Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), having potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory pharmacological properties, has recently been shown to be a safe and promising agent in maintaining remission of ulcerative colitis (UC). This trial was, therefore, designed to determine CoQ10 efficacy on inflammation and antioxidant status, antimicrobial peptides, and microRNA-146a expression in UC patients.
In this randomized double-blind controlled trial, 88 mild-to-moderate UC patients were randomly allocated to receive CoQ10 (200 mg/day) or placebo (rice flour) for 2 months. At the baseline and at an 8-week follow-up, serum levels of Nrf2, cathelicidin LL-37, β-defensin 2, IL-10, IL-17, NF-κB p65 activity in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs), simple clinical colitis activity index questionnaire (SCCAIQ), and quality of life (IBDQ-32 score), as well as an expression rate of microRNA-146a were measured.
A significant reduction was detected in the serum IL-17 level, activity of NF-κB p65 in PBMCs, and also SCCAI score in the CoQ10 group compared to the placebo group, whereas IL-10 serum concentrations and IBDQ-32 score of the CoQ10 group considerably increased versus the control group; the changes of these variables were also significantly different within and between groups at the end of the study. Furthermore, CoQ10 remarkably increased serum levels of cathelicidin LL-37. A significant change in serum cathelicidin LL-37 levels was also observed between the two groups. No statistical difference, however, was seen between the two groups in terms of the serum levels of Nrf2 and β-defensin 2 and the relative expression of microRNA-146a.
Our results indicate that CoQ10 supplementation, along with drug therapy, appears to be an efficient reducer of inflammation in patients with mild-to-moderate UC at a remission phase.
The research has also been registered at the Iranian Registry of Clinical Trials (IRCT): IRCT20090822002365N17.