Are There Any Scientifically Proven Benefits of Taking CoQ10 For Neuropathy?

Many common physical ailments are difficult to treat—and neuropathy is no exception.

Though modern medicine can work wonders, pharmaceuticals can have side effects and do not always perform as well as patients hope they will. For many patients, supplements can be a powerful adjunct to standard options such as painkillers. 

One of these supplements is CoQ10, but why is it so helpful for patients who suffer from neuropathy?

Understanding Neuropathy

The nerves in your body can become damaged. This damage could be a result of illness, or as side effects from medication, but it commonly occurs to nerves located in extremities, so your hands, feet, and so forth.

Neuropathy can present in different ways, and the symptoms vary from person to person. Some people may experience painful sensations including a stabbing feeling while others may struggle with numbness.

Other patients can find that they suffer from nerve damage that affects autonomous bodily functions which in turn can affect everything from blood pressure to bladder function.

Indeed, the symptoms of neuropathy can be widespread affecting a range of body functions. As a result, neuropathy can be quite debilitating, and sufferers are typically very eager to find effective treatments.

What is CoQ10?

Treatment for neuropathy often relies on treating the underlying condition, for example, diabetes. Patients may also be asked to reduce their alcohol intake or to stop smoking. Alternatives include the use of anti-inflammatory drugs or an injection of immunoglobulin. However, these treatment options are not always effective.

One of the commonly suggested supplementary treatments for neuropathy is CoQ10. CoQ10 is short for Coenzyme Q10, also known as ubiquinone. It is, in fact, an antioxidant found in every cell in your body. Antioxidants are important because they help to break down free radicals which can lead to cell damage.

Though your body produces some antioxidants, taking supplements such as CoQ10 can have a range of positive effects in part because many people don't produce sufficient amounts of these anti-oxidants, sometimes as a result of advanced age. Research associates a variety of medical conditions with low CoQ10 levels, so increasing it's levels may improve these conditions.

How CoQ10 Might Help Neuropathy

One condition that may benefit significantly from boosting CoQ10 levels is neuropathy. The reasons for the development of neuropathy are complex but mainly center around nerve damage. Through academic studies, researchers have determined that it may help prevent neuropathy because it reduces neuron loss.

Neuropathy is particularly prevalent in patients with diabetes. A 2013 animal study found that CoQ10 benefitted subjects that were suffering from peripheral neuropathy as a result of diabetes.

In the study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA[1], researchers found that treatment with CoQ10 reduced the development of diabetes-related neuropathy in the subject by a statistically significant margin.

Though the study could not clarify why it has such as a beneficial effect on diabetic subjects it nonetheless supports the long-held belief that taking this nutrient as a supplement, can halt the progress of neuropathy in patients who have diabetes.

Dosage and Frequency

The evidence shows that it can treat neuropathy by halting the ongoing process of nerve damage. The good news is that it is easy to acquire as a supplement and equally easy to consume as a treatment.

Given that CoQ10 is not yet used in standard medical practice to treat neuropathy, there is no established standard dosage. Nonetheless, 90mg is considered a low dose while a higher dose would be in the region of 200mg.

Most people take a CoQ10 supplement once a day, rather than several times through the day. This nutrient should be taken with food to be properly absorbed in the body.

For most patients, it has relatively few side effects. CoQ10, therefore, makes for a sensible supplement where patients struggle with neuropathy and find that recommended treatment options are not sufficient.

Summary

Neuropathy is a debilitating condition resulting from nerve damage, frequently as a result of diabetes. Some research suggests that daily supplementation at a rate of 90mg to 200mg per day with food may improve symptoms without serious side effects.

Other Considerations

While CoQ10 may offer noticeable benefits for improving nerve health and reducing pain, there are many other neuropathy supplements to consider taking. Some of these essential vitamins include Alpha Lipoic Acid, magnesium, benfotiamine, and b vitamins. They have been shown to help damaged nerves heal faster by supporting the myelin sheath, which aids nerve conduction.