Most of us take it for granted that our salivary glands are hard at work all day long, but people with a condition that chronically causes dry mouth are constantly reminded of the moment-to-moment importance of saliva. Dry mouth sufferers feel thirsty all the time, and their abilities to taste, chew, swallow, digest, and prevent oral infections and cavities can be compromised. Dry mouth can be a symptom of a disease, a side effect of a medication, or simply a part of the aging process, and until now treatments have focused on symptom relief through the use of oral moisturizers. A new study found that supplementing with CoQ10 (coenzyme Q10) can improve salivary flow and dry mouth symptoms in women.
The study, published in Clinical Biochemistry, included 31 women over 50 years old with dry mouth associated with an autoimmune disease called Sjogren's syndrome, and 35 healthy women over 50. The women were divided into three groups and underwent one month of treatment with either 100 mg of ubiquinol (the chemically reduced, rather than the oxidized, form of CoQ10), 100 mg of ubiquinone (oxidized CoQ10), or placebo. They filled out symptom questionnaires and salivary gland activity was assessed at the beginning and end of the trial.