C00Q10 and Cancer, by Deb Witter

What is it?

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is produced by the human body and is necessary for the basic functioning of cells. CoQ10 levels are reported to decrease with age and to be low in patients with some chronic diseases such as heart conditions, muscular dystrophies, Parkinson’s disease, cancer, diabetes, and HIV/AIDS. Some prescription drugs may also lower CoQ10 levels. [1]

Our Story

Getting chemo through I.V.

Getting chemo through I.V.

Kayla has to take a chemotherapy drug named Doxorubicin. It is medically known that this chemotherapy drug can cause heart damage, and because of this side effect, Kayla gets heart tests done every third treatment of Doxorubicin. Even years after treatment heart disease can show up as a result of this drug.

There are approximately sixteen thousand medical papers written on C0-Q10 and I found out that many heart doctors take this supplement. CoQ10 has been studied extensively under many different circumstances, i.e., heart, cancer, fatigue, dialysis, palsy, to name a few. Most studies have found favorable responses for the use of CoQ10.

Study Excerpts

I did this research and took the information to our oncologist and received approval for Kayla to be able to take a standard dose (100 mg) of CoQ10 on a daily basis.

These study excerpts are for you to use for consultation with your medical team.

❧ CoQ10 is produced in all living organisms and is an essential coenzyme for energy synthesis in the mitochondria and an important scavenger of reactive oxygen species. The study conducted with CoQ10 and eleven healthy males aged 26 years. The subjects took CoQ10 before during and after exercise. These results suggested that CoQ10 may increase fat oxidation with augmented autonomic nervous activity during low intensity exercise. [2]

❧ This pilot study accords with published data suggesting that CoQ10 therapy improves cardiac functional status in patients with moderately

C0Q10 a heart friendly supplement.

C0Q10 a heart friendly supplement.

severe dilated cardiomyopathy (a disease of the heart muscle that causes it to lose its pumping strength) receiving maximal non beta-blocker therapy. Future multi-centre studies with larger numbers are indicated. [3]

❧ CONCLUSION: Oral administration of coenzyme Q10 improved subjective fatigue sensation and physical performance during fatigue-inducing workload trials and might prevent unfavorable conditions as a result of physical fatigue. [4]

❧ …These results provide further evidence that administration of CoQ10 is a promising therapeutic strategy for the treatment of Parkinsons Disease. [5]

❧ Decreased plasma levels of coenzyme Q10 have been observed in individuals with diabetes, cancer, and congestive heart failure. [7.]

How This May Apply To You

❧ Coenzyme Q10 is a vitamin like substance that is present in the cells of all mammals and plays an important role in the cells energy-producing mitochondria (the part in the cell responsible for energy production and also a small amount of DNA). It is a potent antioxidant and its declining tissue concentration may contribute to the aging process and to the progress of degenerative diseases. Because the heart has very high metabolic activity, it requires large amounts of CoQ10. In Japan, CoQ10 is routinely used as a treatment in cardiac care, particularly for congestive heart failure and cardiomyopathy. In studies done in Europe, CoQ10 has been used to successfully reduce chemotherapy induced heart damage. More recently, it has been studied as a significant part of cancer treatment, as an antioxidant agent that may affect tumor growth in cancer patients.

At the Comprehensive Cancer Care Conference, Dr. Richard Willis of the University of Texas reported on work done by himself and by Dr. Carl Folkers, among others. In one remarkable uncontrolled clinical study, done in Denmark, 32 node-positive breast cancer patients were treated with conventional therapy and with 90 mg per day of CoQ10 plus other supplements. All these patients survived at least 24 months, a period of time in which it was expected that 6 would die. Partial tumor regression was observed in 6 patients. Two of these people were later given 300 to 400 mg of CoQ10 a day, and complete remissions followed. Several more studies on individual patients were done using similarly high doses of CoQ10, with similar results.

These results may be due partly to the antioxidant effect of CoQ10, or perhaps an immune-enhancing effect to which recent research points. There is no evidence to indicate CoQ10 interferes with conventional treatment; indeed, it has been successfully used to mitigate the cardiotoxicity of chemotherapy. No toxicity has been observed using CoQ10 itself, even at very high doses.

As Dr. Willis said, the data are promising, and the investigation continues, but only case studies have been published. Randomized clinical trials have not been completed. The evidence available is strong enough so that some clinicians and many patients are using CoQ10 as an adjunctive therapy. We recommend it as well.

From the book Comprehensive Cancer Care by Dr. James Gordon and Sharon Curtin. This book is available through www.Amazon.com As an aside, Comprehensive Cancer Care is the BEST cancer book on the market and I use it all the time. Every cancer patient should own this book!

Side Effects

Physically, people are very different. What helps one person may have a detrimental affect with another. Here are some side effects that could indicate not taking this supplement. These are typically mild and brief. Skin itching, rash, nausea, stomach upset, vomiting, insomnia, headache, dizziness, itching irritability, and fatigue.

“As part of a safety evaluation of Coenzyme Q10, a subchronic toxicology study was conducted. Coenzyme Q10 was repeatedly administered orally to male and female rats at daily dose levels of 300, 600 and 1200 mg/kg for 13 weeks. Neither death nor any toxicological signs were observed in any group during the administration period. No change related to the test substance administered was observed in any group with regard to body weight, food consumption, ophthalmoscopy, hematology, blood biochemistry, necropsy, organ weights or histopathology. Based on these results, the non-observed-adverse-effect level (NOAEL) of Coenzyme Q10 was considered to be 1200 mg/kg/day for male and female rats under these study conditions.” [6]


With any supplement, herb, or medication, anyone can have an allergic reaction. NEVER start with any supplement on a high dose. Take a low dose and watch for any reaction. Any, supplementation, must be coordinated and approved with your doctor first. Mega doses are not recommended under any circumstances unless doctor recommended. We have personally found that with cancer, a small dose goes a long way.


Although coenzyme Q10 supplements are relatively safe, they may decrease the anticoagulant efficacy of warfarin.

Although the use of cholesterol-lowering medications known as HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors (statins) decreases circulating levels of coenzyme Q10, it is unclear whether coenzyme Q10 supplementation provides any health benefit to patients taking these drugs.  [7.]

CoQ10 dietary supplements have traditionally only been available in the ubiquinone form. Ubiquinone is a crystalline powder that is insoluble in water and is difficult to absorb when taken on an empty stomach. However, when ubiquinone is taken with food (especially oils), it’s absorbed at least twice as fast as when it’s taken on an empty stomach. [8.]

Doctor Approval

There are literally hundreds of cancers and numerous chemotherapy drugs. Most patients end up having to take other medications on top of their chemotherapy, to alleviate other symptoms of their treatment. The result is an unlimited combination of drug regimens. This is why anyone wanting to

Rice Bran Oil may help absorption of C0Q10

Rice Bran Oil may help absorption of C0Q10

add supplements to their daily routine must coordinate with their doctor.

Lastly, Kayla was on C0-Q10 throughout treatment and continued for years after treatment. There were no side effects or problems associated with it and five years later her heart is normal with no visible damage or abnormalities from Doxorubicin. Maybe taking this supplement prevented any possible damage. To us it was worth the investment.



  1. MayoClinic.com © 1998-2008 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. All rights reserved
  2. 2. J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo). 2008 Aug;54(4):286-90. Influence of CoQ10 on Autonomic Nervous Activity and Energy Metabolism during Exercise in Healthy Subjects. Zheng A, Moritani T. PMID: 18797149 [PubMed – in process]
  3. Heart Lung Circ. 2003;12(3):135-41. Randomised double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of coenzyme Q, therapy in class II and III systolic heart failure. Keogh A, Fenton S, Leslie C, Aboyoun C, Macdonald P, Zhao YC, Bailey M, Rosenfeldt F. Heart Failure Unit, St Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney, Australia.
  4. Nutrition. 2008 Apr;24(4):293-9. Epub 2008 Feb 13. Erratum in: Nutrition. 2008 Jun;24(6):616. Antifatigue effects of coenzyme Q10 during physical fatigue. Mizuno K, Tanaka M, Nozaki S, Mizuma H, Ataka S, Tahara T, Sugino T, Shirai T, Kajimoto Y, Kuratsune H, Kajimoto O, Watanabe Y. Department of Physiology, Osaka City University Graduate School of Medicine, Osaka, Japan.
  5. 2008 Mar;104(6):1613-21. Epub 2007 Oct 31. Therapeutic effects of coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) and reduced CoQ10 in the MPTP model of Parkinsonism. Cleren C, Yang L, Lorenzo B, Calingasan NY, Schomer A, Sireci A, Wille EJ, Beal MF. Department of Neurology and Neuroscience, Weill Medical College of Cornell University, New York-Presbyterian Hospital, New York, New York 10021, USA.
  6. 6. J Toxicol Sci. 2007 Oct;32(4):437-48. Thirteen-week repeated dose oral toxicity study of coenzyme Q10 in rats. Honda K, Tominaga S, Oshikata T, Kamiya K, Hamamura M, Kawasaki T, Wakigawa K.
  7. http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/dietary-factors/coenzyme-Q10

8. Coenzyme Q10: Uses, Forms And Dosage Recommendations,            by Dr. Murray from http://www.drmurray.com

Heart drawing courtesy of http://knowyourliver.net/actual-human-heart-drawing.html/actual-human-heart-drawing-cqisss


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Copyright © 2017 Deb Witter