Effects of coenzyme Q10 supplementation on inflammatory markers: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

Pharmacol Res. 2017 May:119:128-136. doi: 10.1016/j.phrs.2017.01.032. Epub 2017 Feb 5.


The aims of this meta-analysis were to evaluate the effects of coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) supplementation on inflammatory mediators including C-reactive protein (CRP), interleukin-6 (IL-6) and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) by analyzing published randomized controlled trials (RCTs). A systematic search in PubMed, Cochrane Library and Clinicaltrials.gov was performed to identify eligible RCTs. Data synthesis was performed using a random- or a fixed-effects model depending on the results of heterogeneity tests, and pooled data were displayed as weighed mean difference (WMD) and 95% confidence interval (CI). Seventeen RCTs were selected for the meta-analysis. CoQ10 supplementation significantly reduced the levels of circulating CRP (WMD: -0.35mg/L, 95% CI: -0.64 to -0.05, P=0.022), IL-6 (WMD: -1.61pg/mL, 95% CI: -2.64 to -0.58, P=0.002) and TNF-α (WMD: -0.49pg/mL, 95% CI: -0.93 to -0.06, P=0.027). The results of meta-regression showed that the changes of CRP were independent of baseline CRP, treatment duration, dosage, and patients characteristics. In the meta-regression analyses, a higher baseline IL-6 level was significantly associated with greater effects of CoQ10 on IL-6 levels (P for interaction=0.006). In conclusion, this meta-analysis of RCTs suggests significant lowering effects of CoQ10 on CRP, IL-6 and TNF-α. However, results should be interpreted with caution because of the evidence of heterogeneity and limited number of studies.

Keywords: C-reactive protein; Coenzyme Q10; Inflammation; Interleukin-6; Meta-analysis; Tumor necrosis factor-α.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology*
  • C-Reactive Protein / analysis
  • C-Reactive Protein / immunology*
  • Dietary Supplements / analysis
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-6 / blood
  • Interleukin-6 / immunology*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / blood
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / immunology*
  • Ubiquinone / analogs & derivatives*
  • Ubiquinone / pharmacology
  • Vitamins / pharmacology*


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Interleukin-6
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Vitamins
  • Ubiquinone
  • C-Reactive Protein
  • coenzyme Q10