One man's inspiring story
The authors of the report described a 70 year-old man who had experienced decreasing strength in his hands and legs, muscle tremors, and increasing difficulty walking, and was diagnosed with ALS. Five years later, he was given 200 mg of CoQ10 twice daily, taken with fatty meals to improve absorption. The form of CoQ10 used, solubilized ubiquinol, is believed to be better absorbed than other forms.
Based on this man's symptom record, his hand strength and mood improved in the first four weeks, and he increased his CoQ10 to 500 mg twice daily. At some point that is not reported, he resumed the lower amount of CoQ10. Most people with ALS do not survive more that five years after being diagnosed; however, the man whose case is reported had survived 12 years at the time of the publication.
CoQ10's role in protecting nerves
The researchers outlined some previous research that points toward CoQ10 as a possible treatment for ALS:
- Studies done in animals and petri dishes show that CoQ10 can protect nerve cells through its antioxidant effect.
- People with ALS have been found to have higher levels of oxidized CoQ10 (ubiquinone) and higher ratios of oxidized to reduced CoQ10 (ubiquinol) in blood and cerebrospinal fluid. Only the reduced form of CoQ10 is useful to cells.
- Although studies done in people with ALS have found no effect of CoQ10 in amounts as high as 2,700 mg per day, there have been no studies using the more absorbable solubilized ubiquinol.
"This body of research suggests that CoQ10, by its antioxidant and energy producing effects, might benefit people with neurodegenerative diseases like ALS," said study co-author R. B. Singh from the Halberg Hospital and Research Institute in Moradabad, India. "The intriguing case we present further supports the notion that research to determine whether solubilized ubiquinol can slow the progression of ALS is warranted."
(Open Nutraceuticals J 2012;5:187-92)