Ubiquinone

Scientific names: Coenzyme Q-10, Ubidecarenone, mitoquinone

Common names: Ubiquinone also is known as adelir, coenzyme Q10, heartcin, inokiton, neuquinone, taidecanone, and udekinon, ubiquinone. Idebenone is an analog of ubiquinone.

Efficacy rating:

ÒÒÒ...Positive clinical trials

Safety rating:

...Little exposure or very minor concerns.

What is Ubiquinone?

Ubiquinones are a class of fat-soluble benzoquinones that are involved in the body's mitochondrial electron transport. They are found in most organisms, from bacteria to mammals, hence the name “ubiquinone” (“ubiquitous or widespread quinone”).

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What is it used for?

Traditional/ethnobotanical

The first ubiquinone was isolated in 1957. Since that time, ubiquinones have been extensively studied in Japan, Russia, and Europe with research in the US beginning more recently. Popular press accounts claim that roughly 12 million Japanese use ubiquinones as the medication of choice for management of cardiovascular diseases, with more than 250 commercially available preparations. Ubiquinone is touted as an effective treatment of congestive heart failure (CHF), heart rhythm irregularities, high blood pressure, and in reducing injury to the heart muscle caused by lack of oxygen. Other claims include increasing exercise tolerance, stimulating the immune system, and counteracting the aging process. Ubiquinone has not been approved for therapeutic use in the US, but it is available as a food supplement.

General uses

Ubiquinone may have applications in heart disease, especially CHF, although there is a lack of consensus. Studies in neurological disorders are less promising. Limited clinical trials have been conducted to support its widespread use for other conditions.

What is the recommended dosage?

Cardiovascular and neurologic trials predominantly use ubiquinone dosages of 300 mg/day or idebenone dosages of 5 mg/kg/day. Higher dosages of ubiquinone (up to 3,000 mg/day) have been used. Studies suggest split dosing is superior to single daily dosing.

How safe is it?

Contraindications

Absolute contraindications have not been identified.

Pregnancy/nursing

Information regarding safety and efficacy in pregnancy and lactation is lacking.

Interactions

Findings are conflicting. Case reports show ubiquinone decreases the blood thinning effect of warfarin; however, a clinical trial found no effect.

Side Effects

Adverse effects are rare and include diarrhea, GI discomfort, headache, loss of appetite, and nausea. Allergic reactions have been reported.

Toxicities

An observed intake safety level of 1,200 mg/day is based on clinical data; however, dosages exceeding this amount have been used with no apparent adverse effect. No accumulation in plasma or tissue after coenzyme Q10 use has been noted.

References

  1. Ubiquinone. Review of Natural Products. Facts & Comparisons Online. April 2010. Accessed April 20, 2010.

Copyright © 2009 Wolters Kluwer Health

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