Researchers have been looking at the possibility that a natural supplement with a vitamin-like role in the body (coenzyme) called Coenzyme Q10 might slow the progression of the degenerative neurological disorder Parkinson’s Disease. The energy factories of the cells, mitochondria, need enough Co-Q10 to function at their best, and it appears that people with Parkinson’s are low in supplies of this vital coenzyme.
Initial studies suggest that even doses much higher than many people might take from the health food store (300 mg/day) don’t seem to affect the progression of the Parkinson’s. However, newer data indicate that it might take extremely high doses (1200 mg or even 2400 mg/day) to have a therapeutic effect.
At those doses, Co-Q10 is being used like a drug, and we have to watch for possible adverse effects. It is a natural substance that the body needs, but whenever you have to push the dose of something out of bounds of its usual levels in the body, you have to worry that you will knock something else off balance (see the discussion of this point in my Getting Whole, Getting Well book.
Remember, too, that people who take statin drugs to lower their cholesterol level are at high risk of depleting coenzyme Q10.