Coenzyme Q10 and glycemic control. Blood sugar control. Diabetes. All topics on our minds as we get older.
The authors of the meta-analysis suggest that the nutrition guidelines for patients with glycemic disorders include a recommended daily intake of Coenzyme Q10 [Liang 2022].
The Coenzyme Q10 and Glucose Control Study
- CoQ10 supplementation significantly reduced fasting glucose
- CoQ10 supplementation significantly reduced fasting insulin
- CoQ10 supplementation significantly reduced HbA1c percentages
- CoQ10 supplementation significantly reduced HOMA-IR
Note: HbA1c tests show the average level of blood sugar over the previous two to three months.
Note: HOMA-IR tests show the extent of any insulin resistance that the patients may be experiencing.
Effect of CoQ10 Supplementation on Glucose Control
In diabetes patients, the CoQ10 supplementation had a greater effect on the above-mentioned outcomes than it did in non-diabetic study participants [Liang 2022].
The research showed a U-shaped dose-response relationship curve with 200 mg of Coenzyme Q10 per day at the bottom of the U – meaning the lowest values for fasting blood sugar, fasting blood insulin, and insulin resistance occurred in study participants taking 200 mg/day [Liang 2022].
Daily supplementation with 100-200 mg/day of Coenzyme Q10 was sufficient to decrease fasting blood glucose levels, fasting blood insulin levels, blood HbA1c percentages, and HOMA-IR scores [Liang 2022].
Rationale for CoQ10 Supplementation of Diabetic Patients
Question: Do patients with type-2 diabetes need to consider consulting a physician about taking a CoQ10 supplement?
- Yes, CoQ10 supplements are safe and well-tolerated with no significant adverse effects associated with long-term use.
- Yes, CoQ10 supplements can significantly improve glycemic control.
- Yes, Coenzyme Q10 in the oxidized form, ubiquinone, is essential for cellular energy metabolism.
- Yes, Coenzyme Q10 in the reduced form, ubiquinol, is an important antioxidant, reducing the extent of oxidative damage.
- Yes, Coenzyme Q10 has anti-inflammatory effects.
- Yes, Coenzyme Q10 improves endothelial function.
- Yes, CoQ10 supplementation may be especially important for patients with type-2 diabetes who are taking a statin medication [Mantle 2017].
Conclusion: CoQ10 Supplementation and Blood Sugar and Insulin and Diabetes
- The meta-analysis of the data from 2,424 study participants in randomized controlled trials shows that CoQ10 supplementation has beneficial effects on blood sugar control, both in non-diabetic study participants and in diabetes patients [Liang 2022].
- Supplementation with 200 mg/day of CoQ10 seems to be sufficient to achieve a significant benefit [Liang 2022].
N.B. Not all commercially available CoQ10 supplements have equally good absorption and bioavailability. The reason is that the formulation – the choice of carrier lipids and the method of heating and cooling – differs from one CoQ10 product to another [Lopez-Lluch 2019].
The money-wise consumer will search for a CoQ10 supplement that has documented absorption and documented clinical effects.
Marketing claims to the contrary, there is no need to buy a ubiquinol supplement – a well-formulated ubiquinone CoQ10 supplement will significantly increase the level of ubiquinol in the plasma and in the lipoproteins in the blood [Mantle & Dybring 2020].
AHRQ. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Glucose Control Factsheet. 2017. Retrieved from https://www.ahrq.gov/hai/tools/surgery/tools/surgical-complication-prevention/glucose-control-factsheet.html.
Liang Y, Zhao D, Ji Q, Liu M, Dai S, Hou S, Liu Z, Mao Y, Tian Z, Yang Y. Effects of coenzyme Q10 supplementation on glycemic control: A GRADE-assessed systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. EClinicalMedicine. 2022 Aug 3;52:101602.
López-Lluch G, Del Pozo-Cruz J, Sánchez-Cuesta A, Cortés-Rodríguez AB, Navas P. Bioavailability of coenzyme Q10 supplements depends on carrier lipids and solubilization. Nutrition. 2019 Jan;57:133-140.
Mantle D, Dybring A. Bioavailability of Coenzyme Q10: An Overview of the Absorption Process and Subsequent Metabolism. Antioxidants (Basel). 2020 May 5;9(5):386.
Mantle D. Coenzyme Q10 supplementation for diabetes and its complications: an overview. British Journal of Diabetes. 2017;17(4):145-148.
The information presented in this review article is not intended as medical advice and should not be used as such.
1 October 2022