CoQ10 improves liver enzyme levels

In the News: CoQ10 Linked to Better Liver Enzyme Levels

Ultraprocessed foods boost cancer risk; CoQ10 improves liver enzyme levels; glucosamine reduces risk of vascular dementia; higher B12 levels linked to lower inflammation.

Scientifically reviewed by Amanda Martin, DC, in March 2024.

Eating Ultraprocessed Foods Increases Risk of Cancer and Other Diseases

A review and meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials con- cluded that coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) was significantly associated with better, reduced levels of the liver enzymes: alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT).* These enzymes are often elevated in people with liver disorders.

The researchers analyzed the find- ings of 15 randomized, controlled trials that administered CoQ10 and reported changes in liver enzymes.

Participants included a total of 712 men and women with condi- tions such as coronary heart disease, type I or type II diabetes, nonalco- holic fatty liver disease or elevated lipids.

CoQ10 supplemented participants had beneficial reductions in elevated liver enzymes.

Editor’s Note: Coenzyme Q10 doses ranged from 100 to 400 mg per day consumed for two to 24 weeks.

* Food Sci Nutr. 2023 Jun 7;11(9):4912-4925.

Higher B12 Levels Associated with Less Inflammation

Researchers uncovered a link between higher serum vitamin B12 levels and lower levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) and interleukin-6 (IL-6), which increase during inflammation.*

The study utilized data from a sub- group of 136 participants in the PREDIMED trial who had available data concerning their serum con- centrations of vitamin B12 and CRP, and plasma IL-6. The PREDIMED trial was designed to evaluate the relationship between consuming a Mediterranean diet and cardiovas- cular disease prevention.

Men and women who had higher vitamin B12 levels had lower con- centrations of CRP and IL-6. Similar findings were obtained when the researchers measured these factors in aged mice.

Editor's Note: "Since chronic inflammation is associated with a wide range of diseases, understanding how vitamin B12 status influ- ences inflammation could have significant implications for disease prevention and management," the authors noted.

* J Sci Food Agric. 2024 Jan 30;104(2): 875-882.

Glucosamine May Also be Beneficial Against Vascular Dementia

People with osteoarthritis who used glucosamine, a compound that supports joint health, were also at reduced risk of developing vascu- lar dementia, according to a study published in Alzheimer’s Research and Therapy.*

Participants included 214,945 men and women in the UK Biobank, over the age of 60, who did not have dementia at baseline. Their question- naire responses provided informa- tion concerning regularly consumed nutrients. During a median 12-year follow-up, 1,039 individuals developed vascular dementia, 1,774 developed Alzheimer’s disease and 122 developed frontotemporal dementia.

Habitual use of glucosamine was associated with an 18% lower risk of vascular dementia compared with non-use. People who additionally consumed calcium had a 54% lower risk of vascular dementia than those who did not use glucosamine. No association was observed between glucosamine and the development of Alzheimer’s disease or frontotemporal dementia.

Editor’s Note: “If further confirmed, habitual glucosamine use may act as a dietary supplement for primary prevention of vascular dementia in the elderly,” the authors stated.

* Alzheimers Res Ther. 2023 Sep 9;15(1):152.

Eating Ultraprocessed Foods Increases Risk of Cancer and Other Diseases

Consuming ultraprocessed food increases the risk of cancers of the upper digestive tract, which includes mouth, throat, and esophageal cancers, according to a study published recently in the European Journal of Nutrition1 and reported on by CNN and other news media.

Ultraprocessed foods include soda, chips, instant soups, cookies, ice cream, cereal bars, and many others that include ingredients you wouldn’t use in a regular kitchen.

These additives are designed to resist mold and bacteria and to keep ingredients from separating. They also include bulking and bleaching agents, artificial dyes, or added salt and sugar to make the product more appealing.

Participants included 450,111 adults in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study. They were recruited from 1992 to 1999 from 10 different European countries and the United Kingdom.

Results showed that people who consumed just 10% more ultra- processed foods than others in the study had a:

  • 23% higher risk of head and neck cancers, and a
  • 24% increased risk of esopha- geal cancer.

These data were collected in the 1990s, when consumption of ultra-processed food was much lower than it is now, and so the link to health risks is even higher today.

Indeed, as of 2019, ultraprocessed food made up approximately 71% of the food supply in the United States.2

Many studies over the past two years have demonstrated the alarm- ing link between ultraprocessed foods and cancer and other serious health problems. Here are a few examples of the findings:

  • Men who consume ultraprocessed food have a higher risk of colorectal cancer, heart disease, and early death.3
  • For every 10% increase in ultraprocessed food, there is a 2% increase in developing any kind of cancer, and a 19% increased risk of ovarian cancer.4
  • Eating higher amounts of ultra- processed animal foods and sweetened beverages increases the risk of having multiple chronic conditions like cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.5
  • Consuming more ultraprocessed foods is connected to depression in women.6
  • Consuming about 20% of daily calories in ultraprocessed foods is linked to 28% increased risk of dementia.7

In the most recent study, researchers dug deeper to determine if excess weight accounted for the increased cancer risk.

Ultraprocessed foods are calorie dense and can contribute to obesity, and being obese or overweight is connected to an increased risk of 13 different types of cancer.

However, results showed that weight alone did not account for the increased cancer risk. Increased hip-to-weight ratio accounted for 5% of the 23% increased risk of head and neck cancer.

And increased body mass index (BMI) accounted for 13% of the 24% increased risk of esophageal cancer.

This indicates that factors other than obesity contribute to the increased cancer risk.

Editor’s Note: According to a large number of recent studies, ultraprocessed foods are associated with an increased risk of cancer, heart disease, dementia, and more.


  1. Eur J Nutr. 2023 Nov 22.
  2. Nutrients. 2019 Jul 24;11(8).
  3. BMJ. 2022;378:e068921.
  4. EClinicalMedicine. 2023 Feb;56:101840.
  5. The Lancet Regional Health.2023;0(0):100771.
  6. JAMA Netw Open. 2023 Sep 5;6(9):e2334770.
  7. JAMA Neurol. 2023 Feb 1;80(2):142-50.