Saturday, January 12, 2013

CoQ10 Shows Promise For Kidney Disease by Maylin Rodriguez-Paez, RN

Reposted From Life Extension

We’re pretty used to hearing that CoQ10 is good for the heart, but little emphasis has been made to date on its kidney-protective effects.

Why should you care? Because the number of Americans that are affected by chronic kidney disease is growing.

In fact, approximately 13% of Americans have chronic kidney disease.1
This is a condition in which your kidneys are damaged and don’t filter waste properly. It can lead to problems such as cardiovascular and even bone disease.2
Kidney disease can progress to end-stage renal failure, an illness which can only be treated by dialysis or kidney transplantation. However, if chronic kidney disease is treated in time, kidney function can be preserved.

Research actually shows that CoQ10 supports kidney function in a few ways. Below, we’ll explore some of the research in further detail.

CoQ10 Guards Kidneys Against Oxidative Stress

Each day your kidneys produce about 8 cups of waste.3 This makes them extremely vulnerable to damage and oxidative stress.

Fortunately, nutrients like CoQ10 increase the production of kidney-protective antioxidants which combat free radicals.

CoQ10 increases serum levels of glutathione and catalase,4 which are both powerful kidney-protective antioxidants. In addition, it quenches production of superoxide,5 a damaging free radical.

Dialysis patients taking CoQ10 have been found to experience reduced oxidative stress.6

CoQ10 Protects Against Nephrotoxic Drugs

According to the CDC, 47.9% of Americans take at least one prescription medication.7 Depending on the drug, it could strain the kidneys and even cause irreversible damage.

Particularly offensive drugs include NSAIDS, certain antibiotics, acetaminophen, and lithium.

Research shows CoQ10 protects kidneys against various drugs including gentamicin,8 cisplatin,9 cyclosporine10 and simvastatin,11 a commonly used cholesterol-lowering drug. These drugs are known to often cause kidney damage.

CoQ10 Prevents Kidney Dysfunction

Doctors monitor kidney function by examining markers such as creatinine, BUN, albumin, and protein urine levels. The kidneys filter these compounds, and elevations may signal kidney damage or disease.

At the University of Tokyo, rats given CoQ10 (also known as ubiquinol) showed decreases in albumin levels after being subjected to a kidney-damaging procedure.5
The CoQ10 was found to be helpful in preserving kidney function. The researchers concluded, “Ubiquinol may be a candidate for the treatment of patients with kidney disease.”

Other studies show CoQ10 inhibits rises in urine protein levels12 and prevents elevations in creatinine when given along with alpha tocopherol.13

The Bottom Line

Chronic kidney disease is a growing problem in the US. It can significantly alter your quality of life and increase your risk for multiple diseases.

CoQ10 is a valuable nutrient that both protects and preserves kidney function. As such, it should be considered as a preventive first line of defense.

Have you monitored your kidney function within the last year? If you haven’t, please discuss it with your doctor!


  1. Available at: Accessed November 5th 2012.
  2. Available at: Accessed November 5th 2012.
  3. Available at: Accessed November 5th 2012.
  4. J Diabetes Complications. 2012 Jul 11. [Epub ahead of print]
  5. Clin Exp Nephrol. 2011 Feb;15(1):30-3. Epub 2010 Sep 28.
  6. Blood Purif. 2008;26(4):371-8. Epub 2008 May 29.
  7. Available at: Accessed November 5th 2012.
  8. Indian J Exp Biol. 2006 May;44(5):416-8.
  9. Toxicology. 2010 Jul-Aug;274(1-3):49-56. Epub 2010 May 25.
  10. Int Braz J Urol. 2012 Mar-Apr;38(2):230-4; discussion 234.
  11. Indian J Exp Biol. 2005 Oct 2005;43(10):845-8.
  12. Diabetologia. 2012 May;55(5):1535-43. Epub 2012 Feb 5.
  13. Transplantation. 1981 Aug;32(2):137-41.