CoQ10, also known as ubiquinone or ubiquinol, is a naturally occurring
nutrient normally present in our bodies and available through foods
(especially fish or meats) and supplements. In addition to being an
antioxidant, it plays a significant role in the energy system of each of our
cells. Some researchers are tempted to call CoQ10 a vitamin.
A study conducted in Denmark in 1994 showed patients with breast cancer given
CoQ10 fared better than those without it. In order to better understand the
role of CoQ10 in breast cancer, a recent clinical trial including 200 women
hospitalized for the biopsy of a breast tumor was conducted. CoQ10 blood
concentrations were determined simultaneously with vitamin E plasma
concentrations. A coenzyme Q10 deficiency was noted both in both cancers and
non-malignant breast tumors, while vitamin E concentrations were within the
normal range. A correlation was shown between the intensity of the deficiency
and the bad prognosis of the breast disease. In other words, the more serious
the cancer, the less CoQ10 was present in the blood. The researchers state
that since pro-oxidants may promote tumor formation, CoQ10 supplementation in
breast cancer could be relevant.
Comments: We should keep in mind that reliance on preliminary studies is not
wise when it comes to cancer therapy. Sometimes additional studies done with a
particular nutrient do not lead to the same outcome. However, these two
studies are encouraging, and one should certainly consider the addition of
CoQ10 and probably other antioxidants if stricken with cancer, particularly
breast cancer. However, until we learn more, we should not stop the use of
other more accepted therapies for breast cancer and gamble exclusively on
A reasonable dose of CoQ10 would be 30 or 60 mg taken in the morning. Higher
dosages can cause overstimulation.
Jolliet P. Plasma coenzyme Q10 concentrations in breast cancer: prognosis and
therapeutic consequences. Int J Clin Pharmacol Ther 1998 Sep;36(9):506-9
Lockwood K, Moesgaard S, Folkers K. Partial and complete regression of breast
cancer in patients in relation to dosage of coenzyme Q10. Biochemical and
Biophysical Research Communication 199:1504-1508, 1994.