While many people unfamiliar with liver diseases may think that only alcohol can cause issues, that’s far from the case. In fact, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most common liver disease in the United States. According to the National Institutes of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, approximately 30 to 40 percent of American adults have the condition, as do almost 10 percent of children between ages of 2 to 19 years old.
There are a number of reasons for the increase in incidence of the disease and for being at risk – obesity, type 2 diabetes, and other related conditions. This is an incredibly serious health problem. Extra fat deposits in the liver threaten the liver’s ability to work properly. When that happens, the body can’t metabolize drugs properly, filter blood, detoxify, or properly digest food because of decreased bile production. Fortunately, coenzyme Q10, better known simply as “CoQ10”, can help.
This clinical study found that just 100 mg per day of CoQ10 – a typical supplemental dosage level – lowered levels of aspartate aminotransferase (AST), an enzyme that is often elevated in cases of liver damage. It also boosted levels of adiponectin, an anti-inflammatory protein involved with fatty acid and glucose metabolism, and increased levels of leptin, a hormone that helps signal satiety in the brain.
These results were seen in only 12 weeks, so the effects of CoQ10 were fairly rapid. While there are many examples of CoQ10 to choose from, you may consider a supplemental form that is combined with an ingredient called gamma-cyclodextrin, which has been shown to boost CoQ10 absorption by 800 percent.
Farsi F, Mohammadshahi M, Alavinejad P, Rezazadeh A, Zarei M, Engali KA. Functions of Coenzyme Q10 Supplementation on Liver Enzymes, Markers of Systemic Inflammation, and Adipokines in Patients Affected by Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease: A Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Randomized Clinical Trial. J Am Coll Nutr. 2016 May-Jun;35(4):346-53
Background: Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a chronic liver disorder related to inflammation. Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is a natural compound that has recently been considered as an anti-inflammatory factor. In the current study we aimed to evaluate the effects of CoQ10 supplementation on liver enzymes, inflammation status, and adipokines in patients with NAFLD.
Methods: Forty-one subjects with NAFLD participated in the current randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. The participants were randomly divided into 2 groups: one group received CoQ10 capsules (100 mg once a day) and the other received placebo for 12 weeks. Blood samples of each patient were taken before and after the 12-week intervention period for measurement of liver aminotransferases, inflammatory biomarkers, and adipokines (adiponectin and leptin).
Results: Taking 100 mg CoQ10 supplement daily resulted in a significant decrease in liver aminotransferases (aspartate aminotransferase [AST] and gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase [GGT]), high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), tumor necrosis factor α, and the grades of NAFLD in the CoQ10 group in comparison to the control group (p < 0.05). In addition, patients who received CoQ10 supplement had higher serum levels of adiponectin (p = 0.016) and considerable changes in serum leptin (p = 0.053). However, no significant changes occurred in serum levels of interleukin-6 in both groups.
Conclusion: The present study suggested that CoQ10 supplement at a dosage of 100 mg could be effective for improving the systemic inflammation and biochemical variables in NAFLD.
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