CoQ10 (ubiquinone) is a fat-soluble coenzyme found in the mitochondria of most mammal cells. It was first discovered by R.A. Morton, a biochemist who gave it the name ubiquinone, after its ubiquitous presence in nearly all living things. “Co” stands for coenzyme (a vitamin-like substance), “Q” for quinone, and “10” for the number of its isoprene units. High amounts of CoQ10 occur naturally in fatty saltwater fish, especially mackerel, salmon, and sardines.
CoQ10 is vital for electron transport, the intracellular function that ultimately provides the energy necessary to sustain life. CoQ10 is also a powerful antioxidant and is important in immune system function. The Japanese have successfully used CoQ10 to treat gum disease, heart disease, and high blood pressure, and to enhance the effectiveness of the immune system. It has also been used to treat allergies (owing to its ability to block the effects of histamine), asthma, candidiasis, obesity, diabetes, and mental function diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease.
CoQ10 is one of the most frequently used supplements for the treatment of both Fibromyalgia and ME/CFS. In addition to reducing fatigue, CoQ10 may alleviate muscle weakness and pain. It is also one of the few supplements that may reduce cognitive impairment. Its role as a free radical scavenger may lead to improvement in immune responses.
Studies have shown that CoQ10 is deficient in both ME/CFS and Fibromyalgia patients. In 2009 Maes et al. measured plasma CoQ10 in 58 CFS/ME patients. Compared to normal controls, the CFS/ME group had values significantly below the lowest recorded levels of the control group. Patients with very low levels of CoQ10 suffered significantly more from concentration and memory disturbances. Recently, a study posted in the journal Nutrition confirmed that Fibromyalgia patients, as well, were deficient in CoQ10.
The best source of information about the effectiveness of treatments is the patient population. If you have taken CoQ10, even over a short term, we would like to know what your experience has been. Results will be posted next month on the ProHealth website.
To fill out the survey on CoQ10, go HERE.