Coenzyme Q10 Lowers Interleukin 6, Provides Antioxidant Benefits

Coenzyme Q10 supplementation lowers interleukin-6 and provides antioxidant benefits in coronary artery disease patients

Coenzyme Q10 supplementation lowers interleukin-6 and provides antioxidant benefits in coronary artery disease patients

Friday, March 16, 2012. Inflammation plays a role in the development of heart disease, the leading cause of death in the Western world. While coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) supplementation can benefit the heart, few studies have investigated its role in protecting against inflammation in heart disease patients.

In a trial described in an article published on February 16, 2012 in the journal Nutrition, researchers at Chung Shan Medical University in Taiwan compared the effects of twelve weeks of supplementation with 60 or 150 milligrams per day of CoQ10, or a placebo in 40 men and women with coronary artery disease. Plasma CoQ10 levels, markers of inflammation including high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), interleukin-6 and homocysteine; malondialdehyde (a marker of lipid peroxidation) and levels of the antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase (SOD) were measured before and after the treatment period.

At the beginning of the study, having a higher CoQ10 level was associated with a lower level of interleukin-6 and C-reactive protein. By the end of the treatment period, plasma coenzyme Q10 levels increased in both groups that received the supplement. Among those who received the higher dose, interleukin-6 levels decreased by 14 percent and malondialdehyde levels were significantly lower by the end of the trial compared to baseline levels. Both groups that received CoQ10 experienced greater SOD activity. A non-significant reduction in hs-CRP values was observed in association with CoQ10 supplementation.

"Cell culture experiments have demonstrated that coenzyme Q10 can moderate the anti-inflammatory effects of antioxidant activities and by nuclear factor-kappa beta1–dependent gene expression," they write. "In the present study, coenzyme Q10 supplements at a dose of 150 milligrams showed a significant antioxidization effect in decreasing the malondialdehyde level and slightly increasing SOD activities after 12 weeks of intervention."

"Coenzyme Q10 supplementation at a dosage of 150 milligrams appears to decrease the inflammatory marker interleukin-6 in patients with coronary artery disease," the authors conclude. "Long-term studies are needed to establish the beneficial effects of higher-dosage coenzyme Q10 supplementation on inflammation in patients with coronary artery disease."

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Vitamin D anti-inflammatory pathway identified

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Writing in the March 1, 2012, issue of The Journal of Immunology, researchers at National Jewish Health in Denver report their discovery of a molecular pathway through which vitamin D inhibits inflammation.

Assistant professor of pediatrics Elena Goleva and her associates cultured human white blood cells with varying amounts of vitamin D or no vitamin D before exposing them to lipopolysaccharide, a pro-inflammatory compound. They found that cells incubated without vitamin D or with a reduced concentration of 15 nanograms per milliliter produced high amounts of the cytokines interleukin-6 (IL-6) and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-a), both of which are involved in the inflammatory response. However, white blood cells that received concentrations of 30 nanograms per milliliter or more of vitamin D, which is a level considered by some researchers to be sufficient when measured in the bloodstream, had a decreased inflammatory response, with 50 nanograms per milliliter vitamin D resulting in the greatest reduction. Among other findings, the team observed that vitamin D treatment upregulated the expression of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) phosphatase-1, which interferes with inflammation. "This study goes beyond previous associations of vitamin D with various health outcomes," stated Dr Goleva. "It outlines a clear chain of cellular events, from the binding of DNA, through a specific signaling pathway, to the reduction of proteins known to trigger inflammation. Patients with chronic inflammatory diseases, such as asthma, arthritis and prostate cancer, who are vitamin D deficient, may benefit from vitamin D supplementation to get their serum vitamin D levels above 30 nanograms/milliliter."

"The fact that we showed a dose-dependent and varying response to levels commonly found in humans also adds weight to the argument for vitamin D's role in immune and inflammatory conditions," she added.

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