With health care costs on the rise and depression becoming more and more common, we find ourselves looking for alternative treatments for depression. A powerful powerhouse nutrient that should not be ignored is: Coenzyme Q10 (COQ10, ubiquinone, ubiquinol).
COQ10 (ubiquinone and ubiquinol) is like the battery that goes in your car. It is used by every single cell in your body to provide energy. Energy helps your cells to work, it is needed to make hormones, neurotransmitters, it is needed for your neurons to send information. In short: COQ10 is essential for every single cell in your body.
But what does this have to do with your mental health?
At the basic level, Ubiquinone is vital in the energy production powerhouse, the mitochondria. Adequate levels allow for the body’s biochemical processes to be efficiently energized.
This is why early signs of deficiency are associated with lowered energy, brain fog and muscle weakness. Do these symptoms sound familiar?
They are some of the most common symptoms in depression.
Without adequate amounts of COQ10, people commonly suffer from depression– especially depression associated with chronic fatigue syndrome and treatment resistant depression4. Ubiquinone plays a particularly vital role in heart health as well and research has revealed a particularly intimate link between one’s heart health and their emotional wellbeing. Late signs that your levels may be low include chest pain, high blood pressure, rapid aging and Alzheimer’s disease3. In fact, because of this, COQ10 is very commonly recommended for patients suffering from heart disease. COQ10 can not only provide the body with the energy it needs for proper heart function but it serves preventive treatment for return of, or worsening of symptoms.
COQ10 deficiencies are becoming increasingly common. Unfortunately, COQ10 is one of the 3 main nutrients depleted while taking pharmaceuticals, such as tricyclic antidepressants1,2. This is why people often develop side effects and often worsening of their depression and anxiety after long term antidepressant use. The conventional medical model emphasizes adding additional medications or increasing dosages but this does not get to the root of the problem.
It’s only making it worse.
In the Philosophies of Natural Therapeutics, author, Dr. Henry Lindlhar acknowledges the advantages of preventing disease, rather than waiting for the development of disease and seeking to cure it6. He also provides profound insights into how to treat disease by addressing the root cause.
So, in respect to Dr. Lindlhar’s suggestion, supplementing with nutrients known to be involved in the development of depression may be beneficial while under pharmaceutical treatment. By targeting the root cause of why you are feeling worse on your antidepressant we can help reduce and often eliminate side effects, but we can also often help relieve the depression so that you may be able to taper down and often off of your medications. Note: Medications should always be adjusted under the supervision of your prescribing physician. It can be very harmful and dangerous to make medication adjustments without expert supervision.
Another benefit of Ubiquinone (a specific form of COQ10) is that it is one of the antioxidants that is able to cross the blood brain barrier7. This barrier is what separates the blood circulating in your body from the fluid in your central nervous system. This means that ubiquinol (a form of COQ10) is able to go straight into your brain where it can directly target your mind and mood. If you recall from the previous post regarding the powerful antioxidant melatonin, you know that antioxidants play a role in the development of neurodegenerative diseases. COQ10 is a powerful antioxidant and as we age Ubiquinone levels decrease, further increasing the risk of depletion– especially when paired with antidepressant use.
With Ubiquinone’s ability to reach the central nervous system, it is one of the most influential nutrients available for prevention of neurodegenerative changes in the brain.
At Natural Mental Health Supplements we understand the importance in giving the body what it needs to support optimal health. That is why we have specifically formulated Antidepressant Companion to be safely and effectively used in conjunction with pharmaceuticals, as a means to prevent the loss of the nutrients that impact your mental health.
Speak with your healthcare provider today about using Antidepressant Companion on your journey to a healthy, happy life!
NOTE: At this time Antidepressant Companion is on backorder, in lieu of this we are recommending Mood Food by Xymogen.
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1) Drugs that Deplete: Coenzyme Q10. University of Maryland Medical Center Medical Reference Guide. Complementary and Alternative medicine Guide.https://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement-depletion-links/drugs-that-deplete-coenzyme-q10
2) Drugs that Deplete: Coenzyme Q102011). PennState Hershey. Milton S. Hersehey Medical Center. Retrieved on 4/1/15 from http://pennstatehershey.adam.com/content.aspx?productId=107&pid=33&gid=000706
3) Signs of low COQ10: heart disease, high blood pressure, chest pain, macular degeneration, early and rapid aging, chronic fatigue, and cognitive problems like depression, brain fog and alzheimers disease. Mayo Clinic. Drugs and Supplements: Coenzyme Q10. http://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/coenzyme-q10/evidence/hrb-20059019
4) Low COQ10 plays a role in the cause of depression, especially depression associated with treatment resistant depression, and chronic fatigue syndrome: “The results show that lower CoQ10 plays a role in the pathophysiology of depression and in particular in TRD and CFS accompanying depression” Neuro Endocrinol Lett. 2009;30(4):462-9. Lower plasma Coenzyme Q10 in depression: a marker for treatment resistance and chronic fatigue in depression and a risk factor to cardiovascular disorder in that illness. Maes M1, Mihaylova I, Kubera M, Uytterhoeven M, Vrydags N, Bosmans E. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20010493
5) Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2013 Mar;104:105-12. doi: 10.1016/j.pbb.2012.12.027. Epub 2013 Jan 11. Coenzyme Q10 displays antidepressant-like activity with reduction of hippocampal oxidative/nitrosative DNA damage in chronically stressed rats. Aboul-Fotouh S1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23313551
6) Nature Cure; Philosophy and Practice Based on the Unity of Disease and Cure. Nature Cure Publishing. 1914. reprint General Books LLC, 2009, ISBN 978-1-150-08374-7
7) Yossi Gilgun-Sherki, Eldad Melamed, Daniel Offen (2000). Oxidative stress induced-neurodegenerative diseases: the need for antioxidants that penetrate the blood brain barrier. Neuropharmacology 40 (2001) 959–975. Journal of Neuro Pharmacology 2000-2001. Retrieved from: http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.477.4396&rep=rep1&type=pdf