Effects of coenzyme Q10 supplementation on metabolic profile in diabetes: a systematic review and meta-analysis

J Clin Pharm Ther. 2015 Aug;40(4):413-8. doi: 10.1111/jcpt.12280. Epub 2015 Apr 25.


What is known and objective: CoenzymeQ10 (CoQ10 ), or ubiquinone, is an endogenous enzyme cofactor produced by most human cells. It is a potent antioxidant and is necessary for energy production in mitochondria. Diabetes mellitus is a chronic disease with multiple metabolic abnormalities, principally resulting from the inflammation and oxidative stress associated with mitochondrial dysfunctions. Clinical trials of the effects of supplementary CoQ10 on metabolic control in diabetes have reported inconsistent results. We undertook a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials to assess the effects of CoQ10 supplementation on glycaemic control, lipid profile and blood pressure in patients with diabetes.

Methods: A systematic search was conducted on MEDLINE, The Cochrane Library, CINAHL, NCCAM, Web of Science, Scopus, ClinicalTrials.gov and historical search of reference lists of relevant articles. The bibliographic databases were searched from inception to February 2015. We included randomized, placebo-controlled trials of CoQ10 in diabetes lasting at least 12 weeks. HbA1c or fasting plasma glucose had to be reported. Primary outcome was glycemic control, and secondary outcomes were lipid profile and blood pressure. Treatment effect was estimated with mean difference.

Results and discussion: Seven trials were included in the meta-analysis, involving 356 patients. Neither CoQ10 alone nor CoQ10 plus fenofibrate improved glycemic control. In addition, CoQ10, alone or in combination with fenofibrate, did not alter LDL-C, HDL-C and blood pressure. Triglycerides levels were significantly reduced with CoQ10 (mean difference -0·26 mmol/L, 95% CI -0·05 mmol/L to -0·47 mmol/L, P = 0·02) and CoQ10 plus fenofibrate (mean difference -0·72 mmol/L, 95% CI -0·32 mmol/L to -1·12 mmol/L, P = 0·0004). CoQ10 plus fenofibrate also effectively reduced total cholesterol (mean difference: -0·45 mmol/L, 95% CI -0·06 mmol/L to -0·84 mmol/L, P = 0·02).

What is new and conclusions: CoQ10 supplementation has no beneficial effects on glycemic control, lipid profile or blood pressure in patients with diabetes. However, it may reduce triglycerides levels. Due to limited data availability, well-powered and well-designed randomized controlled trials are needed to clearly determine the effect of CoQ10 on metabolic profile in diabetes. Dosage effects should also be explored.

Keywords: coenzyme Q10; diabetes mellitus; glycemic control; meta-analysis; metabolic profile; systematic review.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Antioxidants / administration & dosage
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Blood Glucose / drug effects
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects
  • Diabetes Mellitus / drug therapy*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / metabolism
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Humans
  • Lipids / blood
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Ubiquinone / administration & dosage
  • Ubiquinone / analogs & derivatives*
  • Ubiquinone / pharmacology
  • Vitamins / administration & dosage
  • Vitamins / pharmacology


  • Antioxidants
  • Blood Glucose
  • Lipids
  • Vitamins
  • Ubiquinone
  • coenzyme Q10