CoQ10, or simply coenzyme Q is a vitamin like, oil soluble, naturally occurring nutrient present in every cell of the body mainly in the mitochondria. Being necessary for the basic functioning of the cell and its levels known to decline with age, and in certain chronic diseases like diabetes, heart conditions, muscular dystrophy, Parkinson’s disease, cancer etc. CoQ10 supplements are available and highly promoted to restore the levels of the coenzyme in the body. With the better understanding of its role and function in the body, its uses and implications are on the rise. But what one needs to know is the dosage and the side effects which accompany this supplement.

CoQ10 Dosage

The amount varies depending on a number of factors but for healthy individuals who wish to take it as a daily health supplement it should be between 30 – 200 mg per day. The CoQ10 dosage that is used in various clinical trials has evolved in the last twenty years. Initially studies with doses as low as 30-45 milligram(mg) daily had shown improvements in heart failure patients. Currently the trials using higher dosages have also lead to improved results in heart failure patients.

According to different scientific researches, the dosage recommended varies according to the indication for which it is used. In conditions like muscular dystrophy, known CoQ10 deficiency, high blood pressure or heart failure in adults, 100-200mg per day is recommended. In pre-eclampsia of pregnancy, 100 mg twice a day from 20th week of pregnancy until delivery is advised. In conditions like HIV/AIDS and male infertility, 200-300mg per day is used. In Parkinson’s disease and mitochondrial disorders, higher dosages from 2400-3000mg per day, increased gradually, has shown promising effects. The CoQ10 supplement is also used to prevent migraine headaches in the dosages of 100mg three times a day. Still the research for dosages in various other conditions is under research.

The levels of CoQ10 in the blood after oral intake varies as some individuals attain good blood levels of CoQ10 on 100 mg per day while others require 2-3 times this amount for attaining the same blood levels. This is due to the variability in its absorption patterns. The soft gel preparations are better absorbed than other preparations like capsules. It is also recommended that when the supplement is taken a night, it gives good results by being better utilized by the body.

CoQ10 Side Effects

The scientific evidence regarding the safety of this supplement in children under 18 years is lacking, and so is not recommended to them. CoQ10 supplement, when taken orally is generally safe and well tolerated in adults over 18 years of age. Some of its milder side-effects include gastrointestinal disturbances like loss of appetite, heart burn, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain and upset stomach. Some of the others include headache, irritability, dizziness, insomnia, increased sensitivity to light, fatigue or some flu-like symptoms. These symptoms are typically brief, mild and stop on their own without requiring any additional medications. In certain susceptible individuals, an allergic skin reaction with itching and rashes has been reported. The level of liver enzymes may be elevated in those taking 300mg dosages for a long time. As CoQ10 is known to lower the blood sugar levels, it should be used with caution in diabetic individuals who are on other anti-diabetic medications or supplements. As it also decreases the blood pressure, it is to be taken with care in those with low blood pressures or on medications for high blood pressure. By dividing the total daily dosage required into multiple smaller dosages, it helps to reduce the side effects.

CoQ10 Interactions with Prescription Drugs

The CoQ10 supplement is known to interact with many other drugs like chemotherapy medications for cancer, statins for cholesterol, medicines for blood thinning etc. Due to these drug interactions and also certain potential side effects, one should take the CoQ10 supplements only under the supervision of a knowledgeable health care provider.