Coenzyme Q10 in 2017

A reader requested to review the most recent literature on CoQ10 and summarize my conclusions.

Fibromyalgia and Migraines

“CoQ(10) level in plasma samples from FM patients was doubled compared to healthy controls and in blood mononuclear cells isolated from 37 FM patients was found to be about 40% lower….The protection caused in mononuclear cells by CoQ(10) would indicate the benefit of its supplementation in FM patients. ” [2009]

” Coenzyme Q(10) (CoQ(10)) levels in salivary cells (SCs) and mononuclear blood cells (BMCs) from Fibromyalgia (FM)..were reduced in both cell models. Oral supplementation showed an improvement in clinical symptoms and restored levels.” [2012]

” In this report, we show the effect of CoQ10 treatment on clinical symptoms, blood mononuclear cells, and mitochondrial and oxidative stress markers from a woman with FM. After CoQ10 treatment, the patient reported a significant improvement of clinical symptoms.” [2012]

“A placebo-controlled trial of CoQ10 in FM patients has shown a reduced NLRP3 inflammasome activation and IL-1β and IL-18 serum levels.” [2014]

  • “300 mg/day CoQ10 divided into three doses”
  • This study did not describe any symptom improvements seen — it was focused on lab results.
  • [2011] study cites: “Patients with CoQ(10) deficiency showed a statistically significant reduction on symptoms after CoQ(10) treatment during 9 months (300 mg/day).”

Folic Acid and coenzyme q10 ameliorate cognitive dysfunction in the rats with intracerebroventricular injection of streptozotocin [2012].

  • “The present results suggest that CoQ10 and folic acid have therapeutic and preventive effects on cognitive impairments in Alzheimer’s disease.”
  • [2006] study on mice, found CoQ10 alone had similar effects.

Role of magnesium, coenzyme Q10, riboflavin, and vitamin B12 in migraine prophylaxis. [2004] “

  • “The therapeutic potential of magnesium, coenzyme Q(10), riboflavin, and vitamin B(12) can be cautiously inferred from some published open clinical trials; it should, however, be considered that double-blind randomized larger studies are needed to correctly estimate the impact of the placebo effect in these promising therapies.”
  • “Treatment with … magnesium, riboflavin and Q10 ..had an impact on migraine frequency which showed a trend towards statistical significance.” [2015] i.e. it looks like it may help, but the effect could be random variation of patients symptoms.
  • Oxidative stress correlates with headache symptoms in fibromyalgia: coenzyme Q₁₀ effect on clinical improvement.[2012]
    • “induced a significant improvement in clinical and headache symptoms”


No Studies Could be found for…

  • Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth
  • IBS

Bottom Line

A dosages of 300 mg/day of CoQ10 appears to have significant benefits. CoQ10 alone for CFS had no studies, only with NADH (which has benefits for CFS alone). NADH is related to niacin (B3) which may be a more economical supplement than NADH, but this is speculation as no studies have been done. NADH amounts cited in studies with positive effects was 20mg/day – but evidence suggests it benefits will disappear after 3 months.

I discovered a 2010 article finding that grapefruit juice significantly enhances the absorption of CoQ10

NADH Notes

  • “Administration of oral NADH was associated to a decrease in anxiety and maximum heart rate, after a stress test in patients with CFS. On the contrary, this treatment did not modify other clinical variables and the global functional performance.” [2010]
  • “8 of 26 (31%) responded favorably to NADH in contrast to 2 of 26 (8%) to placebo. ” [1999]
  • “The twelve patients who received NADH had a dramatic and statistically significant reduction of the mean symptom score in the first trimester (p < 0.001). However, symptom scores in the subsequent trimesters of therapy were similar in both treatment groups. ” [2004]