Supplementation with coenzyme Q10 reduces plasma lipoprotein(a) concentrations but not other lipid indices: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Pharmacol Res. 2016 Mar:105:198-209. doi: 10.1016/j.phrs.2016.01.030. Epub 2016 Feb 2.


Plasma lipoprotein(a) [Lp(a)] elevations are associated with increased cardiovascular risk. Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is a member of the mitochondrial respiratory chain with a prominent role as a potent gene regulator. The Lp(a)-lowering efficacy of CoQ10 has been investigated in different clinical settings with contrasting results. A systematic literature search in Medline, SCOPUS, Web of Science and Google Scholar databases was conducted to identify controlled trials investigating the efficacy of CoQ10 supplementation on plasma Lp(a) levels. Inverse variance-weighted mean differences (WMDs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated for net changes in Lp(a) levels using a random-effects model. Random-effects meta-regression was performed to assess the effect of putative confounders on plasma Lp(a) levels. Seven randomized controlled trials with a total of 409 subjects (206 in the CoQ10 arm and 203 in the control arm) met the eligibility criteria. Overall, CoQ10 supplementation was paralleled by a slight but significant reduction of plasma Lp(a) levels (WMD: -3.54 mg/dL, 95% CI: -5.50, -1.58; p<0.001), this effect being more robust in those trials with higher baseline Lp(a) levels (slope: -0.44; 95% CI: -0.80, -0.08; p=0.018). Reduction of plasma Lp(a) levels was consistent across different CoQ10 doses, with an inverse association between administered CoQ10 dose and Lp(a) lowering (slope: 0.04; 95% CI: 0.01, 0.07; p=0.004). Neither total cholesterol and cholesterol subfractions, nor triglyceride levels were affected by CoQ10 supplementation. In conclusion, CoQ10 supplementation, in the tested range of doses, reduces plasma Lp(a) concentrations, particularly in patients with Lp(a)≥ 30 mg/dL. Other lipid indices were not altered by CoQ10 supplementation.

Keywords: Coenzyme Q(10); Lipids; Lipoprotein(a); Nutraceuticals.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Cardiovascular Diseases / blood*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control
  • Dietary Supplements* / analysis
  • Humans
  • Lipids / blood
  • Lipoprotein(a) / blood*
  • Risk Factors
  • Ubiquinone / analogs & derivatives*
  • Ubiquinone / therapeutic use


  • Lipids
  • Lipoprotein(a)
  • Ubiquinone
  • coenzyme Q10