Coenzyme Q10 Benefits (CoQ10 / Ubiquinone)

Coenzyme Q10, also known as CoQ10, is a vitamin-like chemical that is found in practically all the cells in our body, especially in the heart.

It has antioxidant properties and the body uses it the generate ATP, a storage form of energy.

According to clincal research, it appears that CoQ10 blood level in the body drops after the age of 20.

And after the age of 80, it can drop to the same level found at birth. This, by itself, seems like a good idea for the older population to take supplemental CoQ10.

CoQ10 is used extensively by people living in Europe, Russia and Japan.

The Japanese people use it to treat heart disease and it is approved in 1974 in Japan for treating congestive heart failure.

This naturally occurring chemical has a low risk of side effects, making one of the safest natural supplement to take for heart and general body health.

coenzyme q10 chemical structure picture

Scientific Evidence on the Health Benefits of Coenzyme Q10

See Health Benefits of Coenzyme Q10 for just a quick list of this table below.
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Coenzyme Q10 Deficiency

CoQ10 supplement is proven to bring the levels back to normal for those people who are deficient. Severe deficiency in CoQ10 may lead to weakness, fatigue and seizures.

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Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) / Heart Failure

Research studies show that CoQ10, when combined with other prescription medications to treat congestive heart failure (CHF), significantly improves the symptoms, reduces edema (swelling), insomnia and shortness of breath (dyspnea).

See CoQ10 for Heart Failure for the complete discussion.

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High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)

Combining CoQ10 with prescription blood pressure medications brings blood pressure down more than by just taking the prescription drugs alone.

On average, taking CoQ10 lowers systolic blood pressure by 11 mm Hg and diastolic blood pressure by 7 mm Hg.

See CoQ10 for Blood Pressure for the full details.

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Heart Disease

Extensive studies show that taking CoQ10 supplements provide significant health benefits for the heart and blood vessels, especially for those who have one or more risk factors (e.g. diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol).

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Migraine Headaches

Studies in human subjects suggest that Coenzyme Q10 may reduce the number and severity of migraine headaches in both children and adults.

CoQ10 can reduce headaches by up to 30%. You may need to take CoQ10 for up to three months to see a benefit.

However, more recent well-designed clinical study showed that using CoQ10 along with conventional therapy show no added benefits.

See CoQ10 for Migraines for the complete discussion on this recent research finding.

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There is clinical studies to show that taking CoQ10 enhances the immune system in those suffering from HIV / AIDS.

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Heart Attack (Myocardial infarction / MI)

A study conducted in human subjects showed that taking CoQ10 within three days of a heart attack and continuing for one year reduced the risks of another serious heart event and possible death.

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High Cholesterol

One clinical study showed that taking CoQ10 increased the levels of the "good cholesterol" (HDL) but it had no affect on the "bad cholesterol" (LDL).

Moreover, another study showed that it improved the blood flow in those suffering from diabetes who are taking a "statin" type cholesterol lowering medication.

Note: If you are taking a "statin" prescription medication for lowering high cholesterol (such as Lipitor, Mevacor, Pravachol or Crestor), they are known to deplete CoQ10. Taking a supplement becomes highly recommended in this situation.

See CoQ10 for Cholesterol for the health benefits of taking this supplement in the management of high cholesterol.

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Male Infertility / Fertility Enhancement

There are several studies to show that CoQ10 supplements increase sperm count and motility.

It is believed that a higher concentration of CoQ10 in the semen may improve sperm function, leading to increased fertility.

See this article Coenzyme Q10 for Fertility for a quick discussion.

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Gum Disease (Gingivitis)

There is evidence that people suffering from gum disease have lower blood levels of this essential vitamin-like substance.

This article CoQ10 for gum disease talks about this particular benefit.

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Eye Health / Cataract / Macular Degeneration

Some studies show that Q10 supplements protect the eye tissues from oxidative damage that leads to the development of cataracts.

Another clinical study showed that it seemed to prevent macular degeneration.

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Cancer Treatment

There is one small study clinical study involving 40 cancer patients over a 9 year period. The volunteers took CoQ10 supplements along with other antioxidants (vitamin C, selenium, folic acid and beta-carotene).

This resulted in a 40% increased in the median survival rate over the time predicted. However, the conclusion may be questionable because this study involved a small number of subjects and the inaccuracy of predicting cancer patient survival times.

Three other small clinical studies show some benefits but a mixture of supplements were used and no control group (taking a placebo or sugar pill) was used so it is not possible to tell exactly how effective the treatment was.

One preliminary study suggest that CoQ10 could be helpful in women with breast cancer.

The article CoQ10 for Cancer discusses this specific use in detail.

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One small study showed that taking CoQ10 with Ginkgo biloba reduced fibromyalgia symptoms in 4 weeks.

See CoQ10 for Fibromyalgia for the research study and a discussion behind this use.

See Natural Remedies for Fibromyalgia for a list of supplements for managing this condition.

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Hearing Loss

One three month study involving a total of 60 volunteers showed that adding CoQ10 to conventional therapy resulted in better speech discrimination score (one of the measure of hearing function).

Get more info on using CoQ10 for Hearing loss with this natural supplement.

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Enhance Athletic Performance

Some studies show that CoQ10 improves exercise performance while others show no benefit at all. Better designed clinical studies will be required to prove if CoQ10 is actually helpful.

One small study showed that it can reduce muscle injury caused by exercise.

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Ringing in the Ear (Tinnitus)

One study suggests that people suffering from tinnitus who have low CoQ10 levels might benefit from taking this supplement.

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Alzheimer's Disease (AD) / Dementia

Animal studies showed that coenzyme Q10 may help to slow down the memory loss in individuals suffering from Alzheimer's disease.

See Natural Remedies for Dementia to get a list of remedies that may be helpful.

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Muscular Dystrophy

Some people suffering from muscular dystrophy seem to perform better physically when they are taking CoQ10.

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Parkinson's Disease

Taking CoQ10 in the range of 300 to 2,400 mg daily seems to help slow the worsening of the early stages of Parkinson's disease.

This promising result needs further research studies for verification.

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Antioxidant Benefits

CoQ10 possesses antioxidant properties and it has been suggested for slowing down the aging process and protecting the brain against oxidative damage caused by free radicals.

Using a cream containing CoQ10 is believed to help prevent skin wrinkles and reverse photo-damage caused by UV ray exposure.

The article CoQ10 for Skin reveals the research studies behind this benefit.

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Angina (Chest Pain)

Taking CoQ10 may help with reducing chest pain from angina.

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Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

Some studies suggest that CoQ10 supplements may help reduce the symptoms of chronic fatigue.


Diabetes - Does not affect blood glucose levels

CoQ10 supplement does not seem to change blood sugar levels. However, it may be helpful in reducing the complications of diabetes.

See CoQ10 for Diabetes for the full details.

See CoQ10 Dose for specific dosage recommendations for some of the above health conditions.


Coenzyme Q10 Deficiencies

Some prescription medications are thought to lower the CoQ10 levels in our body. These includes:

  • antipsychotic medications
  • beta blockers
  • diabetic drugs
  • "statins" for lowering cholesterol
  • Alzheimer's disease medications
  • heart medications
  • cancer drugs
  • "water pills" (diuretics)
  • What happens when you have a coenzyme Q10 deficiency?

    Research studies suggest that low levels of CoQ10 are found in people with heart disease, Parkinson's disease, cancer, diabetes, muscular dystrophy and HIV/AIDS.

    However, it is not known for certain if a deficiency causes these health conditions or that having these health conditions causes low CoQ10 blood levels.This distinction is very important. If it is true that low CoQ10 level leads to these health conditons, then taking a supplement could help reverse the condition. However, if these health conditions causes CoQ10 levels to drop, then taking a supplement to raise CoQ10 level may not help the condition..

    Based on preliminary research studies, and much more research will be needed to definitively answer this question, experts believe that these diseases causes CoQ10 deficiency rather than the other way around.

    As well, severely low levels of coenzyme Q10 might interfere with the energy production pathway in our body.

    See CoQ10 Deficiency for a complete discussion on this subject.

    Suggested Benefits and Traditional Uses


    Topically (on the skin)

    Side Effects, Toxicity and Warnings

    CoQ10 has very little side effects. Most are mild and disappear when individuals stop the supplement or when the dose is lowered.

    Reported side effects include heartburn, nausea, vomiting,loss of appetite, skin rash, insomnia, headache, fatigue, irritability and flu-like symptoms.

    The article Side Effects of CoQ10 addresses this issue in greater details.


    Research studies have been done on Q10 lasting up to 30 months with no evidence of any toxicity or danger. It has been used in children for up to 9 months with minimal risks.

    Pregnancy and Lactation

    There is no information available on using CoQ10 during pregnancy or lactation. In theory, there should be limited risk at a dose of 100 mg once daily.

    Common Drug & Health Condition Interactions

    Warfarin / Blood Thinners / Bleeding Disorder - theoretical

    There has been some reports of CoQ10 increasing the risk of bleeding in those people taking blood thinners. Recent studies show that people stabilized on warfarin did not experienced any change in their bleeding time when they took CoQ10.

    Thyroid Medications - possible 

    CoQ10 is suspected to change thyroid levels, especially if you are taking thyroid supplements (such as Eltroxin, Synthroid, Levothroid or Levoxyl). If you suffer from thyroid disorder, have your thyroid levels checked when you start (or stop) this substance.

    Dosage & How to Take It

    Oral Use

    There is no "standard" dose of coenzyme Q10 that a person requires.

    In adults, typical dosage is between 50 to 1,200 milligrams daily (in two or three divided doses). 100 mg daily is commonly suggested as a suitable starting dose.

    See CoQ10 Dosage Recommendations to find out doses to use based on scientific studies.

    Topical Use

    Creams containing various concentrations of CoQ10 are used to help treat wrinkles and to repair damaged skin due to excessive sun exposure.

    See the article CoQ10 for Skin Health for more information.

    Bottom Line

    Compelling research studies show that there may be significant health benefits from taking a CoQ10 supplement.

    This supplement continues to be used for a wide variety of health conditions both for prevention and for treatment.

    This is especially the case for those individuals suffering from heart-related diseases as there is where most of the studies were done.

    Although there is no "standard" dose of CoQ10, many experts suggest that a starting dose of 100 mg daily is safe and reasonable.

    If you feel that you need more, taking 200 mg daily is also reasonable, considering that side effects are not expected.

    Higher doses have been safely used but consult your health care professional for guidance on your specific health conditions.