(Natural News) Coenzyme Q10, also referred to as CoQ10, is a potent antioxidant naturally produced by the body. According to studies, CoQ10 supplementation is effective in addressing various health problems, such as nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). It can also help reverse the effects of NAFLD.
NAFLD is a group of conditions characterized by liver fat buildup, inflammation, liver enlargement, and increased liver enzyme levels in people who drink little or no alcohol. It is a very common liver disease that affects 30 to 40 percent – or nearly 100 million – adults in the U.S. (Related: Nearly 40 percent of Americans have fatty liver – here’s how to treat it.)
The study, which was published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, involved 41 participants who were exhibiting signs of mild to moderate NAFLD. Researchers from Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences in Iran divided the participants into two groups: The treatment group, whose members took 100 milligrams (mg) of CoQ10 once a day for 12 weeks, and the control group, whose members took a placebo. The researchers measured inflammatory markers, liver enzymes, tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-a), serum high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), and cellular liver fat before and after the treatment.
The results showed that participants who took the CoQ10 supplement experienced improvements while those who took the placebo did not. In particular, the CoQ10 group had significantly decreased levels of liver aminotransferases, hs-CROP, and TNF-a, and a lower percentage of liver cells with fat droplets. They also had higher levels of adiponectin, a hormone linked to weight loss. Furthermore, four participants in the treatment group improved so much that their liver function returned to normal. Based on these findings, the researchers concluded that supplementation with CoQ10 can be used as an alternative medicine for the treatment of NAFLD.
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Other health benefits of CoQ10
In addition to reversing fatty liver disease, CoQ10 may also provide the following health benefits:
- Enhance heart health. Aside from helping the liver, CoQ10 is also effective in keeping the heart healthy. It could help treat certain heart problems, such as congestive heart failure and high blood pressure, especially in older adults. One study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology showed that CoQ10 plays an important role in the survival of older adults with chronic heart failure. Another study, which was published in the journal Nutrition Reviews, reported that the antioxidant could help people recover from some types of heart surgery.
- Relieve migraines. CoQ10 can be used to prevent migraines. Studies published in the American Academy of Neurology and the American Headache Society showed that CoQ10 could effectively prevent migraines. This may be due to the antioxidant’s ability to keep the mitochondria in the cells healthy.
- Treat the side effects of statins. Statin drugs, which are used to lower cholesterol, are known to cause side effects, such as muscle problems. In a study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, researchers examined whether supplementation with CoQ10 can reduce statin-induced myopathy. Their results showed that CoQ10 supplementation reduced symptoms, such as muscle pain, muscle weakness, muscle cramps, and muscle fatigue.
CoQ10 is available as a supplement. Consume it with food or use products that combine CoQ10 with oils to improve its absorption. If you’re wary about taking supplements, you can get CoQ10 from foods like fatty fish; fruits like oranges and strawberries; legumes like lentils and soybeans; nuts and seeds; vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, and spinach; and organ meats like heart, kidney, and liver.