Professor Urban Alehagen, Linköping University, has reported that daily supplementation with Coenzyme Q10 and high selenium yeast significantly reduces the blood concentrations of known bio-markers for systemic inflammation. This anti-inflammatory effect may be one of the mechanisms by which Coenzyme Q10 supplementation protects the cardiovascular system.
Coenzyme Q10 supplementation with 100 – 300 milligrams daily promotes good heart health [Alehagen, Mortensen]. Supplementation is important because most of the body’s supply of Coenzyme Q10 comes from endogenous bio-synthesis, not from the diet, and, as we get older, our bodies produce less Coenzyme Q10 [Kalén].
The primary functions of Coenzyme Q10 are bio-energetic and antioxidant. Coenzyme Q10 is an essential co-factor in the cellular production of ATP energy. It is also an important fat-soluble antioxidant protecting the cells against oxidative damage caused by harmful free radicals [Littarru].
Coenzyme Q10 also improves endothelial function, the functioning of the layer of cells on the inside of the arteries and veins, the heart, and lymph vessels [Belardinelli]. The endothelium regulates the dilation and constriction of the blood vessels and limits the risk of thrombosis and inflammation.
More recently, researchers have become aware that Coenzyme Q10 has a significant anti-inflammatory effect [Alehagen; Fan; Zhai].
Coenzyme Q10 and Chronic Low-Grade Inflammation
Inflammation can be an acute or a chronic immune system response. Chronic inflammation can contribute to the development and progression of metabolic disorders and degenerative diseases [Zhai].
Typically, researchers evaluate the effect of Coenzyme Q10 supplementation on chronic low-grade inflammation by comparing the effect of the active CoQ10 treatment with the effect of a placebo treatment on the blood levels of known bio-markers for inflammation.
Professor Urban Alehagen’s KiSel-10 Study Results
The KiSel-10 study was a prospective randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of the effect of combined Coenzyme Q10 and high-selenium yeast supplementation, compared with matching placebos, on heart disease mortality, heart function, and health-related quality of life in senior citizens still able to live at home [Alehagen 2013].
As part of the study, Professor Alehagen and his team of researchers measure the relative effect of the combination treatment (Coenzyme Q10 and high-selenium yeast) and the placebo treatment on bio-markers for inflammation.
First, Professor Alehagen reported that the Coenzyme Q10 + high-selenium yeast treatment significantly reduced the blood levels of C-reactive protein, a known bio-marker for inflammation. In the placebo group, the blood levels of the C-reactive protein bio-marker actually increased during the course of the study [Alehagen 2015].
Then, Professor Alehagen reported that the combined Coenzyme Q10 + high-selenium yeast treatment was associated with significant reductions in the blood concentrations of the following bio-markers for inflammation:
- sTNF receptor 1
- sTNF receptor 2
The positive effect of the Coenzyme Q10 + high-selenium yeast supplementation on chronic low-grade inflammation may be one of the mechanisms by which Coenzyme Q10 supplementation improves heart function and reduces the risk of death from heart disease [Alehagen 2019].
A good read is the 2019 book — Coenzyme Q10: An Insider’s Guide — by long-time Coenzyme Q10 researcher, Dr. William V. Judy. The book is available from amazon.com.
Meta-Analyses of CoQ10 Supplementation and Inflammation
A meta-analysis of 17 randomized controlled trials of CoQ10 supplementation enrolling 811 study participants revealed that the CoQ10 supplementation is associated with significantly reduced concentrations of the following bio-markers in the blood circulation:
- C-reactive protein
- Interleukin 6
- Tumor necrosis factor alpha
A meta-analysis of nine studies enrolling 428 persons diagnosed with a metabolic disorder showed that Coenzyme Q10 supplementation significantly reduced blood concentrations of tumor necrosis factor alpha but did not significantly reduce the circulating levels of C-reactive protein and Interleukin 6 as compared with placebo.
Clinical Studies of CoQ10 Supplementation and Inflammation
Rahmani 2018: Patients with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
Coenzyme Q10 supplementation – 100 milligrams daily for 12 weeks – resulted in significantly reduced levels of tumor necrosis factor alpha in patients with polycystic ovary syndrome.
Heidari 2018: Patients with Diabetic Nephropathy
Coenzyme Q10 supplementation – 100 milligrams daily for 12 weeks – resulted in significantly reduced levels of tumor necrosis factor-alpha in patients with diabetic nephropathy.
Liu 2016: Hepatocellular Carcinoma Patients
Coenzyme Q10 supplementation – 300 milligrams daily for 12 weeks – resulted in significantly decreased blood levels of c-reactive protein and interleukin 6 in hepatocellular carcinoma patients following surgery.
Farsi 2016: Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease Patients
Coenzyme Q10 supplementation – 100 milligrams daily for 12 weeks – resulted in significantly decreased blood levels of c-reactive protein and tumor necrosis factor alpha in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease patients.
Abdollahzad 2015: Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients
Coenzyme Q10 supplementation – 100 milligrams daily for two months – resulted in significant suppression of the over-expression of tumor necrosis factor alpha bio-marker in rheumatoid arthritis patients.
Sanoobar 2015: Multiple Sclerosis Patients
Coenzyme Q10 supplementation – 500 milligrams daily for 12 weeks – resulted in significantly decreased levels of the circulating inflammatory bio-markers tumor necrosis factor alpha and interleukin 6 in multiple sclerosis patients.
Bagheri Nesami 2015: Mildly Hypertensive Patients
Coenzyme Q10 supplementation – 100 milligrams daily for 12 weeks – significantly reduced the circulating levels of the inflammatory bio-markers C-reactive protein and interleukin 6 in mildly hypertensive patients.
Akbari Fakhrabadi 2014: Type-2 Diabetes Patients
Coenzyme Q10 supplementation – 200 milligrams daily for 12 weeks – resulted in significantly reduced blood concentrations of the bio-marker C-reactive protein in patients with type-2 diabetes.
Lee 2013: Coronary Artery Disease Patients
Coenzyme Q10 supplementation – 300 milligrams daily for 12 weeks – resulted in significantly decreased blood levels of tumor necrosis factor alpha in patients with coronary artery disease.
Conclusion: Coenzyme Q10 has an Anti-Inflammatory Effect
- Taking Coenzyme Q10 supplements together with a meal containing some fat gives a better absorption of the Coenzyme Q10.
- Dividing the CoQ10 dosage gives better absorption. 2 x 100 milligrams gives greater absorption than 1 x 200 milligrams.
- Not all Coenzyme Q10 supplements are equally absorbable and effective. A well-documented Coenzyme Q10 supplement should give better bio-availability and greater health benefits.
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Alehagen, U., Johansson, P., Björnstedt, M., Rosén, A., & Dahlström, U. (2013). Cardiovascular mortality and N-terminal-proBNP reduced after combined selenium and Coenzyme Q10 supplementation: a 5-year prospective randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial among elderly Swedish citizens. International Journal of Cardiology, 167(5), 1860-1866.
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Rahmani, E., Jamilian, M., Samimi, M., Zarezade Mehrizi, M., Aghadavod, E., Akbari, E. & Asemi, Z. (2018). The effects of coenzyme Q10 supplementation on gene expression related to insulin, lipid and inflammation in patients with polycystic ovary syndrome. Gynecological Endocrinology, 34(3), 217–222.
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Sanoobar, M., Eghtesadi, S., Azimi, A., Khalili, M., Khodadadi, B., Jazayeri, S., … Aryaeian, N. (2015). Coenzyme Q10 supplementation ameliorates inflammatory markers in patients with multiple sclerosis: a double blind, placebo, controlled randomized clinical trial. Nutritional Neuroscience, 18(4), 169–176.
Zhai, J., Bo, Y., Lu, Y., Liu, C., & Zhang, L. (2017). Effects of Coenzyme Q10 on Markers of Inflammation: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Plos One, 12(1), e0170172.
The information contained in this review article in not intended as medical advice and should not be used as such.