence is necessary before a firm conclusion can be drawn.
Gum disease (periodontitis):
Preliminary human studies suggest possible benefits of CoQ10 taken by mouth or placed on the skin or gums in the treatment of periodontitis. Better research is needed before a strong conclusion can be drawn.
Heart attack (acute myocardial infarction):
There is preliminary human study of CoQ10 given to patients within three days after a heart attack. Better research is needed before a firm conclusion can be drawn.
Heart conditions (mitral valve prolapse in children):
There is early data to support the use of CoQ10 in children with mitral valve prolapse. Well-designed clinical trials are needed before a recommendation can be made.
The evidence for CoQ10 in the treatment of heart failure is controversial and remains unclear. Different levels of disease severity have been studied (New York Heart Association classes I through IV). Better research is needed in this area studying the effects on quality of life, hospitalization, and death rates before a recommendation can be made.
Heart protection during surgery:
Several studies suggest that the function of the heart may be improved after major heart surgeries such as coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) or valve replacement when CoQ10 is given to patients before or during surgery. Better studies are necessary before a recommendation can be made.
There is limited evidence that natural levels of CoQ10 in the body may be reduced in people with HIV/AIDS. There is a lack of reliable scientific research showing that CoQ10 supplements have any effect on this disease.
Early study of CoQ10 for high triglyceride levels in the blood is unclear.
Increasing sperm count (idiopathic spermatozoa):
There is early evidence that supports the use of CoQ10 in the treatment of increasing sperm count and motility. Better studies are needed before a strong recommendation can be made.
There is initial data to support the use of CoQ10 in the treatment of kidney (renal) failure. More research is needed before a recommendation can be made.
Lipid lowering (adjunct to statin therapy):
Coenzyme Q10 may reduce some adverse effects associated with statin therapy for high cholesterol, including reduced heart function. More study is needed before a recommendation can be made.
There is fair evidence to support the use of CoQ10 treatment in migraine prevention or treatment. However, more well-designed studies are needed to confirm these findings.
Mitochondrial diseases and Kearns-Sayre syndrome:
CoQ10 is often recommended for patients with mitochondrial diseases, including myopathies, encephalomyopathies, and Kearns-Sayre syndrome. CoQ10 may help improve function in children with maternally-inherited diabetes and deafness. Better studies are needed before a strong recommendation can be made.
Preliminary studies in patients with muscular dystrophy taking CoQ10 supplements describe improvements in exercise capacity, heart function, and overall quality of life. Additional research is needed in this area.
Further research is needed before a recommendation can be made. Early study results are unclear.
There is promising human evidence for the use of CoQ10 in the treatment of Parkinson's disease. Better-designed trials are needed to confirm these results.
Post-surgical recovery (adjuvant):
In patients with stage I and II melanoma with surgically removed lesions, CoQ10 may decrease the rate of recurrence. Although these results are promising, more study is needed in this area to confirm these conclusions.
One study using a combination that included CoQ10 did not find a significant effect on PSA levels in patients with prostate cancer. Although PSA levels may be an indicator of cancer, it is unclear whether CoQ10 would have any effect on cancer treatment of prevention. More study is needed.
Tinnitus (ringing in the ears):
More research is needed in patients with tinnitus with low levels of CoQ10 before a strong recommendation can be made.
Preliminary evidence suggests that CoQ10 does not affect blood sugar levels in patients with type 1 or type 2 diabetes, and it does not alter the need for diabetes medications.
There is negative evidence from studies that used CoQ10 in the treatment of Huntington's disease.