I get a lot of questions from my patients about the health benefits of CoQ10. I take it myself although not for treating fibromyalgia symptoms.
CoQ10 is an essential molecule that is required by the mitochondria (specialized structures inside cells) for producing energy.
Studies are discovering that individuals suffering from fibromyalgia have lowering levels of coenzyme Q10, higher oxidative stress in their blood and mitochondria that are not operating at peak capacity.
Researchers believe that low levels of CoQ10 could compromise the ability of cells to produce the necessary energy needed by the cells.
Some experts have speculated that a CoQ10 supplement may reduce fibromyalgia symptoms. It seems to make sense.
So let us do some investigations and find out what research studies have revealed about this popular natural remedy as it relate to treating fibromyalgia.
We found several studies that looked at the relationship between fibromyalgia and CoQ10 levels. I will just focus on three for now.
The last study discussed below did provide some evidence that taking coenzyme Q10 could help fibromyalgia sufferers.
Here's the first research paper published in 2010. Although dated, the findings are still relevant to what we are trying to discover.
This authors in this study suggested that a CoQ10 deficiency could be, in part, responsible for causing the mitochondria to malfunction and to be unable to produce sufficient energy for the cells in our body.
Recall that CoQ10 is not only required for energy generation, it is a potent antioxidant as well. There was evidence of higher oxidative stress experienced by the mitochondria.
Keep in mind that this paper doesn't shed any light as to whether taking CoQ10 would help those suffering from fibromyalgia, but at least there is a plausible mechanism on how CoQ10 might work to treat fibromyalgia symptoms.
Let's look at a second study that might shed more light into the benefit of taking CoQ10 for this condition.
The authors confirm previous findings that low levels of CoQ10, higher oxidative stress and inefficient mitochondrial function are found in patients suffering from fibromyalgia.
They believe that oxidative stress is, in part, responsible for causing fibromyalgia. See Antioxidant Facts to find out why antioxidants guard our cells against damage.
Here's the reference to this study.
This third study also confirms all previous findings that low levels of CoQ10 and high oxidative stress (both in the mitochondria and in the blood) are characteristics of fibromyalgia patients.
In this study, the researchers evaluated the potential benefits of using coenzyme Q10 in combination with Ginkgo biloba extract for treating fibromyalgia symptoms.
This is one of the better study. It showed that volunteers taking coenzyme Q10 combined with Ginkgo biloba helped to reduce fibromyalgia symptoms. The benefits were seen at 4, 8 and at 12 weeks.
This was not a placebo-controlled blinded study mind you(the "gold" standard in designing clinical trials) so there could be biases from the placebo effect.
This study used a dose of 200 mg CoQ10 and 200 mg of Ginkgo daily for a total of 84 days.
Here's the reference to the published paper.
Here's what we know about the dosage of CoQ10. Experts suggest starting with 100 mg twice daily and increase gradually over several weeks.
Dosages higher than 200 mg per day should be supervised by a health care professional.
The article CoQ10 Dosing Guidelines provide more information on best dosage of CoQ10 to use for various health conditions.
Would taking CoQ10 actually help to reduce fibromyalgia pain?
It is possible although better research studies will need to be done to confirm this initial finding.
The last study discussed does seem to show that taking CoQ10 and Ginkgo reduced fibromyalgia symptoms so there is promise that it may be helpful.
I think it would be worth trying. This may be the best (and only) way to find out if it works in your specific situation. Fortunately, CoQ10 is reasonably priced so it would not cost you too much for a trial lasting one, two or even three months.
What is not currently known is whether low CoQ10 levels causes fibromyalgia pain or that fibromyalgia causes a drop in CoQ10 levels. I expect that more research studies will lead to an answer to this question in the future.
As for side effects from taking CoQ10 side effects they are not common, so it would not be harmful if you tried it for several months.
Revised: December 7, 2016