Dry mouth (xerostomia) is a condition in which salivary secretion is reduced for various reasons
and is known to cause not only a dry mouth sensation, thirst for drinking water, and difficulty
with food intake, but also disturbed taste, dental caries, periodontal disease and oral pain.
Obviously, having chronic dry mouth significantly decreases a person’s quality of life.
Recent studies have identified oxidative stress as a promoting factor for dry mouth and the
development of Sjögren’s syndrome, a condition associated with significant dry mouth. Basically,
oxidative damage leads to the inability of salivary cells to produce enough chemical energy (ATP)
to secrete sufficient amounts of saliva.
Why CoQ10 Therapy Makes Sense for Dry Mouth
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) exerts antioxidant effects, but its main action in relieving dry mouth may be
by increasing energy (ATP) production allowing the saliva-producing cells enough energy to secrete more saliva into the mouth.
Low levels of CoQ10 have been reported to occur in a wide range of medical conditions primarily
associated with the aging process or oxidative damage. A need for supplemental CoQ10 results from
• Impaired CoQ10 synthesis due to nutritional deficiencies
• A genetic or acquired defect in CoQ10 biosynthesis or utilization
• Increased tissue needs resulting from a particular illness
• Taking drugs, like cholesterol-lowering statins, that lower CoQ10 levels
Sixty-six patients, including 31 with dry mouth, were given either ubiquinone or ubiquinol orally
at a dosage of 100mg/day or a placebo for 1 month. Salivary secretion and salivary CoQ10 content
were analyzed before and after treatment. Both ubiquinone and ubiquinol significantly increased
salivary secretion and substantially increased the salivary CoQ10 concentration in dry mouth
patients, whereas the placebo did not significantly increase either the salivary secretion or the
salivary CoQ10 concentration. The average increase in salivary secretion was 71.9% among the
patients treated with ubiquinone and 81.8% among those treated with ubiquinol. These findings
suggest that CoQ10 increases ATP production and thereby activates the secretory ability and saliva
secretion mechanisms, resulting in an increase in salivary secretion. One interesting finding was
that in normal subjects without dry mouth, salivary secretion increased with ubiquinone at a
statistically significant level, but did not differ significantly after treatment with ubiquinol.
The bottom line is that either form of CoQ10 exhibited a marked increase in salivary CoQ10
concentration (ubiquinol greater than ubiquinone in dry mouth,
ubiquinone greater than ubiquinol in normal subjects).