by Dr. Leo Galland
Coenzyme Q10 is a natural antioxidant that plays an important role in the function of muscle and nerve cells. A medical research group in Belgium has found that levels of coenzyme Q10 were reduced in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome and also a group of patients with treatment-resistant depression.
Studies are needed to determine if supplementation with coenzyme Q10 can improve fatigue in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome or depression.
References and Abstracts:
Neuro Endocrinol Lett. 2009;30(4):470-6.Coenzyme Q10 deficiency in myalgic encephalomyelitis / chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) is related to fatigue, autonomic and neurocognitive symptoms and is another risk factor explaining the early mortality in ME/CFS due to cardiovascular disorder.Maes M, Mihaylova I, Kubera M, Uytterhoeven M, Vrydags N, Bosmans E.Maes Clinics, Antwerp, Belgium. firstname.lastname@example.org.
INTRODUCTION: Myalgic encephalomyelitis / chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) is a medical illness characterized by disorders in inflammatory and oxidative and nitrosative (IO&NS) pathways.
METHODS: This paper examines the role of Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), a mitochondrial nutrient which acts as an essential cofactor for the production of ATP in mitochondria and which displays significant antioxidant activities. Plasma CoQ10 has been assayed in 58 patients with ME/CFS and in 22 normal controls; the relationships between CoQ10 and the severity of ME/CFS as measured by means of the FibroFatigue (FF) scale were measured.
RESULTS: Plasma CoQ10 was significantly (p=0.00001) lower in ME/CFS patients than in normal controls. Up to 44.8% of patients with ME/CFS had values beneath the lowest plasma CoQ10 value detected in the normal controls, i.e. 490 mug/L. In ME/CFS, there were significant and inverse relationships between CoQ10 and the total score on the FF scale, fatigue and autonomic symptoms. Patients with very low CoQ10 (<390 mug/L) suffered significantly more from concentration and memory disturbances.
DISCUSSION: The results show that lowered levels of CoQ10 play a role in the pathophysiology of ME/CFS and that symptoms, such as fatigue, and autonomic and neurocognitive symptoms may be caused by CoQ10 depletion. Our results suggest that patients with ME/CFS would benefit from CoQ10 supplementation in order to normalize the low CoQ10 syndrome and the IO&NS disorders. The findings that lower CoQ10 is an independent predictor of chronic heart failure (CHF) and mortality due to CHF may explain previous reports that the mean age of ME/CFS patients dying from CHF is 25 years younger than the age of those dying from CHF in the general population. Since statins significantly decrease plasma CoQ10, ME/CFS should be regarded as a relative contraindication for treatment with statins without CoQ10 supplementation.
Neuro Endocrinol Lett. 2009;30(4):462-9.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.Maes Clinics, Antwerp, Belgium. email@example.com.
INTRODUCTION: There is now evidence that major depression is accompanied by an induction of inflammatory and oxidative and nitrosative stress (IO&NS) pathways and by a lowered antioxidant status. Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is a strong antioxidant that has anti-inflammatory effects.
METHODS: This paper examines the plasma concentrations of CoQ10 in 35 depressed patients and 22 normal volunteers and the relationships between plasma CoQ10 and treatment resistant depression (TRD), the severity of illness as measured by means of the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS) and the presence of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).
RESULTS: We found that plasma CoQ10 was significantly (p=0.0002) lower in depressed patients than in normal controls. 51.4% of the depressed patients had plasma CoQ10 values that were lower than the lowest plasma CoQ10 value detected in the controls. Plasma CoQ10 was significantly lower in patients with TRD and with CFS than in the other depressed patients. There were no significant correlations between plasma CoQ10 and the HDRS.
DISCUSSION: The results show that lower CoQ10 plays a role in the pathophysiology of depression and in particular in TRD and CFS accompanying depression. It is suggested that depressed patients may benefit from CoQ10 supplementation. The findings that lower CoQ10 is a risk factor to coronary artery disease and chronic heart failure (CHF) and mortality due to CHF suggest that low CoQ10 is another factor explaining the risk to cardiovascular disorder in depression. Since statins significantly lower plasma CoQ10, depressed patients and in particular those with TRD and CFS represent populations at risk to statin treatment.