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

Nutr J. 2016 Oct 6;15(1):85. doi: 10.1186/s12937-016-0205-6.


Background: It has been reported that higher levels of oxidative stress and inflammation play a key role in the progression of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) after surgery. Coenzyme Q10 is an endogenous lipid-soluble antioxidant. To date, no intervention study has investigated coenzyme Q10 supplementation in HCC patients after surgery. The purpose of this study was to investigate oxidative stress, antioxidant enzymes activity, and inflammation levels in HCC patients after surgery following administration of coenzyme Q10 (300 mg/day).

Methods: This study was designed as a single-blinded, randomized, parallel, placebo-controlled study. Patients who were diagnosed with primary HCC (n = 41) and were randomly assign to a placebo (n = 20) or coenzyme Q10 (300 mg/day, n = 21) group after surgery. The intervention lasted for 12 weeks. Plasma coenzyme Q10, vitamin E, oxidative stress antioxidant enzymes activity and inflammatory markers levels were measured.

Results: The oxidative stress (p = 0.04) and inflammatory markers (hs-CRP and IL-6, p < 0.01) levels were significantly decreased, and the antioxidant enzymes activity was significantly increased (p < 0.01) after 12 weeks of coenzyme Q10 supplementation. In addition, the coenzyme Q10 level was significantly negatively correlated with the oxidative stress (p = 0.01), and positively correlated with antioxidant enzymes activity (SOD, p = 0.01; CAT, p < 0.05; GPx, p = 0.04) and vitamin E level (p = 0.01) after supplementation.

Conclusion: In conclusion, we demonstrated that a dose of 300 mg/d of coenzyme Q10 supplementation significantly increased the antioxidant capacity and reduced the oxidative stress and inflammation levels in HCC patients after surgery.

Trial registration: Clinical Trials.gov Identifier: NCT01964001.

Keywords: Antioxidation; Coenzyme Q10 supplementation; Hepatocellular carcinoma; Inflammation; Oxidative stress; Surgery.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Antioxidants / administration & dosage*
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Body Mass Index
  • Body Weight
  • C-Reactive Protein / metabolism
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / drug therapy*
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / surgery
  • Catalase / blood
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / drug therapy*
  • Interleukin-6 / blood
  • Linear Models
  • Liver Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Liver Neoplasms / surgery
  • Male
  • Malondialdehyde / blood
  • Middle Aged
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Superoxide Dismutase / blood
  • Ubiquinone / administration & dosage
  • Ubiquinone / analogs & derivatives*
  • Ubiquinone / blood
  • Vitamin E / blood


  • Antioxidants
  • Biomarkers
  • IL6 protein, human
  • Interleukin-6
  • Ubiquinone
  • Vitamin E
  • Malondialdehyde
  • C-Reactive Protein
  • Catalase
  • Superoxide Dismutase
  • coenzyme Q10

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT01964001