May 25, 2022

How CoQ10 Helps You Manage Migraine

How CoQ10 Helps You Manage Migraine
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Only people who have undergone a migraine attack know that it is much more than a painful headache. Migraine is a neurological condition that affects almost 213 million Indians and 39 million Americans and ruins your usual routine.

There are medications available for preventing and treating migraine, but they come with some side effects. Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is a natural alternative to avoid facing any side effects. In this article, let us delve into how CoQ10 helps prevent symptoms and potential side effects of migraines.

Understanding Migraine

Migraine attacks manifest as continuous throbbing pain in the head. It happens in phases and could last for hours or even days.

Migraine has different kinds and comes in many stages like prodrome, aura, attack, and post-drome recovery.

Migraine treatment depends on the patient’s symptoms and if the migraine is episodic or chronic. Episodic migraine comes once in a while, whereas chronic migraine usually occurs frequently and lasts longer.

What Are The Main Symptoms Of Migraine?

  1. Dizziness
  2. Trouble with vision
  3. Light flashes
  4. Nausea or vomiting
  5. Frequent yawning
  6. Trouble speaking
  7. Sound sensitivity
  8. Stiff neck
  9. Fatigue or low energy
  10. Tingling in the arms or legs
  11. Irritability

What Is Coenzyme Q10?

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is an essential compound produced by the human body. It is stored in the mitochondria of human cells and helps convert nutrients, like carbohydrates and fatty acids, into energy-producing adenosine triphosphate (ATP). The ATP helps increase the energy transfer within cells.

Apart from being produced by the body, nuts, meats, poultry, and fish also contain CoQ10. Nevertheless, CoQ10 lessens as we age. Research also suggests that CoQ10 levels may be lower due to a few chronic conditions, like diabetes, heart disease, nerve-related disorders, fibromyalgia, and cancer.

Researchers have also figured that people experiencing migraine attacks tend to have deficiencies in nutrients like magnesium, riboflavin, and CoQ10, which might be a reason for migraine.

Is CoQ10 Effective In The Treatment Of Migraines?

Some evidence shows that CoQ10 might help with treating migraines. Below are how CoQ10 helps prevent migraine attacks:

Protects The Mitochondria

While the exact cause of migraine isn’t known, some evidence shows that flaws in mitochondria (the energy-producing structures inside human cells) could be a reason. Mitochondria produces nearly 90% of the energy the cells use and protects the cells from oxidative damage. Since nerve and muscle tissues contain high levels of mitochondria, any flaws there increase cell damage from free radicals.

Coenzyme Q10 supplements contain antioxidant properties, which may help tackle the effects of the free radicals and reduce oxidative damage and inflammation.

Can Shorten The Attacks

Two studies from 2018 and 2021 found that CoQ10 supplements effectively reduced migraine frequency and duration compared to a placebo. The studies experimented with different dosages of CoQ10 from 30 mg to 800 mg per day.

The effectiveness of CoQ10 supplements also varies based on the type of CoQ10 taken. CoQ10 comes in two forms - ubiquinol and ubiquinone. In general, CoQ10 is not well absorbed by the gastrointestinal tract. Studies have shown that the ubiquinol form is more easily absorbed than the ubiquinone form.

Dosage of CoQ10 Supplements

There is no specific established dosage of CoQ10 for migraine. CoQ10 is considered a dietary supplement. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) hasn’t approved it for use in migraine prevention or treatment. 

Small studies from 2005, 2016, and 2019 show that small amounts of CoQ10 (100 mg, 100 mg, and 400 mg respectively) every day helped reduce the frequency, duration, and severity of migraine attacks.

Dosage of CoQ10 could depend on factors like:

  • The type of CoQ10 taken (ubiquinol or ubiquinone)
  • The severity of migraine attacks
  • Other medications taken
  • Other health conditions

When deciding the dosage, it is best to check with your doctor and follow their recommendations. Remember that CoQ10 is only a dietary supplement and hence takes longer to show some improvement.

CoQ10, being a fat-soluble vitamin, takes longer for cells to absorb it. When consumed with food, the absorption rate is higher. Studies show that people can tolerate up to 1200 mg of CoQ10 with minimal side effects. 

CoQ10 Supplements - Side Effects And Interaction With Other Drugs

Some of the commonly reported side effects of CoQ10 supplements include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach upset. Occasionally there have also been reports of headaches, dizziness, light sensitivity, irritability, and fatigue.

There is limited research available on the interaction of CoQ10 supplements with other medications and over-the-counter products. Some medications that might have the possibility of interacting with CoQ10 include blood pressure medications, blood thinners, antidepressants, and cancer medications.

If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, have diabetes, low blood sugar, liver problem, or kidney problem, talk to your doctor before starting CoQ10 supplements. 

The best way to take CoQ10 supplements is to consult with your doctor and take the best and lowest dose that provides benefits for migraine.

Other Supplements That Could Help With Migraine

A few other supplements also help with migraine prevention or treating migraine.

A study in 2015 found that riboflavin (Vitamin B2) supplements can reduce the frequency and duration of migraine episodes. A 2017 study found that magnesium supplements had similar effects in reducing and preventing migraine episodes compared to a placebo

Natural and herbal remedies like peppermint, ginger, caffeine, etc., might also help prevent or tackle migraine. There are specific medications available to treat migraine as well. 

Additionally, taking steps like reducing triggers in the form of scents and stress can also help with preventing migraine.


Research showcased that CoQ10 may help in migraine prevention. But the only catch with the research done on the effectiveness and dosage of CoQ10 for treating migraine was the small observation groups.

Extensive research with a large and diverse group of people dealing with migraine is necessary to help researchers understand how and who will benefit from CoQ10 supplementation.

While some evidence shows that CoQ10 may reduce the frequency and duration of migraine, it is best to check with your doctor before starting the CoQ10 supplementation.

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