CoQ10 is a nutrient essential to energy production in the heart. It also has the ability to improve mitochondria metabolism. Issues with mitochondria function may play a role in AMD onset. A study on this was published in Ophthalmologica in 2005.
The researchers of the study designed a trial with compounds shown to improve mitochondria function. This included CoQ10, omega-3 fatty acids, and acetyl-L-carnitine. The double-blind trial was controlled with a soy oil placebo. The study included over 100 patients with AMD. They were assigned to take two capsules per day for 12 months of either the treatment capsule or the placebo.
At the end of the yearlong period of treatment, researchers measured visual function by four parameters. The primary study endpoint was the status of blind spots in the visual field. Researchers found a significant improvement in the AMD patients that received treatment. Only one of the 48 treatment group patients showed worsened blind spots. This was compared to 9 of 53 placebo group patients who showed decline.
Also measured was the level of drusen, the yellow deposits on the retina that occur with AMD. The most-affected and less-affected eyes were considered. The drusen-covered area decreased by 23% in the less-affected eyes of the treatment group. In the placebo group, there was a 13% increase of drusen.
These findings show the possibilities of CoQ10 and other nutrients in treating AMD. The ability of these compounds to aid in mitochondrial function may be crucial to treatment of AMD symptoms. Intake of these nutrients could be essential to stabilize and improve visual function in early AMD. Learn more about this study.
Source: Feher J, Kovacs B, Kovacs I, et al. Improvement of visual functions and fundus alterations in early age-related macular degeneration treated with a combination of acetyl-L-carnitine, n-3 fatty acids, and coenzyme Q10. Ophthalmologica. 2005 May;219(3):154-66.