So this post is specifically for Sjogren's patients who have sicca syndrome (dry eyes and mouth), but I wanted to share it with everybody. My oral pathologist recently shared with me that Coenzyme Q10 supplementation has been shown to significantly improve salivary flow and the signs/symptoms of dry mouth. The study is published and I read it and the results are actually quite impressive. My oral pathologist has sicca syndrome herself and said that she noticed an improvement after taking CoQ10 for about 3 weeks.
She recommended 100 mg once a day. This is a supplement you can find in any pharmacy or health food store; it is generally recommended for heart health. It is a normal enzyme that is found in the body. The supplement is quite expensive, but I tried it and man does it really help! I'm buying Nature Made brand.
1) I started noticing increased saliva production after about 2 weeks. I was hoping this was real and not a placebo effect, but at that point I didn't care because I was more comfortable and feeling better.
2) My hygienist made the following comments at my recent routine cleaning: "You actually have a puddle of saliva in your mouth. I've never seen you with this much saliva before. Usually my instruments are sticking to your mucosa. I actually have to use the suction on you. What have you been doing differently?" Aha! I hadn't told her about the CoQ10 so this was independent confirmation that my increased saliva wasn't a placebo effect. Yay!
3) I now get the wonderful effect of my Salagen (pilocarpine) helping me to produce tears. I've even experienced a little epiphora -- aka euphoria! Other people had commented on this before and I had never experienced this with Evoxac or Salagen. So to be honest, I thought ya'll were a bit crazy. I asked my oral pathologist if the pilocarpine caused her to produce more tears and she said yes. She also said that at the 7.5 mg dose, only 40% of people have increased lacrimal production along with the increased saliva production. With the improvements I'm having from the CoQ10 I'm happy to have joined the ranks of the 40%!
Of course, I wouldn't recommend something that wasn't backed up by science. So here's the journal article with the published results.
Coenzyme Q10 salivary flow.pdf