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Coenzyme Q10 (Ubiquinone)

Be aware that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not strictly regulate herbs and dietary supplements. There is no guarantee of strength, purity or safety of products containing or claiming to contain coenzyme Q10. Decisions to use herbs or supplements should be carefully considered. Individuals using prescription drugs should discuss taking herbs or supplements with their pharmacist or health care provider before starting.


Scientists have studied coenzyme Q10 for the following health problems:

Heart failure, cardiomyopathy
Several studies have shown benefits of coenzyme Q10 in people who have been diagnosed with chronic heart failure (with or without cardiomyopathy), including transplant recipients. Although the results are promising, some of them are conflicting. Further research is needed.
A small amount of research suggests that coenzyme Q10 is of benefit in people with exercise-induced angina. Further research is needed.
Heart attack
A small amount of research reports that coenzyme Q10 has benefits when given after a heart attack. There may be fewer additional heart attacks or fewer dangerous heart arrhythmias. However, additional studies are needed before a strong recommendation can be made.
High blood pressure
Several studies suggest that supplementation with coenzyme Q10 may lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure in some people who have high blood pressure. It is not clear if coenzyme Q10 deficiency is a cause of high blood pressure. Research has not clearly shown what doses are safe and effective, and long-term effects have not been measured.
Protection against heart muscle damage from chemotherapy, heart surgery or diabetes
There is early evidence that coenzyme Q10 may protect the heart from damage during chemotherapy or bypass surgery or in diabetes. However, studies have been small, with flaws in their designs, and results have disagreed with each other. Additional research is needed. It is not clear what doses may be safe or effective.
Alzheimer's disease
Some studies suggest that coenzyme Q10 may slow the progression of dementia associated with Alzheimer's disease. However, these studies have been small, and more research is needed before a conclusion can be made.
Coenzyme Q10 has been proposed as a possible therapy for gum disease. Early evidence suggests that coenzyme Q10 may decrease pus formation, redness, bleeding, pain and swelling of the gums. Most studies in humans have been small, with flaws in their designs, and it is not clear what dose may be safe or effective.
Coenzyme Q10 has been proposed as a possible therapy for HIV or AIDS. Early evidence suggests that coenzyme Q10 may reduce an HIV-positive individual's risk of getting other infections. However, studies in humans have been small, with flaws in their designs. It remains unclear if coenzyme Q10 is beneficial in HIV-positive people.
Decreased sperm movement
There is early evidence from one study in humans that coenzyme Q10 may help increase sperm activity in men with reduced sperm movement (idiopathic asthenospermia). However, this study was small and had flaws in its design. Therefore, it is unclear whether there is any benefit from coenzyme Q10 in improving sperm movement and it is not known what dose may be safe or effective.
Chronic kidney failure
Coenzyme Q10 has been proposed as a possible therapy for treating chronic kidney failure. Early evidence suggests that coenzyme Q10 may improve kidney function and reduce the need for chronic dialysis. More studies using larger numbers of people are needed to determine if coenzyme Q10 is safe and effective for this use.
Exercise performance
Coenzyme Q10 has been proposed as a possible therapy for improving exercise performance. There is only limited research in humans using coenzyme Q10 specifically for this use, and results of different studies have disagreed with each other. Coenzyme Q10 may benefit people with chronic lung diseases, but it does not appear to offer advantages for most athletes. It is unclear what dose is safe and effective.
Huntington's disease
One study was conducted to determine if coenzyme Q10 is beneficial in treating Huntington's disease. Although this study did not find any support for using coenzyme Q10, the study was small, with flaws in its design.
Neuromuscular disorders (muscular dystrophy, Parkinson's disease, mitochondrial disease, Kearns-Sayre syndrome)
Several studies have suggested that coenzyme Q10 may help treat various diseases associated with muscle or nerve degeneration. Early evidence suggests that coenzyme Q10 may improve heart function in people with progressive muscular dystrophies, may slightly improve muscle function in people with Parkinson's disease and may reduce fatigue or improve mood disturbances in people with mitochondrial diseases or diseases that inhibit the body's ability to store and use energy appropriately. However, these studies have been small, with flaws in their designs. Therefore, it is unclear whether there is any benefit from coenzyme Q10 in these diseases, and it is not known what dose may be safe or effective. Another study in humans with neurological disease showed the effectiveness of coenzyme Q10 in Friedreich's ataxia and as a neuroprotectant against ischemia, trauma, oxidative damage and neurotoxins.
Breast cancer
Several studies in women with breast cancer report reduced levels of coenzyme Q10 in diseased breast tissue or blood. Some researchers have suggested that raising coenzyme Q10 levels with supplements may be helpful. However, it is not clear if coenzyme Q10 is beneficial in these patients or if the low levels of coenzyme Q10 may actually be a part of the body’s natural response to cancer, helping to fight disease. Supplementation with coenzyme Q10 has not been proven to reduce cancer and has not been compared with other forms of treatment for breast cancer.

Unproven Uses

Coenzyme Q10 has been suggested for many other uses, based on tradition or on scientific theories. However, these uses have not been thoroughly studied in humans, and there is limited scientific evidence about safety or effectiveness. Some of these suggested uses are for conditions that are potentially very serious and even life-threatening. You should consult a health care provider before taking coenzyme Q10 for any unproven use.

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
Bell's palsy
Chronic fatigue syndrome
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
Clogged arteries
Difficulty breathing
Drug-induced muscle deterioration
Hair loss
Hepatitis B
Immune dysfunction
Irregular heart beats
Life extension
Liver disease
Lung cancer
MELAS syndrome (mitochondrial myopathy, encephalopathy, lactacidosis, stroke)
Mitral valve prolapse
Neurodegenerative disorders
Oxidative stress components
Papillon-Le Fevre syndrome
Peripheral edema
Psychiatric disorders
Stomach ulcers

Potential Dangers     


Side Effects

Pregnancy And Breast-Feeding


Interactions with drugs, herbs and other supplements have not been thoroughly studied. The interactions listed below have been reported in scientific publications. If you are taking prescription drugs, speak with your health care provider or pharmacist before using herbs or dietary supplements.

Interactions With Drugs

Interactions With Herbs And Dietary Supplements


The doses listed below are based on scientific research, publications or traditional use. Because most herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly studied or monitored, safety and effectiveness may not be proven. Brands may be made differently, with variable ingredients even within the same brand. Combination products often contain small amounts of each ingredient and may not be effective. Appropriate dosing should be discussed with a health care provider before starting therapy; always read the recommendations on a product's label. The dosing for unproven uses should be approached cautiously, because scientific information is limited in these areas.

There are no well-established doses of coenzyme Q10, and many different doses have been used and studied.

Adults (Aged 18 Or Older)

Children (Younger Than 18): There are a few studies using coenzyme Q10 in children. For reducing heart damage associated with some chemotherapy drugs, a dose of 100 milligrams taken by mouth twice daily has been used. Safety in children is not well established, and use of this supplement should be discussed with your child's health care provider.


Coenzyme Q10 has been suggested as a treatment for many conditions. Some research supports the use of coenzyme Q10 for congestive heart failure, after heart attacks, high blood pressure, heart complications associated with diabetes and Alzheimer's disease, although it is not well-established what doses may be safe and effective. There is not enough scientific evidence to support the use of coenzyme Q10 for any other medical condition. Coenzyme Q10 may cause flulike symptoms, stomach upset or headache. It should be avoided in pregnant or breast-feeding women, but it has been studied and used in children under the supervision of a qualified health care provider. Coenzyme Q10 may increase the risk of blood clotting or bleeding. Consult your health care provider immediately if you have any side effects.

The information in this monograph was prepared by the professional staff at Natural Standard, based on thorough systematic review of scientific evidence. The material was reviewed by the Faculty of the Harvard Medical School with final editing approved by Natural Standard.


  1. Natural Standard: An organization that produces scientifically based reviews of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) topics
  2. National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM): A division of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services dedicated to research

Selected Scientific Studies: Coenzyme Q10

Some of the more recent studies are listed below:

  1. Abe K, Matsuo Y, Kadekawa J, et al. Effect of coenzyme Q10 in patients with mitochondrial myopathy, encephalopathy, lactic acidosis,and stroke-like episodes (MELAS): evaluation by noninvasive tissue oximetry. J Neuro Sci 1999;162(1):65-68.
  2. Akihama T, Nakamoto Y, Shindo T, et al. Protective effects of conenzyme Q10 on the adverse reactions of anthracycline antibiotics:using double-blind method with special reference to hair loss. Gan To Kagaku Ryoho 1983;10(10):2125-2129.
  3. Azuma J, Sawamura A, Awata N, Usefulness of taurine in chronic congestive heart failure and its prospective application. Jpn Circ J 1992;56(1):95-99.
  4. Berman M, Erman A, Ben-gal T, et al. Coenzyme Q10 in patients with end-stage heart failure awaiting cardiac transplantation: a randomized, placebo-controlled study. Clin Cardiol 2004;27(5):295-299.
  5. Bonetti A, Solito F, Carmosino G, et al. Effect of ubidecarenone oral treatment on aerobic power in middle-aged trained subjects. J Sports Med Phys Fitness 2000;40(1):51-57.
  6. Folkers K, Simonsen R. Two successful double-blind trials with coenzyme Q10 (vitamin Q10) on muscular dystrophies and neurogenic atrophies. Biochim Biophys Acta 1995;1271(1):281-286.
  7. Gottlieb SS, Khatta M, Fisher ML. Coenzyme Q10 and congestive heart failure. Ann Intern Med 2000;133(9):745-746.
  8. Hodgson JM, Watts GF, Playford DA, et al. Coenzyme Q10 improves blood pressure and glycaemic control: a controlled trial in subjects with type 2 diabetes. Eur J Clin Nutr 2002;56(11):1137-1142.
  9. Hofman-Bang C, Rehnqvist N, Swedberg K, et al. Coenzyme Q10 as an adjunctive in the treatment of chronic congestive heart failure: the Q10 Study Group. J Card Fail 1995;1(2):101-107.
  10. Iarussi D, Auricchio U, Agretto A, et al. Protective effect of coenzyme Q10 on anthracyclines cardiotoxicity: control study in children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Mol Aspects Med 1994;15(Suppl):207-212.
  11. Khatta M, Alexander BS, Krichten CM, et al. The effect of coenzyme Q10 in patients with congestive heart failure. Ann Intern Med 2000;132(8):636-640.
  12. Langsjoen PH, Vadhanavikit S, Folkers K. Response of patients in classes III and IV of cardiomyopathy to therapy in a blind and crossover trial with coenzyme Q10. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 1985;82(12):4240-4244.
  13. Lagnsjoen PH, Vadhanavikit S, Folkers S. Effective treatment with coenzyme Q10 of patients with chronic myocardial disease. Drugs Exp Clin Res 1985;11(8):577-579.
  14. Ma A, Zhang W, Liu Z. Effect of protection and repair of injury of mitochondrial membrane phospholipids on prognosis in patients with dilated cardiomyopathy. Blood Press Suppl 1996;3:53-55.
  15. Morisco C, Nappi A, Argenziano L, et al. Noninvasive evaluation of cardiac hemodynamics during exercise in patients with chronic heart failure: effects of short-term coenzyme Q10 treatment. Mol Aspects Med 1994;15(Suppl):155-163.
  16. Rengo F, Abete P, Landino P, et al. Role of metabolic therapy in cardiovascular disease. Clin Investig 1993;71(8 Suppl):124-128.
  17. Sacher HL, Sacher ML, Landau SW, et al. The clinical and hemodynamic effects of coenzyme Q10 in congestive cardiomyopathy. Am J Ther 1997;4(2-3):66-72.
  18. Satta A, Grandi M, Landoni CV, et al. Effects of ubidecarenone in an exercise training program for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases. Clin Ther 1991;13(6):754-757.
  19. Scarlato G, Bresolin N, Moroni I, et al. Multicenter trial with ubidecarenone: treatment of 44 patients with mitochondrial myopathies. Rev Neurol 1991;147(6-7):542-548.
  20. Singh RB, Neki NS, Kartikey K, et al. Effect of coenzyme Q10 on risk of atherosclerosis in patients with recent myocardial infarction. Mol Cell Biochem 2003;246(1-2):75-82.
  21. Soja AM, Mortensen SA. Treatment of congestive heart failure with coenzyme Q10 illuminated by meta-analyses of clinical trials. Mol Aspects Med 1997;18(Suppl):S159-S168.
  22. Tran MT, Mitchell TM, Kennedy DT, et al. Role of coenzyme Q10 in chronic heart failure, angina, and hypertension. Pharmacother 2001;21(7):797-806.

Last updated June 22, 2005