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Study Shows Link Between Low CoQ10 and Breast Cancer

Heather Suhr

Coenzyme Q10, or CoQ10, is an essential nutrient known for its cardio-protective properties and is a substance found in every cell of the body. CoQ10 is synthesized in the body, but can also be obtained in the diet such as fish, fish oils, and the germs of whole grains. So, it’s a found in a variety of foods and not too many people develop a deficiency. (1,2)

It’s been reported to have a positive association with prognosis in heart failure and correlates positively with total cholesterol and LDL (bad) cholesterol. (2) CoQ10 has many positive health benefits and could include lowering the risk of certain cancers, such as breast and cervical cancers.

Association between CoQ10 and certain cancers

Ever since the 1960s, researchers have seen the connection between lowered CoQ10 and certain cancers, such as cervical, lymphoma, myeloma, lung, head, neck, and prostate cancers, which can affect both men and women. According to one study, a CoQ10 deficiency can be linked to breast cancer as well. (1)

In this study that was published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, researchers examined nearly 1,000 Chinese women, including 340 breast cancer cases before their diagnosis and 653 age-matched cancer-free controls, within the Shanghai Women’s Health Study. (3)

Researchers found that women who had CoQ10 serum levels in the bottom fifth had about a 90% chance of being diagnosed with breast cancer than those in the middle fifth. (1,3) According to the lead study author, Robert V. Cooney, “The current Shanghai Women’s Health Study, with relatively larger sample size and longer follow-up time suggests an inverse association for plasma CoQ10 levels with breast cancer risk in Chinese women.” (1)

Finding CoQ10 in plant-based foods

While CoQ10 is mainly found in meat as the largest source, it can also be found in plant-based foods such as cauliflower, peanuts, soybean oil, and strawberries. You can also gain additional benefits from supplementing high quality CoQ10 into your diet. (1)

There is no official daily value recommendation for how much CoQ10 one must take, but suggestions are to take at least 90 to 120 mg for healthy men and women as well as for any adults taking statin medications and heart problems. It’s also suggested that while taking the supplement, it’s best to combine with any meals that contain fat, since it’s fat-soluble. (4)

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