Coenzyme Q10 – What You Need to Know

If you could become more productive, more energetic, and protect your heart just by swallowing a pill, would you do it? Deficiency of this vital molecule can lead to gum disease, heart disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, cancer, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's, and even migraines.

Originally published on
Updated on


Hi, I’m Dr. B, practicing functional dentist for 35 years. I graduated from the Dugoni School of Dentistry in San Francisco, CA in 1987 and am a member of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM), Academy of General Dentistry (Chicago, IL), American Academy for Oral Systemic Health (AAOSH), and Dental Board of California. I'm on a mission to empower people everywhere with the same evidence-based, easy-to-understand dental health advice that my patients get. Learn more about Dr. B

Dear Dr. B, Is all the hype about Coenzyme Q10 true? How much Coenzyme Q10 would I need to take for it to have an impact on my gum health?

A: Long appreciated in dentistry for its benefits to gum health, Coenzyme Q10 is more than just a fad. It is an essential molecule that can have a dramatic impact on your oral health, as well as your energy level.

How does Coenzyme Q10 work?

Coenzyme Q10 is a vital molecule upon which cellular functions in the body depend upon. Coenzyme Q10 works by acting as a catalyst that makes it possible for the mitochondria, the powerhouse of the cell, to produce a chemical that gives the body energy and power. In fact, 95% of the energy generated by the human body in a process that depends upon Coenzyme Q10, so it’s no wonder that Coenzyme Q10 levels are highest in the heart.

Coenzyme Q10 Deficiency

Coenzyme Q10 deficiency can lead to gum disease, heart disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, cancer, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s, and even migraines. Coenzyme Q10 deficiency is also a major contributor to fatigue, especially after the age of 30.

Am I getting enough Coenzyme Q10?

Chances are, you aren’t getting enough Coenzyme Q10 in your diet. This is because the body can’t get enough Coenzyme Q10 from diet and from what it synthesizes on its own. On top of this, environmental toxins reduce Coenzyme Q10 levels in the body. If you take medications such as beta blockers, antidepressants, diuretics, and certain diabetes medications, these can also reduce Coenzyme Q10 levels in the body.

It would take one pound of sardines, two pounds of meat, and one pound of nuts to provide 30 mg of Coenzyme Q10. The optimal dose of Coenzyme Q10 for a human is 100 mg or more per day. This means you should take a Coenzyme Q10 supplement, no matter who you are.

How to get enough Coenzyme Q10

Coenzyme Q10 must be taken with a fatty and oily meal. Before you get excited – I’m not talking about a fast food burger. Half of an avocado or a teaspoon of olive oil will do the trick.

Take your Coenzyme Q10 supplement with a small amount of monosaturated fat for optimal absorption into the bloodstream. I recommend to all my patients that they take at least 100 mg of Coenzyme Q10 a day, optimally 100 to 200 mg twice a day (400 mg total). It is quite difficult, if not impossible, to take too much of this supplement.

Mark Burhenne DDS

Read Next: 7 Benefits of Oral Probiotics—And How to Choose the Right One