This article originally appeared on Live in the Now.
It’s well established that Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is beneficial for maintaining a healthy heart and protecting the brain, but a new study indicates CoQ10 may be an untapped aid for those with chronic depression.
Given that depression is often accompanied by increased oxidative stress and reduced antioxidant activity in specific regions of the brain, researchers at Ain Shams University in Cairo, Egypt decided to test an essential brain-health nutrient, one that also happens to be one of the most powerful, all-natural antioxidants in the world: CoQ10.
In a study published in Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior, researchers induced stress and depression via chronic restraint stress (CRS), an experimental model of depression, in a group of healthy mice. They then administered high doses of CoQ10 (25, 50, 100 and 150mg/kg/day) for a period of three weeks.
After the 3-week period, researchers conducted the same series of tests on the mice, and observed significantly fewer symptoms of stress and depression. These observations were confirmed using standard bio markers such as body weight and corticosterone levels.
Interestingly, although not surprisingly, the mice demonstrated many other health benefits from their 3-week period of high CoQ10 intake. The CoQ10 dose-dependently restored the activity of critical catalyst compounds in the brain such as glutathione peroxidase and reduced glutathione, while reducing levels of compounds such malondialdehyde, a marker for oxidative stress. These changes in brain chemistry reflect CoQ10’s ability to naturally reduce oxidative/nitrosative stress and protect against damage to the DNA.
The authors concluded that “CoQ10 possesses antidepressant activity and can protect against CRS-induced hippocampal DNA damage … Therefore, CoQ10 may have a potential therapeutic value for the management of depressive disorders.”
How Much CoQ10 Should You Take?
There is no UL, or maximum dose, for CoQ10. Some Parkinson’s patients take anywhere from 600-800 mg daily, and human studies have safely administered up to 1,200 mg/day for long periods of time. While further research needs to be conducted to determine the optimal dose of CoQ10 for those seeking relief from symptoms of depression, this study would suggest the average individual should take anywhere from 1,200-7,500 mg per day to see the dramatic results observed — a daily dose that’s obviously not feasible for many. Still, many experts believe CoQ10 can influence depression at doses as low as 400 mg daily if taken consistently.
It is predicted that further trials will experiment with lower doses of CoQ10 to determine the minimum amount necessary to receive mood balancing benefits.