(NaturalNews) When experts discovered that Parkinson`s patients have a defect involving the production of energy in the mitochondria, eyes turned to Co-Enzyme Q10, which is a key nutrient for producing energy in the mitochondria. While studies from the last decade are far from conclusive, many still hope that CoQ10 holds an answer for a cure for Parkinson`s.
More than 60,000 people are diagnosed with Parkinson`s disease each year in the United States. The disease is chronic and progressive, causing symptoms such as slurring of speech, difficulty controlling movement, tremors and depression. There are medications available to manage symptoms, but there is no known cure.
However, many experts have hope based on a 2002 study that examined the use of CoQ10 to treat Parkinson`s disease. This study included 80 participants who were in the early stages of Parkinson`s, before any medication treatment was required. Participants randomly received a placebo or a daily dose of 300 mg, 600 mg, or 1200 mg of CoQ10 for a total of 16 months.
Participants were monitored using the Unified Parkinson Disease Rating Scale, which determines the severity of the disease. At the end of the study, participants taking a placebo had worsened by 49.8 percent. In the CoQ10 group, those taking 1200 mg per day showed the least progression: on average, this group worsened by 29.6 percent.
The positive results from this study gave CoQ10 one more merit to add to its growing reputation, but not all experts were so sure of these benefits. Another study published in the Archives of Neurology in July 2007 included 131 Parkinson`s patients who were given 300 mg of CoQ10 or a placebo each day. At the end of three months, plasma levels of CoQ10 improved in those taking the supplement, but symptoms showed no improvement. Study authors say these results do not support the idea that CoQ10 can provide benefits for Parkinson`s patients, but more research needs to be done regarding higher doses of CoQ10.
To be sure, the patients in the study had more advanced cases of Parkinson`s that required medication; the study was much shorter in duration than the 2002 study, and the dose of CoQ10 was much lower than the dose that showed a significant difference in the 2002 study. These factors make it difficult to compare the two studies directly.
One result that showed up in both studies was the safety of taking CoQ10 in Parkinson`s patients. Long-term use of CoQ10 produced no negative side effects, and was even well tolerated by those who were taking medications for their condition. So it appears that adding a daily dose of CoQ10 is safe for Parkinson`s patients.
With no known side effects and evidence leaning in a positive direction, it seems that CoQ10 may be a valuable supplement for those with Parkinson`s disease. Modern science has made higher doses of this nutrient more affordable than ever before, making it a more viable treatment across the board. If you want to boost the effectiveness of a CoQ10 regimen, add vitamin C and vitamin E. Based on earlier researcher, some experts theorize that taking these three supplements together would provide a synergistic weapon against the progression of Parkinson`s.
Elizabeth Walling is a freelance writer specializing in health and family nutrition. She is a strong believer in natural living as a way to improve health and prevent modern disease. She enjoys thinking outside of the box and challenging common myths about health and wellness. You can visit her blog to learn more: www.livingthenourishedlife.com/2009/10/welco...