CoQ10 Article from The ALS Newsletter
The ALS Newsletter: Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA)
Vol. 3, No. 4 October 1998
Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston have found that coenzyme Q10, a widely available over-the-counter compound, can combat nerve-cell degeneration in mice with ALS.
The study is in the July 21, 1998 issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. MDA grantee M. Flint Beal of the Department of Neurology at Massachusetts General and also at Cornell University Medical Center in New York was part of the research team.
“I’m not as yet recommending that people with ALS take coenzyme Q10,” Beal said. “In order to make this recommendation, it will be necessary to do a clinical trial. I don’t believe it would be harmful, but there is no evidence as yet that it will be beneficial.”
Coenzyme Q10 acts in at least two ways in cells, the paper’s authors say. One, it’s an antioxidant, combating oxidation-reduction reactions that can damage cell membranes and other structures. Two, its activity is part of the chain of biochemical events that take place inside the cells’ mitochondria, its energy-producing units.
“I do believe that more effective antioxidants may be beneficial for ALS patients,” Beal said. “A number of these are under development, but further work needs to be done before these can be unequivocally recommended for ALS patients.”
Oral coenzyme Q10 significantly prolonged the lives of mice with mutated SOD1 genes and a disorder that closely resembles human ALS (which also sometimes results from mutations in this gene). Coenzyme Q10, even when given by mouth, was found to penetrate into brain tissue in general and into the mitochondria of brain cells.
“Both antioxidant effects and preservation of mitochondrial function may contribute to the observed neuroprotection,” the authors say. “Although vitamin E supplementation delays disease onset in [such] mice, it has no effect on survival,” the report continues. “This finding suggests that coenzyme Q10 may be more effective than vitamin E in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases.”
Call to place an order: 1-800-269-2502 USA
Call Customer Support: 610-873-4591
[Mon -Fri: 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. EST]