How Coenzyme Q10 Benefits Breast Cancer
My last article on Coenzyme Q10 was written in 2012, and at the time there was little definitive research available to say that it had great benefits for breast cancer, simply that we knew it had cardio-protective qualities for someone undergoing chemotherapy and it was of benefit to the immune system. See my article Coenzyme Q10 – Beneficial For Breast Cancer Or Not?
Having decided it was time to see if more research – something more definitive – had been carried out, I spent the day looking into the subject and I have indeed found some interesting new research for you.
How Coenzyme Q10 Works In The Body
The National Cancer Institute described it beautifully on their website: “A coenzyme helps an enzyme do its job. An enzyme is a protein that speeds up the rate at which natural chemical reactions take place in cells of the body. The body’s cells use CoQ10 to make energy needed for the cells to grow and stay healthy. The body also uses CoQ10 as an antioxidant. An antioxidant is a substance that protects cells from chemicals called free radicals. Free radicals can damage DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid). Genes, which are pieces of DNA, tell the cells how to work in the body and when to grow and divide. Damage to DNA has been linked to some kinds of cancer. By protecting cells against free radicals, antioxidants help protect the body against cancer.“1
Coenzyme Q10 stimulates the heart muscles and it also stimulates the immune system in several different ways. Now here’s the research.
Coenzyme Q10 Enhances Anti-Tumor Effects of Common Chemotherapy Drugs
A 2014 study appearing in the journal Nanomedicine, titled Enhanced antitumor efficacy and counterfeited cardiotoxicity of combinatorial oral therapy using Doxorubicin- and Coenzyme Q10-liquid crystalline nanoparticles in comparison with intravenous Adriamycin, by Swarnakar NK, Thanki K, Jain S, indicates that Coenzyme Q10 enhanced the anti-tumor effects of the chemotherapy drug Doxorubicin. The study authors concluded that these combinations “pose great potential in improving the therapeutic efficacy of drugs by oral route of administration.” 2
Coenzyme Q10 Decreases Inflammatory Markers
A January 2014 study appearing in the journal Nutritional Neuroscience titled Coenzyme Q10 supplementation ameliorates inflammatory markers in patients with multiple sclerosis: a double blind, placebo, controlled randomized clinical trial by Sanoobar M, Eghtesadi S, Azimi A, Khalili M, Khodadadi B, Jazayeri S, Gohari MR, Aryaeian N, indicated that Coenzyme Q10 significantly decreased inflammatory markers in patients with multiple sclerosis. 3 I included this study because of the fact that breast cancer is an inflammatory process in the body and anything that can reduce the amount of inflammation in the body is extremely beneficial, not only for breast cancer but for many other diseases as well.
Coenzyme Q10 Instrumental In Tumor Regression
This information isn’t new, but it has just recently come into my hands via an old book I was rereading and I thought you might fight interesting. The book is “Antioxidants Against Cancer” by Ralph Moss and this is an excerpt: “In late 1993, Dr. Folkers arranged for the first clinical trial of CoQ10 at a clinic in Copenhagen, Denmark. Doctors treated 32 patients with advanced, ‘high risk’ breast cancer. In addition to appropriate surgery and conventional treatment, each patient was given 90 mg of CoQ10 per day. They also received other vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and essential fatty acids. On this regimen, 6 of the 32 patients showed partial tumor regressions, significant in ‘advanced’ patients. Then in October 1993, a strange thing happened: one of these six women, on her own, increased her dosage from 90 to 390 mg per day. By the next month, her doctors wrote, ‘the tumor was no longer palpable’ and in the following month, a mammogram confirmed the disappearance of her tumor. After that, another woman in the group also increased her dose, this time to 300 mg. Her tumor also soon disappeared and a clinical examination revealed no evidence of the prior residual tumor, nor of distant metastases.”
The other vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that the patients were taking in the above study were:
1.2 grams of gamma linolenic acid
3.5 grams of Omega 3 fatty acids
58 mg (32,248 iu) betacarotene
2.8 grams vitamin C
2500 iu vitamin E
385 mcg selenium
390 mg CoQ10
I hope that researchers will continue their studies on Coenzyme Q10, because it shows some very promising benefits for breast and other cancers.
Antioxidants Against Cancer by Ralph W Moss
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Marnie would you comment about the source of co enzyme Q10. I used an expensive kind and the source was ubquinol ( spelling) and seemed it was good for me. The second kind was cheaper and seemed to have troubles while on it. At first I thought I was taking too high of dosage but now I am wondering if it was the poor source of Q10.
High dosages of coenzyme Q10 are apparently well tolerated, up to 500 mg from what I’m reading. I suspect that your problem was due to the cheaper grade of coenzyme Q10. Green Med Info (reporting on a study) advises “Stringent evaluation of the resulting data revealed that [ubiquinol] has a stronger impact on gene expression than [ubiquinone], primarily due to differences in the bioavailability. Indeed, [ubiquinol] supplementation was more effective … to increase levels of CoQ(10) in the liver”.
With vitamins and supplements we definitely get what we pay for. If you would like me to recommend a few for you, let me know. You’re in Canada, right?
I thought it was the other way around, that ubiqinone was more pure than ubiquinol… I plan to research this again. But in the meantime, have you found any U.S. Brands that are considered reliable ? And, have you settled on a daily dose?
I find one of the toughest things about alternative treatments and other “assistants” for battling breast cancer is that the chemical/herb/supplement will be touted as helpful but there’s never any counsel as to how much one should take, how often they should take, etc. it if it’s like we need the same guidance on these treatments as we get for Rx’s.
By the way I have been playing whack-a-mole with breast cancer for five years now. I have mets in the liver and brain, and have had surgery, extensive chemo, and brain radiation – and I’m still standing!! Yesterday I started T-DM1 because a study I was on with Herceptin/Afinitor/Navelbine had not helped at all (tumors had “re-bloomed”). So I am very interested in the way you approach the various topics and what you have learned through your obviously thoughtful study.
Thanks so much
Cyn in NC
That’s a great question and thanks for asking it. To answer both your questions, I’m going to reference a 2007 article from the Life Extension Foundation, the company responsible for bringing CoQ10 to the American market back in the 80’s: http://www.lef.org/magazine/mag2007/jan2007_report_coq10_01.htm That article should answer all your questions, including who has the best CoQ10 supplement. I definitely recommend Life Extension Foundation. I will send you an email with the link to the particular product I recommend, as well as dosage. I see you signed up for my newsletters and e-books, so you will be receiving quite a lot of information over the coming days and weeks – be sure to stay plugged into my newsletters, and if you have any questions at all, don’t hesitate to contact me.