CoQ10 is the powerful boost you’ve been looking for

By Dr. Nicole Cain ND, MA

CoQ10 For Depression

What CoQ10 can do for you?

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 of 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, with 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 are 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 the prevention of neurodegenerative changes in the brain.


This article is for educational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. Whenever considering changing your protocol whether it includes a change of medications, supplements, diet or lifestyle, always speak with your primary care physician first.

Dr. Nicole Cain is an advocate for empowering people around the world to help themselves via her educational free resources, online courses, and membership group. You can receive the tools you need to find the root cause of your symptoms and feel healthy again.