Trials Find More Health Benefits for Coenzyme Q10

October 8, 2019

Most of us are familiar with the important role of coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) in the body’s production of energy—particularly in the heart muscle. Recent research continues to uncover positive effects for this versatile nutrient in diverse chronic health conditions.

The results of a review and meta-analysis of nine clinical trials that appeared on June 8, 2019 in Pharmacological Research suggests an effect for CoQ10 against the systemic inflammation that plays a role in all stages of chronic diseases. Trials included a total of 509 chronic disease patients who received CoQ10 or a placebo for 8 to 12 weeks. It was determined that oral CoQ10 supplementation was associated with a significant reduction in blood levels of the inflammation markers tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNFa) and interleukin-6 (IL6), which suggests that CoQ10 could improve the inflammatory state that contributes to numerous diseases.

On August 7, 2019, the journal Clinical Rheumatology reported the results of a randomized, double-blind trial in which CoQ10 or a placebo were administered to a total of 54 rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients. While matrix metalloproteinase 3 (an enzyme that is involved in the destruction of bone and cartilage) increased significantly among those who received the placebo, participants who received CoQ10 experienced a reduction in pain, tender joints and disease activity scores by the end of the trial. “It seems that CoQ10 may provide a new complementary approach for RA patients,” authors Seyed Mostafa Nachvak and colleagues remark.

Like rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia is a chronic, painful condition. In a randomized, crossover trial reported on August 7, 2019 in Free Radical Research, fibromyalgia patients received the drug pregabalin (Lyrica®) plus CoQ10, or pregabalin and a placebo for 40 days, after which the treatments were switched for another 40-day period. While pregabalin alone reduced pain and anxiety, the addition of CoQ10 was associated with greater relief. CoQ10 supplementation was also associated with decreased mitochondrial oxidative stress levels and inflammation, and an increase in the antioxidants glutathione and superoxide dismutase (SOD).

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder affecting reproductive-aged women. The syndrome may include multiple ovarian cysts, acne, irregular periods, cardiometabolic symptoms and other conditions. In a randomized trial that involved women with PCOS, reported in the February 2019 issue of Archives of Medical Research, supplementation with a combination of CoQ10 and vitamin E was associated with a decrease in serum total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and visceral fat, and an increase in high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol. Both nutrients (alone and in combination) were associated with lower systolic blood pressure.

These recent studies add to an ever-increasing body of evidence in support of the health benefits of CoQ10. Since the coenzyme is essential to the production of energy and made by nearly every cell of the body, future research will undoubtedly uncover even more roles for this ubiquitous compound.


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Apply What You’ve Learned: Coenzyme Q10

  • Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is utilized by the mitochondria, which are the energy-producing organelles within each cell.
  • Coenzyme Q10 is a fat-soluble antioxidant. If consumed in supplemental form, it is best taken with some form of fat.
  • Coenzyme Q10 exists in ubiquinone and ubiquinol forms. Studies show that the ubiquinol form of CoQ10 is significantly better absorbed.1-2
  • Although the body manufactures CoQ10, tissue levels decline over time, which could impact the mitochondria’s production of energy.3 Blood testing can aid in the determination of one’s CoQ10 level to help guide supplemental dosing.


  1. Langsjoen PH et al. Biofactors. 2008;32(1-4):119-28.
  2. Langsjoen PH et al. Clin Pharmacol Drug Dev. 2014 Jan;3(1):13-7.
  3. Kalén A et al. Lipids. 1989 Jul;24(7):579-84.

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