The results of two randomized controlled studies indicate that CoQ10 supplement at a dosage of 100 mg/day can be effective in reducing systemic inflammation and in improving biochemical variables associated with Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) [Farsi 2016; Farhangi 2014].
NAFLD is a chronic liver disorder related to systemic inflammation.
- The NAFLD condition exists whenever the accumulation of fat in the liver cells, primarily in the form of triglycerides, exceeds 5–10% of liver weight.
- NAFLD is the most common liver disorder worldwide; its prevalence in the general population is estimated at 20–30%.
- NAFLD’s prevalence increases to 60–70% in obese individuals and to 70–90% in individuals with diabetes [Mantle & Hargreaves 2020].
Coenzyme Q10 is an essential bio-nutrient that has been shown to reduce the blood levels of bio-markers of systemic inflammation [Fan 2017; Zhai 2017]. Moreover, number of pre-clinical studies have demonstrated the capacity of supplemental Coenzyme Q10 to prevent or reduce the extent of liver tissue damage by a variety of toxic agents [Mantle & Hargreaves 2020].
Consequently, it is logical to test the anti-inflammatory properties of CoQ10 supplements in NAFLD patients [Farsi 2016].
CoQ10 Supplementation of NAFLD Patients
In a 2016 study, researchers assigned 41 NAFLD patients randomly to a CoQ10 treatment group (100 mg/day) or a placebo group. The study duration was 12 weeks, long enough to see an effect of the CoQ10 supplementation. Blood samples were taken from each patient at the start of the study and at the end of the study [Farsi 2016].
Taking the Coenzyme Q10 daily was associated with the following beneficial effects compared to the placebo treatment [Farsi 2016]:
- The outcome of a clinical trial is thought to have statistical significance, or to be statistically significant, if the outcome is likely not caused by chance at a given statistical significance level, typically at the 0.05 level. Statistically significant outcomes may or may not be clinically significant. ... Read more about this term reductions in the levels of liver aminotransferases (aspartate aminotransferase and gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase)
- significant reductions in the levels of bio-markers for systemic inflammation (high-sensitivity C-reactive protein and tumor necrosis factor alpha)
- significant reductions in the grades of NAFLD
In a 2014 study, researchers randomly assign 44 NAFLD patients to take Coenzyme Q10 100 mg/day or placebo for four weeks. The study results showed that CoQ10 supplementation is associated with a significant reduction in blood levels of a liver enzyme (aspartate aminotransferase).
When liver cells are damaged, they release higher levels of aspartate aminotransferase. The study data also showed an association between CoQ10 supplementation and a significant reduction in the blood levels of bio-markers for oxidative stress [Farhangi 2014].
Coenzyme Q10 and Liver Disease
Dr. David Mantle makes the following connections between CoQ10 status and liver disease, both non-alcohol related and alcohol related liver disease [Mantle & Hargreaves 2019].
- The liver is a major site of CoQ10 bio-synthesis.
- A reduction of CoQ10 bio-synthesis is likely in patients with reduced metabolic capacity in the liver.
- NAFLD is a known risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
- NAFLD is associated with The Mayo Clinic defines heart failure, also known as congestive heart failure and/or chronic heart failure, as the failure of the heart muscle to pump blood to the body adequately. In other words, heart failure is not a heart attack, and it is not death from heart disease, which its name might seem to imply. Heart failure is a condition... Read more about this term, arrhythmias, valve dysfunction, and Atherosclerosis is the thickening of the artery walls brought about by the build-up of plaque (plaque is made up of cholesterol and other fatty substances and waste products and calcium and fibrin) and the subsequent slowing of the flow of blood through the clogged arteries. More research is needed into the role of Coenzyme Q10 in the prevention and adjunct... Read more about this term.
- Alcohol-related liver disease is also associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disorders; in particular alcoholic cardiomyopathy, arterial Hypertension is abnormally high blood pressure, usually defined as adult systolic blood pressure above 140 mm Hg or adult diastolic blood pressure above 90 mm Hg. Systolic blood pressure is blood pressure measured during the contracting (pumping) of the left ventricle of the heart. Diastolic blood pressure is blood pressure measured during the relaxation of the left ventricle. A meta-analysis... Read more about this term, and atrial fibrillation.
- Reduced CoQ10 bio-synthesis will be a problem in NAFLD patients prescribed Statins are a class of medications that effectively block the body’s synthesis of cholesterol. In so doing, statins also block the body’s synthesis of Coenzyme Q10.... Read more about this term; statin medications inhibit not only the bio-synthesis of Cholesterol is one of the major fat-soluble compounds that is found in animal plasma membranes. It is necessary for life and is found throughout the body. It is carried from the liver to the tissues where it is needed by lipoproteins of which it is a component. Much of the cholesterol is transported in Low density lipoproteins (LDL). High levels... Read more about this term but also the bio-synthesis of Coenzyme Q10.
Dr. Mantle explains that CoQ10 supplementation should benefit NAFLD patients by reducing the levels of systemic inflammation and by reducing the oxidative damage caused by harmful Free radicals are unstable and highly reactive molecules that are produced in the body during normal oxygen metabolism. Free radicals derived from oxygen are known as reactive oxygen species. Free radicals play both helpful and harmful roles in the body. Free radicals steal electrons from other substances in order to become stable. In so doing, the free radicals oxidize those... Read more about this term. In its reduced form (called ubiquinol), Coenzyme Q10 functions as an important fat-soluble antioxidant [Mantle & Hargreaves 2019].
Bottom line: Coenzyme Q10 Supplementation
Coenzyme Q10 supplementation is necessary even for healthy people as they get older. Once people reach adulthood, their cells produce less Coenzyme Q10 with increasing age [Kalen 1989].
CoQ10 supplementation has many beneficial health effects:
- improves symptoms and survival in heart failure patients [Mortensen 2014]
- improves heart function and survival in senior citizens [Alehagen 2013]
- improves physical function in patients with Gulf War Illness [Golomb 2014]
- improves symptoms in patients with statin-induced myopathy [Fedacko 2013]
- improves follicular fluid oxidative metabolism and oocyte quality, specially in over 35-year-old women [Giannubilo 2018]
There is much variability in the forms and formulations of CoQ10 supplements [Lopez-Lluch 2019]. It is important to buy a CoQ10 supplement with documented absorption and efficacy.
Alehagen U, Johansson P, Björnstedt M, Rosén A, & Dahlström, U. (2013). Cardiovascular mortality and N-terminal-proBNP reduced after combined Selenium (symbol Se, atomic number 34) is a trace element that is an essential nutrient and an essential component of some of the most important antioxidants in the body, in particular the selenoproteins glutathione peroxidase, thioredoxin reductase, and selenoprotein P. Selenium is involved in the optimal functioning of the immune system. Professor Alehagen has pointed out that there exists a... Read more about this term and Coenzyme Q10 supplementation: a 5-year prospective randomized A double-blind study is a study in which neither the investigators nor the study participants know which participants are receiving the active treatment and which participants are receiving the control treatment until the study has been completed and the seal on the code has been broken.... Read more about this term placebo-controlled trial among elderly Swedish citizens. International Journal of Cardiology, 167(5), 1860-1866.
Fan L, Feng Y, Chen GC, Qin LQ, Fu C, & Chen LH. (2017). Effects of coenzyme Q10 supplementation on inflammatory markers: A systematic review and meta-analysis of Randomized controlled trials are studies in which patients or healthy volunteers are assigned at random (purely by chance) to receive one or more clinical interventions. One or more of the interventions is the active treatment being tested. Another of the interventions is the control against which the active treatment is being tested. The control is, typically, the standard practice or... Read more about this term. Pharmacological Research, 119, 128–136.
Farhangi MA, Alipour B, Jafarvand E & Khoshbaten M. (2014). Oral CoQ10 supplementation in patients with NAFLD: Effects on serum vaspin, chemerin, pentraxin, insulin resistance and oxidative stress. Arch. Med. Res.; 45:589–595.
Farsi F, Mohammadshahi M, Alavinejad P & Rezazadeh A. (2016). Functions of Coenzyme Q10 supplementation on liver enzymes, markers of systemic inflammation, and adipokines in patients affected by nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. J Am Coll Nutr; 35: 346-53.
Fedacko J & Pella D. (2013). Coenzyme Q(10) and selenium in statin-associated myopathy treatment. Can J Physiol Pharmacol; 91: 165-70.
Giannubilo SR, Orlando P, Silvestri S, Cirilli I, et al. (2018). CoQ10 supplementation in patients undergoing IVF-ET: The relationship with follicular fluid content and oocyte maturity.; Antioxidants (Basel); 10: 141.
Golomb, B. (2014). CoQ10 and Gulf War illness. Neural Computation; 26 (11): 2594-651.
Kalén A, Appelkvist EL & Dallner G. (1989). Age-related changes in the lipid compositions of rat and human tissues. Lipids, 24(7):579–584.
López-Lluch G, Del Pozo-Cruz J, Sánchez-Cuesta A, Cortés-Rodríguez AB, & Navas P. (2019). Bioavailability of coenzyme Q10 supplements depends on carrier lipids and solubilization. Nutrition, 57, 133–140.
Mantle D & Hargreaves I. (2019). Coenzyme Q10 and degenerative disorders affecting longevity: an overview. Antioxidants (Basel); 8(2): E44.
Mantle D & Hargreaves I. (2020). Coenzyme Q10 supplementation in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease: an overview. Liver Nursing Supplement; S1-S7.
Mortensen SA, Rosenfeldt F, Kumar A, Dolliner P, Filipiak KJ, Pella D & Littarru GP. (2014). The effect of coenzyme Q10 on morbidity and mortality in The Mayo Clinic defines heart failure, also known as congestive heart failure and/or chronic heart failure, as the failure of the heart muscle to pump blood to the body adequately. In other words, heart failure is not a heart attack, and it is not death from heart disease, which its name might seem to imply. Heart failure is a condition... Read more about this term: results from Q-SYMBIO: a randomized double-blind trial. JACC. Heart Failure, 2(6), 641-649.
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 presented in this review article is not intended as medical advice and should not be construed as such.
16 March 2020Please click here for more information about Coenzyme Q10 and heart health.