Obesity is an ever growing problem with numerous health issues associated with it. One of those issues is called fatty liver. Fatty liver, also called steatosis, is the collection of excessive amounts of triglycerides and other fats inside liver cells. When fatty liver is left untreated, it can contribute to many other illnesses. But, a recent animal study indicates that coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) might hamper the development of fatty liver that is related to obesity.Animal Study Suggests Positive Affects of CoQ10 on Fatty Liver
Biochemical Pharmacology published findings related to mice that were fed a high fructose high fat diet. The mice that had their diet enhanced with CoQ10 showed decreased levels of inflammatory and metabolic stress markers in their livers when compared to those that were strictly provided the high fructose high fat diet. The supplement did not seem to have any effect on obesity levels or the levels of oxidised fat in other tissues.
How Was the Study Conducted?
The researcher was led by Nathalie Delzenne from the Catholic University of Leuven and collaborated with scientists from the University of Witten/Herdecke in Germany. Researchers fed the mice a control diet, a high-fat diet with fructose, or the same high-fat, fructose diet and included CoQ10 supplements for eight weeks.
The results were:
- Those fed the high-fat, fructose diet consumed more energy, and exhibited higher fat mass development, fasting blood glucose and unusually high insulin levels.
- The researchers said that the high-fat, fructose diet also promoted gene expression in the liver for reactive oxygen species production, metabolism, and inflammation.
- The animals in the CoQ10 supplemented group, the researchers noted a decrease in gene expression for the inflammatory and metabolic stresses markers.
“We propose, in view of our study, that CoQ10, when given orally, is able to target the liver tissue, and to lessen inflammatory stress associated with obesity in mice in this tissue, independent on any action on lipid peroxidation,” wrote the researchers. “However, this effect was not sufficient to counteract fat mass development and other metabolic alterations occurring upon obesity,” they concluded.CoQ10 is Vitamin-Like – But Not a Vitamin
Because CoQ10 is naturally synthesized in the body it is not classified as a vitamin. The coenzyme is concentrated in the mitochondria, also known as the “power plants” of the cell, and plays a pertinent role in the production of chemical energy by participating in the production of adenosince triphosphate (ATP) - the co-called “energy currency” of the body.
There is a body of scientific data that is continually growing that shows substantial health benefits of CoQ10 supplementation for people affected by angina, heart attack and hypertension. This nutrient is recommended to people on statins also to counteract the CoQ10 depleting effects of statins. Other studies have shown that CoQ10 might play a role in preventing or benefiting people already suffering from neurodegenerative diseases. This new study indicates that CoQ10 may also improve liver health, especially in relation to obesity.