Can CoQ10 Save Your Vision?

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Do you take CoQ10 yet?

Most people I know have recently become aware of CoQ10. It wasn’t always like that. It’s a little humbling to think that there’s something as important as CoQ10 and 15 years ago nobody knew about it.

It’s one of the most powerful nutrients I prescribe to my patients. You already know it for its heart and brain benefits… and now the news just got better.

We have new evidence that CoQ10 can have a profound effect on your eye health.

High energy organs like your eyes use lots of CoQ10. Because of the energizing and protective effect of CoQ10, researchers decided to try giving CoQ10 drops to people undergoing cataract surgery. 40 people who had the surgery got either CoQ10 or saline solution twice a day for 9 months.

The people who got CoQ10 had faster nerve regeneration and better stability of the surface of the eye throughout the study, with no side effects.1

CoQ10 also gives us new hope that we can prevent the onset of blindness from AMD (macular degeneration), although the evidence has been completely ignored by mainstream medicine.

Researchers in Hungary wanted to look at the effect mitochondrial dysfunction plays in developing AMD. So they designed a clinical trial to find out how early treatment with nutrients known to improve mitochondrial function, like CoQ10, would have on people with weakening eyesight.

At the end of a study of more than 100 people, the researchers found a huge improvement in those who took the nutrients including CoQo10 for all four parameters of eyesight that they measured.

The people who got the antioxidants including CoQ10 had a 23% decrease in the area of their sight affected by AMD, while the placebo group showed a 13% growth.2

That means improving mitochondrial metabolism with nutrients that give them more energy helps improve eyesight and ward off AMD, the number one cause of blindness in the U.S.

It becomes more important as you age because we are all losing CoQ10 at a breakneck pace.

A study published by Columbia University showed that CoQ10 levels in your retina fall 40 percent by the time you reach 80.3

The directors of the study suggested a link between lower CoQ10 and the overall health of your retinas.

It makes sense if you think about it. Your eyes are among the most delicate, complex organs in your body. They work full-time … from the time you get up in the morning until you go to bed at night. They’re also under constant strain from inside and outside forces, including:

  • UVB rays
  • Free radicals and oxygen molecules
  • Dust, particles, and pollutants

In fact, studies show that CoQ10 protects the cells in your retina from all kinds of radiation damage, including overexposure to the sun’s rays4 and the authors of the Columbia study showed that lower levels of CoQ10 meant your retinas may not produce enough energy to protect themselves from free radical damage.

To give your eyes (and the rest of your vital organs) the power they need, I recommend:

1) Get some from the only good food source – Eggs, avocados, almonds, grape seeds and sesame seeds do have a tiny bit of CoQ10. But nowhere near enough. The only good food source is the organs of free-range cattle and wild game. But we don’t eat them anymore. The closest thing you’ll find is grass-fed meat. It has much more CoQ10 that feedlot meat does.

2) Supplement every day – This is the one nutrient where, even though I recommend you eat food with it, you’ll never get enough through food alone. That’s why I tell anyone who will listen to take at least 50 mg of the ubiquinol form of CoQ10 daily.

Ubiquinol is the form that already has the electrons your body uses for energy. And it’s eight times more powerful than the old form, ubiquinone.

If you have high blood pressure, heart disease, high cholesterol, gingivitis, age-related memory loss, chronic fatigue or are a vegetarian, increase your dose to 100 mg of ubiquinol per day.

Also, because CoQ10 is a fat-soluble nutrient, take it with fat like cod liver oil, Sacha Inchi oil, almond butter or olive oil to make sure it’s absorbed well.

To extend the power of CoQ10 for your heart, make sure your CoQ10 has tocotrienols. These vitamin E components have a lot of heart-protective qualities. They lower C-reactive protein, a marker for heart disease, and they raise HDL. Look for at least 5 mg.

1. Fogagnolo P, et. al. “The Effects of Topical Coenzyme Q10 … after Cataract Surgery: A Clinical and in vivo Confocal Study.” Ophthalmologica 2013;229:26–31
2. Fehér J, Kovács B, Kovács I, Schvöller M, Corrado Balacco G. “Metabolic therapy for early treatment of age-related macular degeneration.” Orv Hetil. 2007;148(48):2259-68.
3. Qu J, Kaufman Y, Washington I. “Coenzyme Q10 in the human retina.” Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2009;50(4):1814-8.
4. Lulli M, Witort E, Papucci L, Torre E, Schiavone N, Dal Monte M, Capaccioli S. “Coenzyme Q10 protects retinal cells from apoptosis induced by radiation in vitro and in vivo.” J Radiat Res. 2012;53(5):695-703.

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