CoenzymeQ10 CFS

Coenzyme Q10

CoenzymeQ10 CFSCoenzyme Q10 (Co Q10) Is…

 an important factor in cellular energy production and is (in its reduced form (CoQ)) an antioxidant as well. Clinical trials involving Co Q10 have taken place in over 20 disorders including high blood pressure, Alzheimer’s, cardiomyopathy, heart failure, AIDS and mitochondrial diseases. According to the Mayo Clinic COQ10 has had positive affects in many small trials but more research is needed before recommendations can be made regarding its use.

Co Q10 May Work in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) Because..

of its antioxidant properties and its ability to enhance cellular energy production. Chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) studies consistently show increased rates of oxidative stress. Some researchers believe cellular energy production is impaired in chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS)

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) and FM Studies

Maes (2009) found highly reduced levels of CoQ10 in CFS and that low CoQ10 levels were associated with increased symptoms. Maes (2011) found highly reduced CoQ10 levels in people with depression and chronic fatigue syndrome and tied  the lower CoQ10 levels to cardiovascular and inflammatory issues in depression and ME/CFS.

A small 2012 non-placebo controlled Spanish fibromyalgia study found reduced CoQ10 and increased oxidative stress levels in  FM patients.  300 mgs of CoQ10 daily (divided up into 3 doses) resulted in about 50% pain reduction, increased (but not normal) CoQ10 and ATP levels and normal lipid peroxidation (oxidative stress) levels.  There are many anecdotal reports of its beneficial effects and CFS practitioners often prescribe it.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) Doctors Report

Dr. Klimas reported it was the best antioxidant available. Dr. Lapp reported CoQ10 gives about 10-15% improvement in about half his patients.


Reported doses have ranged from 30-300 mg/day often taken in divided doses. Dr. Klimas and Dr. Lapp recommend trying 120 mg/day.  A 2012 fibromyalgia study employed 300 mgs/day. CoQ10 is fat-soluble, so it is better absorbed when taken with a meal that contains oil or fat. It may take up to eight weeks to see effects.

Side Effects

Few reported but may include nausea, itching loss of appetite, fatigue, flu-like symptoms at higher doses. Since Co Q10 may reduce blood sugar levels caution is advised in diabetes or hypoglycemia patients. CoQ10 may reduce blood pressure or lower blood cholesterol levels. If side effects occur try breaking up the dose.

(This and all sections of the Phoenix Rising website are compiled by a layman. They are not a substitute for a physician and are for informational uses only. Please discuss any treatments in these pages with your physician.)


Mayo clinic: CoQ10

Oregon State, Linus Pauling Institute: Micronutrient Center.

Lower plasma Coenzyme Q10 in depression: a marker for treatment resistance and chronic fatigue in depression and a risk factor to cardiovascular disorder in that illness. Maes M, Mihaylova I, Kubera M, Uytterhoeven M, Vrydags N, Bosmans E. Neuro Endocrinol Lett. 2009;30(4):462-9.

Neuro Endocrinol Lett. 2009;30(4):462-9.Lower plasma Coenzyme Q10 in depression: a marker for treatment resistance andchronic fatigue in depression and a risk factor to cardiovascular disorder in that illness.Maes MMihaylova IKubera MUytterhoeven MVrydags NBosmans E.

Oxidative stress correlates with headache symptoms in fibromyalgia: coenzyme q(10) effect on clinical improvement. Cordero MD, Cano-García FJ, Alcocer-Gómez E, De Miguel M, Sánchez-Alcázar JA. PLoS One. 2012;7(4):e35677. Epub 2012 Apr 19.

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