Diabetes mellitus is a medical condition characterized by high blood glucose levels. Common symptoms of diabetes include weight loss, increased thirst and urination, and abnormal sensations in the hands or feet when the nerves are affected. Coenzyme Q10, also called CoQ10, is a nutrient that is found naturally in the body, and it is also available as a supplement. Some research studies found CoQ10 to be beneficial for diabetics; however, if you consider taking this supplement you should first talk to your doctor.
CoQ10, Diabetes and Statin Drugs
Type 2 diabetes is often associated with obesity and high blood cholesterol levels. Therefore, many diabetics also take cholesterol- lowering agents like statin drugs. In a double-blind placebo controlled study published in the May 2009 issue of “Diabetes Care,” 23 individuals with diabetes on statin drugs received supplementation with CoQ10. Participants received 200 mg of CoQ10 daily over a 12-week period. The authors found that CoQ10 improved the function of blood vessels and improved some biochemical markers that predict the progression of diabetes.
Improves HbA1c & Reduces Complications
A combination of CoQ10 and vitamin E significantly improved HbA1c levels in animal subjects, according to a study from the February 2008 issue of “Nutrition Research.” HbA1c is a blood test that evaluates how well blood sugar levels are controlled. This study also noted the antioxidant qualities of CoQ10 and vitamin E, and its protective effects on the pancreas.
Coenzyme Q10 may help reduce some complications of diabetes like heart disease, high cholesterol and high blood pressure, and may also improve blood glucose levels, although further research is needed to confirm these findings, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.
Safety & Drug Interactions
Coenzyme Q10 is a safe and well-tolerated supplement, but it may occasionally cause stomach upset. CoQ10 is best absorbed when taken with food since it is fat soluble. Taking it at bedtime may help the body utilize it better, according to University of Maryland Medical Center. CoQ10 may interfere with some blood-thinning medications, making them less effective, while enhancing the effects of some medications for high blood pressure, allowing the patient to take lower doses. In addition, it may decrease the toxic effects of certain chemotherapy drugs. CoQ10 should not be taken during pregnancy or lactation since the safety of this product was not fully evaluated in these cases.
If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, consult a qualified health care practitioner to find out the optimal dosage of CoQ10 for you, as well possible side effects and drug interactions. CoQ10 does not replace and should not be used to replace standard anti-diabetes drugs.
- Univeristy of Maryland, Medical Center: Coenzyme Q10
- “Diabetes Care”; Coenzyme Q10 Improves Endothelial Dysfunction in Statin-Treated Type 2 Diabetic Patients; SJ. Hamilton et al; May, 2009
- “Nutrition Research.”; Supplementation of Coenzyme Q10 and alpha-Tocopherol Lowers Glycated Hemoglobin Level and Lipid Peroxidation in Pancreas of Diabetic Rats; CM.Senna et al; February, 2008
- Merck Manual: Diabetes