BCCT plans to write a summary on Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10). While our summary is in development, you can visit these sites:
Before using this therapy, consult your oncology team about interactions with other treatments and therapies. Also make sure this therapy is safe for use with any other medical conditions you may have.
Clinical Practice Guidelines
According to the Society for Integrative Oncology’s 2017 clinical practice guidelines for breast cancer, insufficient information exists to recommend using coenzyme Q10 for relieving depression/mood or fatigue or improving quality of life.1
Managing Side Effects and Promoting Wellness
Managing or relieving side effects or symptoms, reducing treatment toxicity, supporting quality of life or promoting general well-being
Some of CoQ10's effects:
- Improved markers of heart function in patients receiving doxorubicin without reducing doxorubicin's effectiveness2
- Insufficient evidence for relieving fatigue or improving quality of life alone,3 but reduced some indications of fatigue in a small clinical trial of breast cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy when combined with L-carnitine4
Reducing the risk of developing cancer or the risk of recurrence
According to About Herbs and CAM-Cancer, only minor side effects have been reported. About Herbs cautions that Co Q10 may reduce effectiveness of chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Some integrative oncologists also list cautions:
- Don't use with radiation therapy, as it may reduce effectiveness6 (but note evidence of no reduced effectiveness of doxorubicin as described above).
- High doses for long periods may elevate liver enzymes and can interact with blood thinners.7
BCCT advises using this supplement under medical supervision of a clinician knowledgeable in using this supplement in cancer care.
BCCT does not recommend therapies or doses, but only provides information for patients and providers to consider as part of a complete treatment plan. Patients should discuss therapies with their physicians, as contraindications, interactions and side effects must be evaluated.
Dosage recommendations are available from these sources:
- Solutions 4 Health: Lymphoma Wellness Plan
- Alschuler LN, Gazella KA. The Definitive Guide to Cancer, 3rd Edition: An Integrative Approach to Prevention, Treatment, and Healing. Berkeley, California: Celestial Arts. 2010.
- Alschuler LN, Gazella KA. The Definitive Guide to Thriving after Cancer: A Five-Step Integrative Plan to Reduce the Risk of Recurrence and Build Lifelong Health. Berkeley, California: Ten Speed Press. 2013.
- Block KI. Life over Cancer: The Block Center Program for Integrative Cancer Care. New York: Bantam Dell. 2009.
- Chang R. Beyond the Magic Bullet: The Anti-Cancer Cocktail. New York: Square One Publishers. 2012.
- McKinney N. Naturopathic Oncology, 3rd Edition. Victoria, BC, Canada: Liaison Press. 2016.
- Moss Reports (purchase required): Select from the list of cancers down the left side of the page for a report describing uses of conventional, complementary, alternative and integrative therapies related to that cancer. Ralph Moss is among the most knowledgeable and balanced researchers of integrative cancer therapies. The cost of his Moss Reports is not negligible, but many patients find them of considerable value. Moss is also available for consultations.
- Natural Medicines Database (requires purchase)
Integrative Programs, Protocols and Medical Systems
|For more information about programs and protocols, see our Integrative Programs and Protocols page.|
- Programs and protocols
- Alschuler & Gazella complementary approaches8
- Block program:9
- MacDonald breast cancer program11
- McKinney protocols12
- Gurdev Parmar and Tina Kaczor: Textbook of Naturopathic Oncology
- BCCT, KNOW Oncology and Ottawa Integrative Cancer Centre: Patient Education Brochures
- Barbara MacDonald, ND, LAc: The Breast Cancer Companion: A Complementary Care Manual: Third Edition
- National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health: PDQ® Cancer Information Summaries
- Raymond Chang, MD: Beyond the Magic Bullet: The Anti-Cancer Cocktail
- Donald I. Abrams, MD, and Andrew T. Weil, MD: Integrative Oncology, 2nd Edition
- Neil McKinney, BSc, ND: Naturopathic Oncology, 3rd Edition
- Lise Alschuler, ND, FABNO, and Karolyn Gazella: The Definitive Guide to Cancer, 3rd Edition
- Keith I. Block, MD: Life over Cancer: The Block Center Program for Integrative Cancer Treatment
- National Cancer Institute: Complementary and Alternative Medicine for Health Professionals
- Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center: About Herbs, Botanicals and Other Products
- CAM-Cancer Collaboration: CAM-Cancer
- Lone Star Medical Group: Natural Alternative Treatments
- Therapeutic Research Center: Natural Medicines Database
- National Cancer Institute: Office of Cancer Complementary and Alternative Medicine