While I was talking to a patient about his health conditions, he asked me if he could take CoQ10 for anxiety?
It was obviously clear to me by talking to him that he was a bit anxious. He was talking at a rapid pace as if he wanted to make sure he could tell me everything on his mind.
I was thinking that he really could use some form of natural remedy to lower his anxiety level just a bit. But I didn't think CoQ10 was the answer though. Just from my memory, I don't recall any talk about using CoQ10 to treat anxiety.
Nevertheless, I said that I'll look up some research data and get back to him.
CoQ10 is a very popular natural supplement and I get endless questions from patients wanting to use it treat everything from heart disease to depression and fatigue.
Certainly, there has been a tremendous amount of research on this naturally occurring substance that was first discovered in 1957.
Once it was discovered that it was an essential cofactor used in the pathway for energy generations by living cells, people have thought that it might hold the key to treating many diseases related to impaired cellular energy production.
So, here's what I could find on the use of CoQ10 for treating anxiety...
The first research study I found looked at how CoQ10 supplement worked in mice in improving their behaviour to novel situations. It showed that treatment with CoQ10 reduced their fear of exploring new areas.
But unfortunately, the study could not tell if CoQ10 decreased anxiety levels or increased their stimulation to explore. So, this study doesn't provide answer to the question, "Does taking CoQ10 reduce anxiety." Keep in mind that even if this animal study showed that CoQ10 reduced anxiety in mice, you still cannot be sure if this effect would be seen in humans.
The last I checked, we humans are very different than mice...
Here's the reference to this published research study.
Let's look at studies in humans. That's what I'm really interested in. Are there any showing the benefits of using CoQ10 for reducing anxiety symptoms?
Yes. indeed, but the result is not what you want to hear. This research study looked at using CoQ10 and L-carnitine in 59 breast cancer patients.
They looked at how taking CoQ10 and L-carnitine affected factors such as fatigue, quality of life, anxiety and depression. The researchers found that CoQ10 helped with fatigue symptoms but had no effect on anxiety levels.
This is clearly not good news. Granted, this is a rather small study and they didn't focus on anxiety. What we would like to see is a clinical study that is specifically designed to look at anxiety levels by itself.
Just from this one study, I would say that it appears that CoQ10 has no benefits in reducing anxiety symptoms.
Here's the reference to this clinical trial.
Does it help to take CoQ10 for anxiety symptoms?
No. It doesn't look like it would work.
You might ask me if I should at least give it a try. After all, it might just work in my case you might say.
Well, CoQ10 is well tolerated and very few people report side effects from using it so safety is not the issue.
But the issue is that there's not good evidence that it would work at all.
I'm sure you are aware that there are many other natural remedies that help with anxiety. I strongly suggest for you to try those first, especially when many of them have good studies to show that they help with anxiety.
Examples would include B-complex vitamins and passionflower. Both seem to have evidence to show that they work to reduce anxiety symptoms.
Check them out first and try them before trying CoQ10.