Battling With Migraines? Coenzyme Q10 Could Be Your Answer

By 

Anju Mobin

 on August 26, 2022. 
Reviewed by 

Kirsty Macdougall

A young woman in a pink jumper pinching her forehead, standing in front of a yellow wall.

A migraine is not just a headache but a complex neurological disease that impacts more than 1 billion people worldwide. With migraines, you experience recurring headaches that are throbbing or pulsating and are generally associated with nausea.

Your brain communicates through a series of nerve cells, where electrical signals are carried from one end of the nerve cell to the other using passageways called ion channels. When one of these communication systems doesn't work correctly, you experience a migraine.

Many alternative medicines have been tried and tested for migraines, with Coenzyme Q10 tagged as one of the best.

Keep reading for more on how Coenzyme Q10 helps to ward off migraines!

What Is Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)?

Coenzyme Q10 is a vitamin-like compound used to make energy in our bodies. It is found naturally in the mitochondria of every cell in our body. Mitochondria are vital for producing the energy we need for our daily functions. They also have other roles, such as protecting cells from pathogens and oxidative damage.

We can get CoQ10 from our diet. Foods like fatty fish, eggs, organ meats, and nuts are good sources of Coenzyme Q10. As a supplement, CoQ10 is endogenously synthesized too.

How Does CoQ10 Help With Migraines?

Studies have confirmed that supplementation with CoQ10 can improve functional capacity and reduce major adverse events in the body (1). Intake of Coenzyme Q10 can increase the production of crucial antioxidants.

CoQ10 has shown promise in migraine treatment. As the population suffering from migraines show low CoQ10, supplementation is believed to bring benefits, decreasing headache frequency (2). This is due to its antioxidant properties, which help to restore metabolic imbalances associated with oxidative stress damage and migraines.

A clinical trial published in Neurology in 2005 that worked with 42 migraine patients showed fewer headache days and was well tolerated (3). In another study, 100 mg of CoQ10 daily showed a reduction in the frequency, severity, and number of migraine attacks (4).

How Much CoQ10 Should You Take?

CoQ10 comes in varied forms, including tablets, capsules, soft gels, and liquid oral supplements. Depending on your requirement, the dosage varies. Normally, a dosage of 90–200 mg per day is recommended, but the dosage of CoQ10 for migraines is 300–400 mg daily.

For treating other conditions, the following dosages are recommended:

  • To reduce statin-related mild to moderate myalgias, supplementation with 50 mg of CoQ10 twice daily is advised.
  • People suffering from angina or other problems should take 60–300 mg daily.
  • A 100–200 mg daily dosage is considered effective in balancing an age-related decline.
  • To improve insulin resistance and to prevent or slow down diabetic-related complications, 100–300 mg of CoQ10 is advised.

Being fat-soluble, Coenzyme Q10 is better to take with a meal for maximum absorption, and taking it at night has shown a better effect. Be sure to take CoQ10 supplements in the form of ubiquinol, as it's the most absorbable form.

Potential Side Effects of CoQ10

Doses higher than these ranges, 300–600 mg daily, have still been touted safe. In fact, a CoQ10 supplement of even up to 1200 mg/day is well tolerated, according to some studies.

However, some do experience minor and infrequent side effects such as:

  • Headaches
  • Insomnia
  • Skin rashes
  • Irritability

Rare adverse effects include dizziness, photophobia, heartburn, increased involuntary movements, and fatigue. For people who experience insomnia, it is better to take a CoQ10 supplement in the morning or afternoon.

CoQ10 is chemically similar to vitamin K, which aids blood clotting. Consequently, CoQ10 can potentially interact with blood thinners, like warfarin, making them less effective. As a result, CoQ10 can be linked to blot clots; however, this interaction is reversible.

Supplements Can Be Effective in Fighting Migraines

Coenzyme Q10 or CoQ10 is a potent antioxidant made in our bodies. Our CoQ10 concentration starts to decline with age or due to conditions like neurogenerative diseases, mitochondrial diseases, muscular diseases, diabetes, or cancer.

Supplementing CoQ10 for migraines in the form of ubiquinol provides many benefits. Approved Science CoQ10 MD is one such supplement and has been proven more effective than other supplements. It contains MCT oil and Piperine that increase bioavailability, improving CoQ10 absorption. Approved Science also offers Migrainex for migraine relief, another clinically tested supplement containing natural ingredients for easing migraines.

Nutritional supplements and vitamins take time to work, so you can expect to see results in a few weeks. But because Coenzyme Q10 is well tolerated and usually safe for most, it's an excellent treatment option for migraine sufferers.

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