Science Update

Examining CoQ10’s effects on glucose metabolism & oxidative stress in patients with diabetes

CoQ10 is a powerful antioxidant that provides protective properties against oxidative stress. While previous research that looked at CoQ10 supplementation on biomarkers of glucose metabolism, lipids, inflammation, and oxidative stress has been inconsistent, a recent study sheds new light on this subject.

According to this study, which was published last month in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, researchers demonstrated beneficial effects of CoQ10 on glucose metabolism, decreased plasma malondialdehyde (MDA), and advanced glycation end products (AGEs) in individuals with diabetes.

This study was a randomized double-blinded placebo-controlled study with 50 individuals from 40-85 years of age with diabetic nephropathy. Participants were randomly assigned to take either 100 mg a day of CoQ10 or placebo for 12 weeks. Laboratory assessments were conducted at baseline and after 12 weeks (at the end of the study).

After three months of CoQ10 supplementation, there were significant decreases in serum insulin levels, homeostatic model of assessment for insulin resistance (HOMA-IR), homeostatic model assessment for B-cell function (HOMA-B), quantitative insulin sensitivity check index (QUICKI), HbA1c, MDA and AGEs. CoQ10 supplementation did not alter fasting blood glucose levels or lipid concentrations.

Inositol is another nutrient that should be considered with insulin resistance. Inositol acts as second messenger, which regulates several hormones such as thyroid stimulating hormone and insulin. Studies have shown that an inositol deficiency is common in patients with this condition. There appears to be a reduced ability to process, metabolize, and effectively use inositol from foods, this being a distinctive characteristic feature of insulin resistance. As a result, the nutritional requirements of these patients may not be met by a simple change in the diet and, therefore, inositol should be viewed as a conditionally essential nutrient for these individuals.

By Michael Jurgelewicz, DC, DACBN, DCBCN, CNS


Source: Gholnari T, Aghadavod E, et al. The Effects of Coenzyme Q10 Supplementation on Glucose Metabolism, Lipid Profiles, Inflammation, and Oxidative Stress in Patients with Diabetic Nephropathy: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial. J Am Coll Nutr. 2018 Mar-Apr;37(3):188-193. doi: 10.1080/07315724.2017.1386140.