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By Dr. James Howenstine, MD.
December 23, 2003

Biochemist, Dr. Karl Folkers Ph.D, was employed by Merck where he discovered vitamin B12 and learned how to make a synthetic version of it that sold all over the world ending pernicious anemia. He was considered for a Nobel Prize but did not win this honor.

He had become very interested in CoQ10 which Merck could not pursue because it was not patentable as a natural substance. Dr. Folkers had learned that CoQ10 was able to slow the progression of muscular dystrophy. After leaving Merck he took a position as professor at the University of Texas in about 1965.

CoQ10 is found in every cell in the body. Animal species have exhibited a direct correlation between CoQ10 levels and longevity.[1] The use of statin drugs produces significant falls in CoQ blood levels which may be the reason for the rising incidence of heart failure as statin drugs are widely used in the U.S. to lower cholesterol. Administration of CoQ10 improves energy output by the mitochondria of the cell. This improved energy output from CoQ10 therapy has proven to be quite valuable in treating neurologic disorders[2] such as Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, post-polio syndrome, Alzheimer's Disease, and strokes. While at the U. of Texas Dr. Folkers encouraged a cardiologist, Dr. Peter Langsjoen, to use CoQ10 to treat congestive heart failure with wonderful results. Dr. Langsjoen stated " The clinical experience with CoQ10 is nothing short of dramatic. It is reasonable to believe that the entire field of medicine should be reevaluated in light of this growing knowledge". Some patients at the U. of Texas with heart failure received CoQ10 but this therapy did not become adopted as a standard approach by conventional physicians. Dr. Folkers followed the course of 6 patients, who had cancer, who were taking CoQ10 for congestive heart failure until 1993. Four of them had lung cancer and 2 had breast cancer. All 6 experienced remissions of cancer thought to be due to CoQ10 therapy. Dr. Folkers recommended the use of 500 mg. of CoQ daily in patients with malignancies.

Dr. Folkers began to raise money to pursue his dream of using CoQ10 to treat malignancies. Folkers persuaded one of his financial backers, who had developed small cell carconoma of the lung with widespread metastasis, to try CoQ10 by pointing out that CoQ10 would do no harm and it might help. His oncologist had advised him he had less than a year to live. He began to feel better and had no sign of metastases one year later. Fifteen years after the cancer diagnosis he remained well and free of metastases. The only therapy he received was CoQ10.

In 1980 Dr. Folkers funded a trial of CoQ10 for breast cancer conducted by Dr. Kund Lockwood in Denmark. Dr. Lockwood treated 2 patients with breast cancer one with 300 mg.of CoQ10 daily and the other with 360 mg. daily. Both recovered.

Dr. William Judy of Bradenton, Fl. received funding from Dr. Folkers to treat prostate cancer with CoQ10. Cancer of the prostate is typically hormone dependent at it's onset and is effectively treated then by hormone inhibition. However, after two to five years it often becomes independent of hormone therapy and no amount of hormone inhibition at that stage is beneficial.

Dr. Judy found 30 patients with hormone independent prostate cancer and treated them with 500 mg. of Coenzyme Q10 daily. Fourteen of the 15 who had no metastases to bone or lung proceeded to have their PSA values return to normal. Of the 15 patients who did have metastases to bone and lung when they started CoQ10 8 saw their PSA results return to normal suggesting improvement.. Dr. Judy then treated 6 patients with prostate cancer and elevated PSA values with CoQ10 and all 6 had their elevated PSA values return to normal after 120 days of CoQ10 therapy (500 mg.) daily. Political problems prevented him from publishing these results and Dr. Folkers death in 1998 has terminated all interest in CoQ10 as a therapy for cancer which is unfortunate.

Dr. Judy suggests a way to improve the absorption of CoQ10 capsules into the blood stream. Put the capsules of CoQ10 in hot tea which melts them. CoQ10 needs fat to get improved absorption. Add a teaspoon of coconut oil preferably but butter will also work. Drink the tea warm or hot.

The lack of interest in CoQ10 by the pharmaceutical companies as a cancer therapy is caused by their inability to patent it. This should have no effect on patients looking for a safe cancer therapy that seems to work quite well. CoQ10 can be found in health food stores and is available in a readily absorbable melt form from Natural Health Team at 1-800-416-2806.

I am deeply grateful to biochemist Wayne Martin for providing me with this information about CoQ10 and cancer. Mr. Martin was a good friend of Dr. Folkers for many years.


1 Lass A Comparisons of Coenxyme Q bound to mitochondrial membrane proteins among different mammalian species. Free Radical Biology and Medicine 27 (1/2):220-26, 1999
2 Perlmutter David Brain pg 22, 55, 70-71, 91-2, 113-4, 144-5

© 2003 Dr. James Howenstine - All Rights Reserved

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Dr. James A. Howenstine is a board certified specialist in internal medicine who spent 34 years caring for office and hospital patients. Curiosity sparked a 4 year study of natural health products when 5 of his patients with severe rheumatoid arthritis were able to discontinue the use of methotrexate (chemotherapy agent) after trying an extract of New Zealand mussels for the therapy of severe rheumatoid arthritis.

Dr. Howenstine is convinced that natural products are safer, more effective and less expensive than pharmaceutical drugs. This research led to the publication of his book 'A Physicians Guide To Natural Health Products That Work'. This book and the recommended health products are available from and by calling 1-800-416-2806 U.S.A.  

Dr Howenstine can be reached by E-Mail at









"In 1980 Dr. Folkers funded a trial of CoQ10 for breast cancer conducted by Dr. Kund Lockwood in Denmark. Dr. Lockwood treated 2 patients with breast cancer one with 300 mg. of CoQ10 daily and the other with 360 mg. daily. Both recovered."