According to WHO, sepsis is the third-most common cause of death, following cardiovascular disease and death. Sepsis is a result of the immune defense overreacting to an infection in the bloodstream. According to a new Slovakian study published in Bratislava Medical Journal, if you start supplementing with Q10 early in the treatment phase, it may reduce the symptoms and improve the chances of survival. Read more about another nutrient that contributes to the prevention of sepsis.
Sepsis normally follows in the wake of a wound infection or an infection in an organ. Within hours, sepsis can affect the circulatory system, the lungs, or a variety of other organs. The potentially life-threatening condition is a result of the immune defense overreacting to an infection in the bloodstream, where it causes cytokine storm and hyperinflammation and attacks healthy tissue. Around 50 percent of patients that get septic shock die shortly after. Sepsis therefore requires immediate action, and the most commonly used therapy is cortisone that inhibits the overactive immune defense. Still, the treatment is often insufficient and according to WHO, this disease is the third-most common cause of death right after cardiovascular disease and cancer.
Why is Q10 relevant for treating sepsis?
Q10 is a unique molecule with a variety of functions. Firstly, Q10 serves as an essential coenzyme in the cellular energy production that takes place inside the cellular powerhouses – also known as the mitochondria. Secondly, Q10 is a very important antioxidant that protects the body against oxidative stress, which is an imbalance between harmful free radicals and protective antioxidants. Free radicals are natural by-products of cellular energy metabolism, and even more free radicals are generated by e.g. infections, ageing processes, smoking, and poisoning. In the case of oxidative stress, free radicals become excessively aggressive, setting off chain reactions where they attack cells and their mitochondria uncontrollably. It can have catastrophic consequences if the body lacks antioxidants, especially Q10. We humans are able to synthesize Q10, but our endogenous production gradually decreases with age. Certain diseases and the use of cholesterol-lowering medicine also interferes with the body’s Q10 synthesis, causing levels of the compound to drop.
Scientists: Q10 reduces markers of inflammation and the risk of dying of sepsis
Previous studies have shown that sepsis patients have lower levels of Q10 in their blood and even have dysfunctions in the energy-producing mitochondria. The scientists behind the new Slovakian study therefore wanted to study the effect of giving Q10 supplements to patients that had been diagnosed with sepsis at an early stage. Because sepsis is characterized by hyperinflammation and oxidative stress, they looked at relevant markers.
A total of 40 patients with sepsis participated in the randomized, controlled study.
Half the patients got 100 mg of Q10 twice daily for seven days in addition to standard therapy. The other group (control group) only received standard therapy. The researchers measured levels of markers such as interleukin 6 (IL-6), tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF- α), glutathione peroxidase, and malondialdehyde (MDA) on the first day, the third day, and on the seventh day. Furthermore, the scientists made a note of the patients’ clinical score and the number of patients that had died while being hospitalized.
Basically, there was no difference in levels of inflammatory and oxidative stress markers in the two groups. However, markers like tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF- α) and malondialdehyde (MDA) had dropped substantially in the Q10 group on the seventh day. Also, fewer people in he Q10 group had died compared with the control group.
The scientists therefore suggest that Q10 supplementation may have a positive effect on clinical parameters and mitochondrial function if started in the early phase of sepsis.
IMPORTANT! Vitamin D is important for the prevention of sepsis
The risk of getting sepsis and dying of the disease is heavily increased if you lack vitamin D, according to an Iranian study that is published in Archives of Academic Emergency Medicine. Because sepsis is so common and is a life-threatening condition, we need to focus a lot more on it, including diagnosis, fast treatment and effective prevention.
What is the resemblance between life-threatening sepsis, COVID-19, and influenza?
When sepsis, COVID-19, and influenza become life-threatening, it is the immune system that overreacts with cytokine storm, hyperinflammation, and subsequent tissue destruction in all three cases. It is not the bacteria or virus types involved that are potentially lethal. It is our own immune defense that runs amok because it lacks essential nutrients like Q10 and vitamin D that are needed to control it.
R. Soltani et al. Coenzyme Q10 improves the Survival and Reduces Inflammatory Markers in Septic Patients. Bratislava Medical Journal. 2020
Majid Shojaei et al. The Correlation between Serum Level of Vitamin D Outcome of Sepsis Patients; a Cross-sectional Study. Archives of Academic Emergency Medicine 2019
Palle Toft og Thomas Strøm. Sepsis, den tredjehyppigste dødsårsag, registreres ikke i Danmark. Ugeskrift for Læger 2018
Ali Daneshkhah et al. The Possible Role of Vitamin D in Suppressing Cytokine Storm and Associated Mortality in COVID-19 Patients. medRxiv April 30, 2020
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