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.

According to 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. There were 269 patients in the CoQ10 group and 240 patients in the control group. 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. As a result, CoQ10 supplementation was shown to significantly reduce TNF-α and IL-6 levels. The studies ranged from a two to three-month period and dosing ranged 60 mg up to 500 mg per day.

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

This meta-analysis of randomized, placebo controlled trials demonstrates that CoQ10 can have a significant effect among patients in a chronic inflammatory state.

Other dietary supplements that have been shown to be effective for mitigating chronic low-grade inflammation in aging include tocotrienols, geranylgeraniol, fish oil, and high dose probiotics. There are eight vitamin E isomers, however, delta and gamma-tocotrienols have the most potent antioxidant properties.

Geranylgeraniol (GG) is also an endogenous compound naturally found in foods that 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.

The studies on omega-3 fatty acid supplementation had dosing ranges of 1-4 grams per day over a duration of 4 to 48 weeks.

Probiotics at higher doses influence immunity and decrease influence ways lower dose probiotic cannot. 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, cognitive decline secondary to reduced short chain fatty acid production. In addition, the immune system has a tendency to decline with age which makes us more susceptible to infections as well as increasing our risk of other diseases. Probiotics have the potential to rebalance gut microbiota and modulate gut immune response inhibiting the NF-κB pathway.

Previous research has demonstrated how the gastrointestinal tract changes with aging and how this impacts overall health. As one ages, the gut has an increase in interleukin 6 (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. They also showed there was 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.

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