Saturday, November 26, 2011

Is CoQ10 worth taking?


Is CoQ10 worth taking? After all, CoQ10 is a fairly expensive supplement.
Is CoQ10 worth the cost?

And what is CoQ10? 



CoQ10 is also called ubiquinone or Coenzyme Q10. Although CoQ10 has been called a vitamin by some promoters,  CoQ10  is not.

Our body makes CoQ10 so that means it is not a vitamin. Vitamins are certain substances required by the body for normal function. Vitamins cannot be made by our body and must be taken in the diet.

CoQ10 has an important role in the function of our mitochondria. Mitochondria are found in most of the cells of our body. Mitochondria are involved in a multitude of cell functions. Mitochondria are the center for energy production in the cell but mitochondria do much more than that. And CoQ10 is important for normal mitochondrial function.

CoQ10 also can serve as an antioxidant. CoQ10 is also found in other parts of our cells besides mitochondria.

So what is the evidence for taking CoQ10? Is CoQ10 worth taking?

The most recent and best evidence come from randomized controlled clinical trials. In these randomized controlled clinical trials, the participating person gets either CoQ10 or placebo. See my post on clinical trials.

Because statin therapy may lower blood levels of CoQ10, studies have looked at whether supplementing with CoQ10 might be beneficial in those people who get muscle problems while on statins. The results are not convincing of benefit. 

There have been two published randomized controlled trials that explore CoQ10 treatment in people with muscle symptoms while taking statins.

The larger study  that lasted longer and used a higher dose of CoQ10 showed no benefit but the patients in that study may not have had such severe muscle symptoms. The other smaller study that lasted only 1 month suggested some benefit, less muscle pain, with 100 milligrams of CoQ10 daily.

Other studies suggest possible benefit for heart failure, muscular dystrophy, high blood pressure , migraine prevention, dry mouth and sperm function.These studies are small and all require confirmation.

If you have muscle aching while on a statin you might try a CoQ10 supplement. 
If you notice no benefit after about a month, stop it. 

We all await the results of more studies on CoQ10
In the meantime, I would suggest that most of us should just save our money. 
CoQ10 is not worth taking.

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