In 1981, after giving birth to her son, Joan developed postpartum cardiomyopathy, a rare form of heart failure. Two years later, she was on the waiting list for a heart transplant. But things changed after she saw Stephen Sinatra, MD, a cardiologist who used CoQ10 to treat patients. At the time, says Sinatra, “The strategy was totally experimental.” But Joan tried it, and it worked. Experiencing considerable improvement, she declined a new heart and continued on a supplement regimen prescribed by Sinatra. To this day, 30 years later, her own heart serves her well. But Joan is only one of many heart patients who have benefitted from CoQ10.
One study, published in Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, documented improvement among 11 people waiting for heart transplants. "After CoQ10, some patients required no conventional drugs and had no limitation in lifestyle," wrote the researchers.
In a University of Texas study that followed more than 400 heart patients, taking CoQ10 (75-600 mg daily) significantly improved heart function, and for some, reduced the need for medications. Other studies have found similar heart healthy results.
But the heart isn't the only part of the body that benefits. Mitochondria, the energy-generating components of every cell, must have CoQ10 to function. Because that energy helps keep us alive, a CoQ10 shortfall has far-reaching consequences, and restoring levels can produce serious benefits. In addition to its effects on heart health, CoQ10 can:
- Reduce inflammation and muscle damage from intense exercise.
- Relieve fibromyalgia symptoms.
- Treat migraine headaches.
- Improve quality of life for people with Parkinson's disease.
- Fight sun damage when used topically in skin care products.
How to Use CoQ10
Our bodies produce CoQ10, but the amounts decrease as we get older. The nutrient is also found in meat and oily fish, but in quantities too small to be therapeutic. So, supplements are definitely the way to go. Sinatra recommends the following dosages.
- To maintain a healthy heart: 90-150 mg daily.
- When taking statin drugs, or if you have high blood pressure: 180-360 mg daily.
- To improve quality of life in Parkinson's patients: 600-1200 mg daily.
- For mild to moderate heart failure: 300-360 mg daily.
- For congestive heart failure or dilated cardiomyopathy: 360-600 mg daily.
- To reduce migraines: 100 mg, three times daily, taken for several months.
For more information about CoQ10's benefits, visit heartmdinstitute.com.
Use the Ubiquinol Form
There are two types of CoQ10: ubiquinone and Ubiquinol. While it costs a little more, Ubiquinol is the preferred form, and we recommend it over ubiquinone. Ubiquinol is a reduced, more bioavailable form of CoQ10—i.e., it’s much easier to absorb. Look for it on the back panel of the supplement label.
CoQ10 in Food
To get 30 mg of CoQ10, you would need to eat 1 pound of sardines, 2 pounds of beef, or 2.4 pounds of peanuts.