CoQ10 supplementation shows benefits for liver cancer patients post-surgery

By Gary Scattergood

- Last updated on GMT

Researchers said this was the first study to assess coenzyme Q10 supplementation in HCC patients after surgery. ©iStock
Researchers said this was the first study to assess coenzyme Q10 supplementation in HCC patients after surgery. ©iStock

Related tags Oxidative stress Cancer

A 300mg daily coenzyme Q10 supplement significantly increased antioxidant capacity and reduced oxidative stress and inflammation levels post-surgery for patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) – the most common type of liver can

Coenzyme Q10 is a naturally-occurring nutrient in the body and is also found in foods such as meat, cold water fish and vegetable oils.

While previous studies have assessed its impact on Alzheimer’s disease, migraines and Parkinson’s disease, researchers at Chung Shan Medical University Hospital in Taiwan said this was the first study to assess coenzyme Q10 supplementation in HCC patients after surgery.

“HCC accounts for most liver cancers,”​ they wrote in Nutrition Journal​.

“The major risk factors for HCC include hepatitis B or C virus, alcoholic liver disease, and most likely, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Recently, it has been reported that higher level of oxidative stress and inflammation play a key role in the progression of HCC. Consequently, it is worth trying an agent that can lower oxidative stress and reduce inflammation in patients with HCC.”

The study was designed as a single-blinded, randomized, parallel, placebo-controlled study. Following tumour resection, patients who were diagnosed with primary HCC were recruited from the Division of General Surgery of Taichung Veterans General Hospital.

“We enrolled 41 HCC patients in this study, and we used a random numbers table to randomly assign the subjects to the placebo (n = 20) or coenzyme Q10 (Q10-300 group, n = 21) group,”​ they added. “The intervention was administered for 12 weeks.”

They found that the oxidative stress and inflammatory markers levels were significantly decreased, and the antioxidant enzymes activity was significantly increased after 12 weeks of coenzyme Q10 supplementation.

In addition, the coenzyme Q10 level was significantly negatively correlated with the oxidative stress, and positively correlated with antioxidant enzymes activity and vitamin E level after supplementation.

First demonstration

The study states: “This clinical study is the first to demonstrate that a dose of 300 mg/d of coenzyme Q10 supplementation significantly increased antioxidant capacity and reduced the levels of inflammatory markers in patients with HCC after surgery.”

However, the researchers acknowledged the number of participants was small, “although we did recruit more subjects than expected.”

Secondly, the study was designed for 12 weeks intervention and they recommend that larger and longer studies are needed to confirm the beneficial effect of coenzyme Q10 supplementation in patients with HCC after surgery.

Nevertheless, they conclude: “We suggest that coenzyme Q10 supplementation could be considered as a complementary treatment strategy for patients with HCC after surgery, particularly those under higher levels of oxidative stress and inflammation.”


Source: Nutrition Journal

DOI: 10.1186/s12937-016-0205-6

“Effects of coenzyme Q10 supplementation on antioxidant capacity and inflammation in hepatocellular carcinoma patients after surgery: a randomized, placebo-controlled trial”

Authors: Hsiao-Tien Liu, et al

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