What effects does Q10 have on the liver?


The liver performs over 500 vital functions, including metabolizing fats, proteins and carbs, filtering toxins and producing bile. A healthy liver is crucial for overall wellbeing. Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is a compound with antioxidant effects that may benefit liver health and function. This article reviews the evidence on CoQ10’s effects on the liver.

What effects does Q10 have on the liver?

Overview of Liver Functions

The liver is the largest internal organ, performing many essential jobs:

  • Metabolizing nutrients from food
  • Filtering and detoxifying chemicals and toxins from the blood
  • Producing bile to digest fats
  • Storing minerals, vitamins and sugars for energy
  • Manufacturing proteins, cholesterol and blood clotting factors
  • Helping regulate blood sugar and hormone levels

With over 500 vital functions, liver health impacts almost every system in the body. That’s why supporting your liver is so important.

What is CoQ10?

CoQ10 is a naturally occurring compound that plays a key role in energy production and antioxidant activity within cells. Here are some key facts:

  • It assists in making ATP, the primary cellular energy molecule.
  • It also acts as a powerful antioxidant in cell membranes and lipoproteins.
  • Your body makes it, and you also get small amounts from food.
  • Food sources include meat, fish, nuts, seeds, soybeans, spinach and broccoli.
  • Levels start declining after age 40, making supplementation more beneficial.
  • Statin medications block CoQ10 synthesis, so supplementation is recommended.

Now let’s cover what science says about CoQ10’s effects on liver health.

Effects of CoQ10 on Liver Enzymes

There is some evidence that CoQ10 supplementation may aid liver function by lowering elevated liver enzymes:

  • In one study, 200 mg/day of CoQ10 for 30 days significantly decreased AST and ALT enzymes in patients with fatty liver disease.
  • Another trial showed 500 mg/day reduced ALT and AST in people with hepatitis C after just 8 days of supplementation.
  • Lowering elevated liver enzymes indicates reduced inflammation and improved liver cell function.
  • CoQ10’s antioxidant effects may protect liver cells from damage to support normal enzyme levels.

However, more research is still needed to confirm CoQ10 conclusively lowers chronically elevated liver enzymes.

CoQ10 for Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD)

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) involves fat accumulation and inflammation that can progress to cirrhosis. Early research suggests CoQ10 may benefit:

  • In one study, 50 mg CoQ10 twice daily for 8 weeks reduced fat deposits in the liver in people with NAFLD.
  • Another trial found 200 mg/day of CoQ10 for 30 days lowered liver enzyme levels and fat content compared to placebo.
  • CoQ10 may protect the liver by reducing oxidation, inflammation and fat deposition in liver cells.

Again, larger controlled trials are still needed to verify these early results on CoQ10 for NAFLD treatment. But findings are promising.

Effects on Viral Hepatitis

Hepatitis involves inflammation of the liver, often caused by viral infections. Research suggests CoQ10 could aid hepatitis management:

  • One study found that 150 mg/day of CoQ10 restored antioxidant activity and lowered oxidative stress in children with chronic hepatitis B.
  • Another trial gave 249 adults with hepatitis C either CoQ10 or placebo. The CoQ10 group had decreased viral load and liver enzyme levels.
  • CoQ10’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects likely help reduce hepatitis-related liver damage.

However, there are still few placebo-controlled studies on CoQ10 for hepatitis. More robust data is required before formal treatment recommendations can be made.

CoQ10 and Liver Cirrhosis

In its most serious form, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease can progress to liver cirrhosis and failure. Early evidence suggests CoQ10 may help:

  • One study reported that 300 mg per day of CoQ10 for 28 days improved liver function in patients with cirrhosis.
  • Another trial found that 150 mg/day of CoQ10 for 2 months increased antioxidant activity in cirrhosis patients.
  • CoQ10 may protect against further liver scarring by reducing inflammation and oxidative stress.

Again, larger randomized controlled trials are needed to confirm whether CoQ10 has a clinically meaningful impact on cirrhosis progression and severity.

Effects on Drug-Induced Liver Injury

Certain medications like acetaminophen, statins and chemotherapeutics can damage the liver at high doses. Animal research suggests CoQ10 could help:

  • In rat studies, CoQ10 supplementation protected the liver from toxin-induced injury, fibrosis and DNA damage.
  • It also prevented reductions in antioxidant enzymes caused by medications damaging liver cells.
  • CoQ10’s antioxidant properties likely counteract oxidative stress involved in drug-induced liver damage.

However, human data is lacking currently, and more research is needed to confirm CoQ10’s protective effects on drug-related liver injury.

Improving Liver Health in Cancer Therapy

Chemotherapy medications are processed through the liver and can impair liver function. CoQ10 supplementation may help:

  • One human trial found that 90 mg per day of CoQ10 prevented elevations in liver enzymes during chemo treatment compared to placebo.
  • Another study reported CoQ10 supplementation lowered chemotherapy-induced liver toxicity better than vitamin E.
  • Protection of liver function and integrity may allow higher and more consistent chemotherapy dosing.

Again, larger human studies are still needed to verify results and provide more definitive treatment guidance. But findings to date are promising.

CoQ10 and Liver Surgery Recovery

Major surgery stresses the liver due to blood loss, transfusions and anesthesia side effects. Early evidence suggests CoQ10 may support liver recovery post-surgery:

  • Multiple human trials report that 300 mg of CoQ10 daily around the time of cardiac surgery reduced damage to liver cells and postoperative liver dysfunction.
  • Similar protective effects have been shown with CoQ10 supplementation before liver resections and transplant surgery in some preliminary studies.
  • However, results are still considered insufficient to make formal recommendations according to recent reviews.

Overall, administering CoQ10 around the time of surgery shows potential for improving liver function and recovery. But additional confirmatory research is needed in this area.

General Dosage Recommendations

There are currently no standardized dosage guidelines for taking CoQ10 specifically for liver health and disease.

However, based on available studies showing liver benefits, dosages between 100-300 mg per day in divided doses appear effective.

Higher daily intakes up to 500 mg may be warranted under medical supervision in cases of severe liver disease. It’s best taken with food for optimal absorption.

As with any supplement, it’s recommended to consult your healthcare provider before taking CoQ10 if you have liver disease or take medications that affect the liver.

Key Takeaways

  • CoQ10 may help lower elevated liver enzymes, indicating improved liver cell function and reduced inflammation.
  • Early research shows potential benefits of CoQ10 supplementation for fatty liver disease, viral hepatitis and cirrhosis.
  • In animal studies, CoQ10 protected against liver injury and toxicity induced by medications and toxins.
  • CoQ10 may support liver health during cancer treatment and improve liver recovery after surgery.
  • Effective supplemental doses for liver benefits appear to range from 100-300 mg per day.
  • Larger, more high-quality human trials are still needed to confirm CoQ10’s effects on liver disease.

What effects does Q10 have on the liver? Conclusion

In summary, current evidence indicates CoQ10 supplementation may provide several beneficial effects on liver health and disease, likely due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Research shows particular promise for fatty liver disease, viral hepatitis and drug-induced liver toxicity.

However, robust, large-scale human trials are still lacking for many applications. More research is needed using randomized controlled study designs and larger sample sizes.

Work with your doctor to determine if CoQ10 supplementation is appropriate as an adjunct therapy for your specific liver condition. Dosages between 100-300 mg per day appear beneficial based on current data.

While findings to date are encouraging, more evidence is still needed to substantiate using CoQ10 for liver disease treatment. However, CoQ10 appears generally safe and well-tolerated, making it a promising option for supporting liver function.

Resources used to write this article

  • CoQ10 lowering liver enzymes:



  • CoQ10 for fatty liver disease:



  • CoQ10 for viral hepatitis:



  • CoQ10 and liver cirrhosis:



  • CoQ10 protecting against drug-induced liver injury:



  • CoQ10 improving liver health in cancer treatment:



  • CoQ10 and liver surgery recovery:



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