Coenzyme Q(10), vitamin E, selenium, and methionine in the treatment of chronic recurrent viral mucocutaneous infections

Nutrition. 2012 May;28(5):509-14. doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2011.08.003. Epub 2011 Nov 12.


Objective: Host defense and latency determinants in viral recurrent dermatologic infections are not entirely understood, as conventional protocols are inadequate to achieve fast healing and relapse prevention. Endogenously produced oxygen/nitrogen reactive species (ROS/RNS) are essential for antiviral immune defense, while their excess may aggravate skin inflammation. Here, we sought a nutritional approach capable of controlling ROS/RNS balance to accelerate recovery and inhibit recurrences of two mucocutaneous chronic DNA-virus infections.

Methods: Two controlled clinical trials evaluated the feasibility of ROS/RNS-modulating nutriceutical dosages of coenzyme Q(10), RRR-α-tocopherol, selenium aspartate, and L-methionine associated with established therapies. Clinical trial 1 evaluated 68 patients with relapsing human papillomavirus skin warts treated with cryotherapy followed by 180 d of nutriceutical/placebo administration. Clinical trial 2 compared the combination of acyclovir followed by 90 d of nutriceutical administration versus acyclovir alone in patients with recurrences of herpes simplex genitalis (n = 60) or herpes zoster (n = 29). Viral DNA levels were assessed by polymer chain reaction, biomarkers of antiviral defense (peroxynitrite and IFNα/γ) and antioxidant capacity (lipophilic antioxidants and glutathione) were assayed by biochemical/enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay techniques in blood fractions.

Results: In both trials, the nutriceutical induced significantly faster healing (P < 0.01-0.05) with reduced incidence of relapses (P < 0.05) as compared to control groups, which was confirmed by decreased viral load and increased antiviral cytokine and peroxynitrite plasma levels. Plasma antioxidant capacity was higher (P < 0.01) in the experimental versus control groups.

Conclusions: Results document positive clinical outcomes of the selected nutriceutical associated with conventional protocols in the management of relapsing mucocutaneous human papillomavirus and herpes infections.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acyclovir / therapeutic use
  • Administration, Oral
  • Adult
  • Alphapapillomavirus / drug effects
  • Alphapapillomavirus / pathogenicity
  • Antioxidants / therapeutic use
  • Antiviral Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Chronic Disease
  • Cryotherapy / methods
  • DNA Virus Infections / drug therapy*
  • DNA, Viral / isolation & purification
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Female
  • Herpes Genitalis / drug therapy
  • Herpes Zoster / drug therapy
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Methionine / therapeutic use*
  • Middle Aged
  • Reactive Nitrogen Species
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Recurrence
  • Selenium / therapeutic use*
  • Skin Diseases, Infectious / drug therapy*
  • Ubiquinone / analogs & derivatives*
  • Ubiquinone / therapeutic use
  • Viral Load
  • Vitamin E / therapeutic use*
  • Young Adult
  • alpha-Tocopherol / therapeutic use


  • Antioxidants
  • Antiviral Agents
  • DNA, Viral
  • Reactive Nitrogen Species
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Ubiquinone
  • Vitamin E
  • Methionine
  • coenzyme Q10
  • alpha-Tocopherol
  • Selenium
  • Acyclovir