Coenzyme Q10

BCCT plans to write a summary on Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ 10). While our summary is in development, you can visit these sites:

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 Risk

Reducing the risk of developing cancer or the risk of recurrence

Clinical Evidence

No significant reduced risk of prostate cancer was found in a large cohort.5


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:

Integrative Programs, Protocols and Medical Systems

For more information about programs and protocols, see our Integrative Programs and Protocols page.

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