Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)
How much, and what kind of Coenzyme Q10, does an adult need?
There is no official Daily Value recommendation, but Dr. Weil suggests at least 90 to 120 mg of supplemental CoQ10 for any adult taking statin medications and for those with a family history of heart problems, or who is at increased risk for cardiovascular disease. This dosage is also appropriate for otherwise healthy men and women as a preventive measure and to help maintain a healthy cardiovascular system. Coenzyme Q10 is fat-soluble, so take the supplement with a meal containing fat. Seek out the soft-gel ubiquinol form when taking CoQ10 as a standalone supplement, as this has greater antioxidant efficiency than the ubiquinone form.
How much CoQ10 does a child need?
Dr. Weil suggests consulting with your child’s pediatrician before starting him or her on CoQ10.
How do you get enough CoQ10 from foods?
Although the body is capable of synthesizing CoQ10, Dr. Weil believes that adding foods high in Coenzyme Q10 to the diet and taking a daily supplement is advisable for the at-risk populations indicated above. A typical American diet will include approximately 10 mg of CoQ10 daily, so supplementation is usually necessary to reach the amounts that Dr. Weil regards as optimal. Foods such as fish and meats, and oils from soybean, sesame, and rapeseed (canola) are good dietary sources.
Are there any risks associated with too much Coenzyme Q10?
There is limited research on the toxicity of CoQ10, but preliminary evidence indicates that supplemental doses of up to 1,200 mg a day may be beneficial for those with certain health conditions, especially Parkinson’s disease, with no known side-effects. Some studies have found high daily dosages safe up to 3,600 mg, however gastrointestinal discomfort was reported with these high doses.
Are there any other special considerations?
- CoQ10 is being used in research for improving the immune function of people with HIV or AIDS.
- More research is needed, but Coenzyme Q10 seems to improve muscular dystrophy patients’ exercise capacity, heart function, and overall quality of life.
- There are preliminary indications that CoQ10 may slow the progression of dementia in Alzheimer’s patients.
Updated by: Andrew Weil, M.D., and Brian Becker, M.D., on Sept. 27, 2012.