SalmonCo-enzyme Q10 is a vitamin-like antioxidant essential for its cardiovascular support. It is produced by the body and is also available in food. It supports mitochondria processes in the retina. Mitochondria are the cellular energy producers that support all cellular activity. Depletion or deficiency of CoQ10 is thus a deficiency of one of the fundamental needs of the cell in every part of the body. Other nutrients such as acetyl-l-carnitine, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin E, and alpha-lipoic acid enhance CoQ10 functioning.

Diabetic retinopathy. In combination with pine bark (pycnogenol) and vitamin E, CoQ10 helps to not only reduce free radicals but to improve the thickness of the retina.1

Glaucoma. CoQ10's ability to support mitochondrial function2 and its known neuroprotective capacity makes it of interest to glaucoma researchers. In animal models, when applied topically, it is effective in reducing high intraocular pressure.3

Macular degeneration. CoQ10, combined with acetyl-l-carnitine or omega-3 fatty acids, supports retinal functioning more than either of those nutrients alone. In general, compounds that affect mitochondrial fat metabolism appear to improve and stabilize vision, and even improve vision in patients with early-stage AMD.4 In combination with acetyl-l-carnitine, omega-3s, and vitamin E, it improves the retinal pigment cell tissue function5 and reduces the drusen-covered area of the retina.6

Retinal disease. Not only does CoQ10 play an essential role in mitochondria processes, but it also protects fats, proteins, and DNA from oxidative stress. The reviewers note its value in treating AMD and glaucoma and propose that it could be effective for other retinal conditions.7

Related disorders. Use of statin drugs for cholesterol control reduces CoQ10 precursors in the body, resulting in a deficiency with symptoms that include muscle pain, cramps, and weakness.8 Therefore, if statin drugs are prescribed, CoQ10 should also be taken. Combined with red yeast rice, CoQ10 helps reduce cholesterol levels.9 This may be because while CoQ10 is effective in protecting against the oxidation of proteins in the body, it is especially effective against the oxidation of lipids.10

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1. Domanico, D., Fragiotta, S., Cutini, A., Carnevale, C., Zompatori, L., et al. (2015). Circulating levels of reactive oxygen species in patients with nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy and the influence of antioxidant supplementation: 6-month follow-up. Indian J Ophthalmol, Jan;63(1):9-14.
2. Erb, C., Koniezka, K. (2018). Mitochondrial Dysfunctions and Role of Coenzyme Q10 in patients with glaucoma. Klin Monatsbl Augenheilkd, 235(02):157-162.
3. Davis, B.M., Tian, K., Pahlitzsch, M., Brenton, J., Ravindran, N. (2017). Topical Coenzyme Q10 demonstrates mitochondrial-mediated neuroprotection in a rodent model of ocular hypertension. Mitochondrion, Sep;36:114-123.
4. Feher. J., Kovacs, B., Kovcs, I., schveoller, M., Papale, A., et al. (2005). 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, May-Jun;219(3):154-66.
5. Feher, J., Papale, A., Mannino, G., Gualdi, Balacco, G.C., et al. (2003). Mitotropic compounds for the treatment of age-related macular degeneration. The metabolic approach and a pilot study. Ophthalmology, Sep-Oct;217(5):351-7
6. Ibid. Feher. (2003).
7. Zhang, X., Tohari, A.M., Marcheggianai, F., Zhou, X., Reilly, J., et al. (2017). Therapeutic potential of co-enzyme Q10 in retinal diseases. Curr Med Chem, 2017;24(39):4329-4339.
8. Potgieter, M., Pretorius, E., Pepper, M.S. (2013). Primary and secondary coenzyme Q10 deficiency: the role of therapeutic supplementation. Nutr Rev, Mar;71(3):180-8.
9. Cicero, A.F.G., Colletti, A., Bajraktari, G., Descamps, O., Djuric, D.M., et al. (2017). Lipid lowering nutraceuticals in clinical practice: position paper from an International Lipid Expert Panel. Arch Med Sci, Aug; 13(5):965–1005
10. Littarru, G.P., Tiano, L. (2007). Bioenergetic and antioxidant properties of coenzyme Q10: recent developments. Mol Biotechnol, Sep;37(1):31-7.