CoQ 10

Coenzyme Q10, also known as ubiquinone, ubidecarenone, coenzyme Q, and abbreviated at times to CoQ10. It has many usages in the bodies from ATP to impacting the transfer of electrons in the body.

Studies found that ~70% of CFS patients improved with taking this supplement, especially with a reduction in the number of headaches. This rate of improvement is interesting because studies found that only 45% of CFS patients have low levels of CoQ10 (so you would expect only 45% to improve). Low levels are seen in various fibromyalgia. There have been no studies with Lyme or Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

The low levels of CoQ10 measured in the body are associated with worst headaches.

The mechanism of action is unclear, it improves mitochondrial function (the usual attempt to explain its impact) but it also reduces blood clotting. In other words, it may be used as part of the body anti-coagulation mechanism. Coagulation and headaches are associated — so how it helps is actually fuzzy for CFS/FM patients.

Marketing Versions?

There are many versions of CoQ10 sold as being “better”. Unfortunately, there is no evidence to support this marketing claim (Check PubMed yourself!). Without evidence, it is hard to recommend premium versions that will impact your supplement budget negatively. Often the cost of these “designer” supplements is 2 to 5 times more per mg.

The following items were selected for the lowest cost per mg of CoQ10.

The pricing is often contra-intuitative: For example on the Amazon.UK site, the same brand (and description) CoQ10 are:

So they charge more if they have to make less capsules!  This also illustrates that a supplement budget can be stretched a lot further by careful shopping.