Science Update

Recent review looks at CoQ10’s effects on inflammatory markers in chronic inflammatory states

CoQ10 is a powerful antioxidant and vitamin-like nutrient that provides protective properties against oxidative stress. It is naturally found in the diet and is also an endogenous compound. Previous research of CoQ10 supplementation on biomarkers of glucose metabolism, lipids, inflammation, and oxidative stress have been inconsistent.

After the age of 40, the body’s cells are typically less able to produce antioxidants (such as CoQ10), soaking up free radicals and making them more susceptible to damage and death. In addition to the aging process, CoQ10 synthesis may decline due to stress, chronic disease, or increased demand.

In a review published recently in Pharmacological Research, CoQ10 was investigated as an anti-inflammatory agent, which would be beneficial in chronic disease states.

This systematic literature review consisted of 9 randomized, placebo-controlled trials including at total of 509 patients. Laboratory assessment included tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) levels. Elevation of these levels have been correlated with several chronic conditions such as obesity, type II diabetes, metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, cancer, and others. The studies ranged from a two to three-month period and dosing ranged from 60 mg up to 500 mg per day. The results showed CoQ10 supplementation significantly reduced TNF-α and IL-6 levels. This meta-analysis demonstrates that CoQ10 may have a significant effect among patients in a chronic inflammatory state.

Additional nutrients that have been shown to be effective for mitigating chronic low-grade inflammation in aging include tocotrienols (specifically delta and gamma isomers), fish oils (1-4 grams per day), geranylgeraniol, and high dose probiotics.

Geranylgeraniol (GG), an endogenous compound that is also naturally found in foods, plays an important role in biological processes. Since GG is part of the structure of CoQ10, having low CoQ10 levels is a marker of low GG status as well.

High dose probiotics have been shown to influence immunity. There is evidence that age-related changes in the gut microbiome may be related to elevated inflammatory makers and other geriatric conditions such as sarcopenia, frailty, and cognitive decline secondary to reduced short chain fatty acid production. In addition, the immune system has a tendency to weaken with age, making us more susceptible to infections and increasing our risk of other diseases. Probiotics have the potential to rebalance gut microbiota and modulate the gut immune response, inhibiting the NF-κB pathway. Also, as we age, the gut has an increase in IL-6 which causes the immune system to release IL-6 and trigger inflammation. Increased levels of IL-6 directly lead to increased intestinal permeability with no physical differences seen in its structure. Research also showed an association with a decreased immune response to microbes with aging, which may contribute to an increased susceptibility to infection.

By Michael Jurgelewicz, DC, DACBN, DCBCN, CNS


Source: Vafa M. Can coenzyme Q10 supplementation effectively reduce human tumor necrosis factor-α and interleukin-6 levels in chronic inflammatory diseases? A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Pharmacol Res. 2019 Jun 8; 104290.