CoQ10 ‘partly improves’ chronic inflammation, but larger trials needed: China meta-analysis

By Gary Scattergood

- Last updated on GMT

Further studiesare needed to confirm the effectiveness of CoQ10 supplementation on inflammation status. ©iStock
Further studiesare needed to confirm the effectiveness of CoQ10 supplementation on inflammation status. ©iStock

Related tags Inflammation Fatty liver

CoQ10 supplementation may partly improve chronic inflammation in people with metabolic disorders, but further studies with larger sample sizes and well-defined trials are needed, according to new meta-analysis.

Chronic inflammation contributes to the onset and development of metabolic diseases and clinical evidence has suggested that CoQ10 has some effects on inflammatory markers.

“The elevated pro-inflammatory factors, such as C reactive protein (CRP), tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), interleukin-6 (IL-6), play a central role in metabolic diseases, including obesity, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease​and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD),”​ wrote the researchers from Sichuan, Zhengzhou and Shanghai universities.

“Previous studies reported CoQ10 tends to decrease hepatic mRNA expression of IL-6 and TNF-α, to attenuate the level of CRP. Several randomized controlled trials (RCTs) demonstrated the efficacy of CoQ10 as an adjuvant therapeutic in metabolic diseases.”

However, the results of these trials were inconsistent, because of small sample sizes and uneven quality. Therefore, writing in the journal Plos One​, the research team conducted a meta-analysis to explore whether the supplementation of CoQ10 exhibits anti-inflammatory benefits.

Nine trials involving 428 subjects were included in the study.

Five were conducted in Iran, two in China,​and one each in Australia ​and Korea.

The pooled analysis showed that CoQ10 significantly decreased the pro-inflammatory marker TNF-α level, but no statistically significant difference was found in the levels of IL-6 and CRP.

“The main finding of the review was that the serum level of CoQ10 were significantly improved and TNF-α level was significantly decreased in CoQ10 supplementation group compared with placebo group in patients with metabolic diseases. However, CoQ10 supplementation did not significantly decreased CRP and IL-6 level,”​ they wrote.

“Five of nine trials provided information on side-effects. Among them, only one trial reported that two patients from the CoQ10 group has the minor adverse effects of redness and itchiness of the skin during the study.”

Asian populations

They added the short intervention period, the different dose for intervention and the limited number of participants enrolled in the RCTs may have contributed to the observed null effect of CoQ10 on the serum level of CRP and IL-6.

They also pointed out that the majority of the studies were undertaken on Asian populations, so broader conclusions in other ethnicities can’t be made.

They concluded their systematic review provides some evidence that CoQ10 supplementation may partly improve the process of inflammatory state in patients with metabolic diseases.

“However, the results should be interpreted with caution because of the evidence of heterogeneity. Further studies, especially with larger sample size and well-designed RCTs, are needed to confirm the effectiveness of CoQ10 supplementation on benefitting to inflammation status in metabolic diseases,”​ they added.

Source: Plos one

“Effects of Coenzyme Q10 on Markers of Inflammation: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.”

Authors: ​Lishi Zhang, et al.

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