January 17, 2011
This week's research report: CoQ -10
This is in reply to a posted comment by Hans asking about taking CoQ-10 for Parkinson's. When I first was diagnosed with Parkinson's, I researched this and decided to gamble on taking it in the large dose of 1,200 mg a day that is generally cited as having the potential to slow the progress of the disease.
I researched it again just now and found the same results. Preliminary studies indicated that a high dose of CoQ-10 might slow the progression of Parkinson's.
The initial study was conducted in 2002 and was led by Clifford Shults, M.D., of the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine. It looked at a total of 80 PD patients at 10 centers across the country to determine if coenzyme Q10 is safe and if it can slow the rate of functional decline. The study was funded by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS).
"This trial suggested that coenzyme Q10 can slow the rate of deterioration in Parkinson's disease," Dr. Shults said. "However, before the compound is used widely, the results need to be confirmed in larger groups of patients."
A subsequent study tested the efficacy of different doses of CoQ-10. The results of this study suggest that doses as high as 1,200 mg/day are safe and may be more effective than lower doses.
The researchers on this study cautioned that it involved only a relatively small number of people, all of whom had been diagnosed for less than 5 years. They warned against taking CoQ-10 until a larger, more definitive study is conducted. They also warned that CoQ-10 is not a prescribed medication and therefore isn't tested by the FDA and that therefore what's sold in stores and online may not contain the promised dosage. They also noted that CoQ-10 at the higher dosages is relatively costly when taken over a long time and that the results of the study of people with less that five years of PD might not extend to those with a longer history or to those who have not yet been diagnosed.
But many people with PD have decided, like me, not to wait for the results of later studies and to go ahead with the 1200 mg dosage. (Usually in stores, the maximum dosage you can find is 400 mg, which means 3 pills a day. I've found that the Puritan's Pride website offers a 600 mg pill at a good price.)
Other reputable medical websites generally make the same observations about CoQ-10 and Parkinson's – promising evidence that it can slow down the progression but wait for results of later and more definitive studies. Those of us who have decided not to wait, of course have no way of telling whether it’s helping slow down the progression.
I’ve told my neurologist about my taking the 1200 mg of CoQ-10 each day and he didn’t raise any objection.