In a recent article, researchers explored the use of coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) in patients being treated for severe trauma. CoQ10, also known as ubiquinol, is found in alltissues of the human body. It is a vital part of electron transfer in the mitochondria, and levels decrease as the human body ages.
The use of certain medications (statins, beta-blockers, etc.) can also deplete levels of CoQ10. The researchers noted that studies have revealed low levels of CoQ10 in patients who are critically ill. Based on this finding, the researchers evaluated the efficacy of CoQ10 in oxidative stress, clinical outcomes, and anthropometrical parameters in traumatic, mechanically ventilated patients admitted to the ICU.
The study involved 40 patients, and the subjects were equally divided into two groups: treatment and placebo. The treatment group received 400 mg/day of C0Q10 sublingually for at least 1 week. Included were adult patients (age: 18-65 years) with expected need of mechanical ventilation (MV) for at least 48 hours, at least 7-day stay in the ICU, and Glasgow Coma Score (GCS) equal or greater than 7.
The exclusion criteria were a previous history of acute or chronic kidney diseases; hemodialysis; pneumonia; GCS <7; taking statins or anticoagulant and immunosuppressive drugs; pregnancy; taking omega-3, CoQ10, or other antioxidant supplements; and contraindication for enteral feeding. The researchers found no significant difference in baseline variables (P >.05).
At the end of the study, it was determined that CoQ10 administration caused a significant decrease in malondialdehyde and interleukin-6 concentrations (P <.001) (GCS; P = .02), ICU and hospital length of stay, and MV duration (P <.001). The researchers found that CoQ10 administration could increase fat-free mass (P <.001; P = .04), skeletal muscle mass (P = .04), and body cell mass (P = .03). There also was no significant difference in other factors between the two groups (P >.05).
The authors also noted that, with only 20 patients per group, the chance of a type II error (i.e., a false-positive finding) for clinical outcomes variables was quite high. The researchers wrote that CoQ10 administration has beneficial effects on patients with traumatic injury and is not associated with adverse effects; however, since the possibility of the type II error was high, the outcomes on the duration of MV, ICU and hospital stay, and GCS may be false-positives.
The authors concluded that CoQ10 could enhance some of the clinical and anthropometric parameters in patients with a traumatic injury. It also caused a substantial decline in ICU and hospital length of stay and MV duration. Lastly, the authors stated that further examination with different dosages and longer intervention time may be warranted to ascertain the efficacy of CoQ10 in patients with a traumatic injury.
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