CoQ10, also called coenzyme Q10, Q10 or ubiquinone is made naturally in the body.
The body uses this vitamin-like substance for energy generations and to protect cells against damage that might lead to certain types of cancer.
Studies in lab and animal models have shown that Q10 is involved in regulating the immune system and that might help cut down the risk of cancer.
Some studies suggest a link between low CoQ10 blood levels and cancer of the prostate, head, neck, pancreas, breast, lungs and colon.
In our previous review, Benefits of Coenzyme Q10, we mentioned how important it is for practically everyone to take CoQ10.
It has proven health benefits for the heart and every parts of the body. Now, we will look specifically at using CoQ10 for cancer prevention and treatment...
There are many animal studies done and the results all suggest that CoQ10 supplements might work to slow down the cancer growth.
One study done in volunteers showed that low blood levels of CoQ10 was correlated to a higher risk of developing cancer.
However, there are only small human studies done to show directly if taking CoQ10 would prevent or treat cancer.
Unfortunately, none of studies give us a definitive answer.
We did locate a research study showing that taking a combination supplement extended the life of patients with end-stage cancer:
The researchers followed the patients until they passed away. The
result was that taking CoQ10 along with vitamin
folic acid and beta-carotene increased the median survival rate by 40%
Of the forty cancer patients, 10 survived for less time than predicted and 31 of them survived for longer. None of the volunteers reported any significant side effects from taking the supplement.
Try not to interpret too far into the "results". Why?
Because without a control group and the fact that the survival times are only estimates, we can not be sure if the CoQ10 and antioxidant supplement was really responsible for increasing survival time.
Several other studies also reported benefits but these studies all involved a small number of individuals and they did not include controls.
As well, the subjects in these studies took a mixture of supplements including CoQ10 along with using conventional anti-cancer therapy as well. To further add uncertainty to the results, the researchers did not include a control group (taking a placebo or "sugar pill") in their studies.
So, with so many variables in the study that were not properly controlled, it is impossible to tell if it was just CoQ10 or all the other interventions that helped the cancer patients.
Will taking CoQ10 help with cancer?
The jury is still out.
Experts cannot say with certainty whether taking coenzyme Q10 supplements would help to prevent or treat cancer.
The theory of how CoQ10 might prevent cancer is sound and lab and animal studies showed promising results.
But without properly designed clinical studies, it's a long stretch to say that it would help with cancer in patients.
Because CoQ10 has a very good safety profile, a starting dose of 100 mg daily could be suggested to help prevent CoQ10 deficiency.
Of course, ideally, getting your serum CoQ10 measured (at a cost of around $150 to $200 for the test) is the only definitive to find out if you are low in CoQ10.
Otherwise, a starting dosage of 100 mg daily is a "basic" starting dose that you can consider taking.
Side effects from taking CoQ10 is low and its many other health benefits makes it a reasonably safe recommendation, even for those suffering with cancer.
If you are thinking of taking CoQ10 for cancer specifically, see the article Natural Remedies for Cancer shown below.
You will find that there are other natural supplements that also used around the world for cancer prevention and treatment.
Revised: May 28, 2013