Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Parkinson's Disease Health Center

Font Size

Coenzyme Q10 May Slow Parkinson's

High Doses of Popular Supplement Delays Deterioration

WebMD Health News

Oct. 14, 2002 - High doses of the popular supplement coenzyme Q10 helps slow the progression of Parkinson's disease in some patients by as much as half, researchers report.

Their study, published in the Oct. 15 issue of Archives of Neurology, is the latest to examine the possible benefits of coenzyme Q10, a vitamin-like compound naturally produced in the body and used by cells to make energy and protect against cellular damage. It is also sold in supplement form and has been the subject of various studies as a possible treatment for heart disease, cancer, and other ailments.

In this study, 80 patients with early Parkinson's -- none had previously required drug treatment -- took one of several doses of coenzyme Q10 or placebo four times daily for up to 16 months or until they required treatment with traditional medications such as L-dopa.

"We found that all study participants taking coenzyme Q10 did better than those given a placebo, but the real effect was with those receiving the highest dose administered -- 1200 mg daily," lead researcher Clifford Shults, MD, tells WebMD. "In that group, the rate of progressive deterioration was slowed by 44% compared with those patients taking a placebo." Shults is professor of neurosciences at the University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine,

Patients in groups receiving daily coenzyme Q10 doses of 300 mg and 600 mg also experienced reduced rates of deterioration -- about 20% slower than those receiving a placebo, he says.

Coenzyme Q10 is thought to be helpful because Parkinson's patients have impaired function in mitochondria -- cell components that produce most of the body's energy and consume more than 80% of the oxygen we breath. When mitochondria are impaired, renegade "free radical" molecules can more easily damage important parts of the cell, increasing the risk of diseases that are often associated with aging, such as cancer. Parkinson's affects about 1% of all people older than 50, but about 15% are diagnosed earlier -- including actor Michael J. Fox.

When young and healthy, the human body produces about 300 mg of coenzyme Q10 a day. But levels typically begin to decrease after age 30.

Today on WebMD

Parkinsons disease illustration
Causes, symptoms, and treatments.
hands on walker
How does the disease progress?
man with serious expression
8 common questions and answers.
intelligence quotient illustration
What are the advantages of DBS?
Parkinsons Disease Medications
Questions Doctor Parkinsons
Eating Right
Parkinsons Exercise
daughter consoling depressed mother
senior man's hands
Parkinsons Daily