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Adult levels of supplementation are usually 30–90 mg per day, although people with specific health conditions may supplement with higher levels (with the involvement of a physician). Most of the research on heart conditions has used 90–150 mg of CoQ10 per day. People with cancer who consider taking much higher amounts should discuss this issue with a doctor before supplementing. There are several anecdotal reports of large amounts of CoQ10 resulting in improvements in certain types of cancer. However, controlled trials are needed to confirm these preliminary observations. Most doctors recommend that CoQ10 be taken with meals to improve absorption.
Deficiency is poorly understood, but it may be caused by synthesis problems in the body rather than an insufficiency in the diet. Low blood levels have been reported in people with heart failure, cardiomyopathy, gingivitis (inflammation of the gums), morbid obesity, hypertension, muscular dystrophy, diabetes, AIDS, and in some people on kidney dialysis. People with phenylketonuria (PKU) may be deficient in CoQ10 because of dietary restrictions.1 CoQ10 levels are also generally lower in older people. The test used to assess CoQ10 status is not routinely available from medical laboratories.
CoQ10 supplements come in either granular or oil-based preparations. The evidence is conflicting as to whether one preparation is more bioavailable than the other.2
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The information presented by Healthnotes is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires December 2017.