From The April 1999 Issue of Nutrition Science News
by Dan Lukaczer, N.D.
First, a little background on this interesting organic compound. Co-Q10 is a component of the electron transport chain in the mitochondrial membrane. Mitochondria are the major energy-producing organelles in the cell and thus Co-Q10 has a critical function in the manufacture of ATP, the cells' energy currency. High concentrations of Co-Q10 are found in areas that need the largest supply of energy, such as the heart, liver and immune cells.
Although Co-Q10 can be manufactured in the body, the process involves many steps and the presence of at least eight vitamins.  Hence, some researchers think Co-Q10 may be a conditionally essential nutrient under certain health conditions or in people with low levels. For instance, relatively large doses have been used to treat hypertension.  Co-Q10 has also been used to reduce the toxicity of certain chemotherapy drugs. 
The data on actually treating cancer are exciting but preliminary. Research suggests a relationship between various cancers and the level of Co-Q10 in the blood.  One human trial studied the effect of 90 mg/day of Co-Q10 on breast cancer patients. The results showed that after two years, the women who took Co-Q10 lived longer. Because there was no placebo in this trial, the researchers calculated that on standard therapy, a percentage of these women would have died in this time period. With the nutritional protocol, none of them did. 
The same research group reported that a few of those women were later given much larger doses of Co-Q10—390 mg/day. In two cases, there appeared to be complete remission of the cancer metastases.  It is unclear how these massive dosages may be working, but it may involve stimulating the immune system.  Co-Q10 appears to be virtually nontoxic even at these doses. Although Co-Q10 may prove to be a useful nutrient in certain cancer treatments, much more research is needed.
Dan Lukaczer, N.D., is an educator and researcher at the Functional Medicine Research Center, a division of HealthComm International Inc. in Gig Harbor, Wash
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