Health Matters

Could Oral Coenzyme-Q10 supplementation help patients with Ulcerative Colitis?

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Coenzyme-Q10 (CoQ10) is a vitamin-like substance, naturally made by animal cells. It increases cellular energy production. Roediger in 1980 suggested ulcerative colitis (UC) may be a cellular energy deficiency disease.

In 2015 scientists first tested CoQ10 in animal models of UC. They infused vinegar into rat colons to create colitis, and found that animals who had received 8 days of supplemental CoQ10 prior to infusion had:

  1. reduced levels of colon-inflammation.
  1. Higher levels of colon-cell:

a) antioxidant protective compounds.

            b)energy production.

  1. Better preserved colonic-wall architecture.

In 2016, scientists infused iodoacetate into rat colons to create colitis. Rats subsequently treated with CoQ10 showed:

  1. Near-normal colonic wall architecture
  2. reduced levels of inflammation
  3. potent colon cell anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory activities through significant increases in cell antioxidants – catalase and glutathione.

In 2017 researchers again infused vinegar into rat colons to create colitis then gave rats either 10 or 30 or 100 mg/kg oral CoQ10 daily (prior or post infusion). They showed that Co Q10 dose-dependently protects against vinegar-induced UC. CoQ10 significantly:

  1. reduced
    1. UC related colon swelling
    2. improved clinical and macroscopic tissue disease scores
    3. inflammatory markers
  2. increased
    1. blood antioxidant capacity
    2. colonic-tissue antioxidant capacity
  3. preserved microscopic tissue architecture

This study is interesting because it showed that:

  1. Oral CoQ10 given either 8 days prior, or 8 days following vinegar infusion protected rats from UC.
  2. CoQ10 protective effects continued to increase with increasing CoQ10 dose,
  3. Animals given CoQ10 after vinegar infusion at the maximal dose of 100mg/kg, had almost complete protection from UC, showing virtually no ill-effects from vinegar infusion.

Note: the human equivalent of the most effective dosage used for the rats in this study would be 7000mg/day for a 70kg person, which far exceeds normal supplemental levels.

The “no adverse effects level” as determined using a 1-year CoQ10 intake study in rats, was 1200mg/kg/day, which would be equivalent to 84,000mg/kg/day for a 70kg human. For safety reasons, researchers use a 100-fold safety factor to calculate safe human intakes (compared to rats). This gives an acceptable daily CoQ10 intake of 12mg/kg/day, which equates to 840mg/day for a 70kg human. The actually ‘observed safety level’ (OSL) from human clinical trials is 1200mg/day.

In 2021 UC-researchers first gave human UC patients 100mg CoQ10 twice-daily or placebo. They found that CQ10 intake:

  1. Reduced UC disease severity
  2. Markedly improved patient quality of life
  3. Lowered both systolic and diastolic blood pressure

Human experiments clearly show that supplemental CoQ10:

  1. does not accumulate in blood or tissues, and
  2. does not reduce body production of CoQ9/10

and for these reasons CoQ10 is considered a highly safe dietary supplement, with minimal side effects and low drug interaction potential’. CQ10 supplementation may be something to discuss with your GP if you have UC.

Notes:

  1. The whole body content of CoQ10 is only about 500-1500 mg and decreases with age
  2. CoQ10 is fat-soluble, so absorption is better when taken with a meal containing fat or oil
  3. Food sources:    CoQ10 is high in offal meats organs with high rates of metabolism especially the heart, lungs, liver (114, 66.5, and 54.9g/g tissue, respectively), kidneys, spleen, pancreas, and adrenal glands, where it works as an energy transfer molecule.

Article Written + Submitted by:

Andreas Klein Nutritionist + Remedial Therapist from Beautiful Health + Wellness
P: 0418 166 269

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