Aug 29, 2008
Coenzyme Q was first discovered by professor Fred L. Crane and colleagues at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Enzyme Institute in 1957. In 1958, its chemical structure was reported by Professor Karl Folkers and coworkers at Merck.
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is produced by the human body and is necessary for the basic functioning of cells. CoQ10 levels are reported to decrease with age and to be low in patients with some chronic diseases such as heart conditions, muscular dystrophies, Parkinson's disease, cancer, diabetes, and HIV/AIDS. Some prescription drugs may also lower CoQ10 levels.
Levels of CoQ10 in the body can be increased by taking CoQ10 supplements, although it is not clear that replacing "low CoQ10" is beneficial.
Supplementation of Coenzyme Q10 has been found to have a beneficial effect on the condition of some sufferers of migraine headaches. So far, three studies have been done, of which two were small, did not have a placebo group, were not randomized, and were open-label, and one was a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial, which found statistically significant results despite its small sample size of 42 patients. Dosages were 150 to 300 mg/day.
It is also being investigated as a treatment for cancer, and as relief from cancer treatment side-effects.
Supplementation with CoQ10 has not been proven to reduce cancer and has not been compared to other forms of treatment for breast cancer.
Recent studies have shown that the antioxidant properties of Coenzyme Q10 benefit the body and the brain in animal models. Some of these studies indicate that Coenzyme Q10 protects the brain from neurodegenerative disease such as Parkinson's, although it does not relieve the symptoms. Dosage was 300 mg per day.
Another recent study shows a survival benefit after cardiac arrest if coenzyme Q10 is administered in addition to commencing active cooling (to 32–34 degrees Celsius).
There are several reports concerning the effect of CoQ10 on blood pressure in human studies. In a recent meta-analysis of the clinical trials of CoQ10 for hypertension, a research group led by Professor Frank Rosenfeldt (Director, Cardiac Surgical Research Unit, Alfred Hospital, Melbourne, Australia) reviewed all published trials of Coenzyme Q10 for hypertension, and assessed overall efficacy, consistency of therapeutic action, and side-effect incidence. Meta-analysis was performed in 12 clinical trials (362 patients) comprising three randomized controlled trials, one crossover study, and eight open-label studies. The research group concluded that coenzyme Q10 has the potential in hypertensive patients to lower systolic blood pressure by up to 17 mm Hg and diastolic blood pressure by up to 10 mm Hg without significant side-effects.
Studies have shown that low dosages of Coenzyme Q10 reduce oxidation and DNA double-strand breaks, and a combination of a diet rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids and Coenzyme Q10 supplementation leads to a longer lifespan in rats
There is initial data to support the use of CoQ10 in the treatment of kidney (renal) failure. More research is needed before a recommendation can be made.