Type 1 diabetes, previously termed “juvenile diabetes”, occurs in approximately five percent of the population. Unfortunately, scientists have yet to find a definitive cure for either type 1 or type 2 diabetes.
However, increasing awareness about diabetes and complementary and alternative therapeutic approaches to treating the diseases continues to be the focus of many researchers.
In some studies, CoQ10 may be a potential solution to reducing insulin resistance, as well as increasing insulin production. However, an individual must first understand how diabetes affects the body first.
Understanding diabetes is relatively simple: the body is unable to control blood sugar levels. In type 1 diabetes, the body's cells are unable to access glucose from the bloodstream, explains the American Diabetes Association.
Type 2 diabetes, the most common form of diabetes, is a diagnosis in which insulin production continues, yet cells stop responding to insulin. In healthy individuals, the presence of insulin triggers cells to take in insulin from surrounding plasma.
Unfortunately, the absence of insulin results in high blood sugar levels, and bodily cells basically start to starve to death. The management of type 1 diabetes routinely involves insulin therapy and management of lifestyle choices, such as increasing exercise and eating a healthy diet.
When insulin production slows or stops, the body is said to enter a state of metabolic syndrome (MetS). In the study, the Effects of Coenzyme Q10 Administration On Glucose Homeostasis Parameters, Lipid Profiles, Biomarkers of Inflammation and Oxidative Stress in Patients With Metabolic Syndrome, researchers sought to determine if CoQ10 supplementation would help to restore homeostasis, i.e. would insulin production and serum levels return to normal levels?
Researchers studied a group of 60 overweight or obese individuals, between the ages of 40 and 85. Fasting blood samples were obtained at the beginning of the study and after 8 weeks of CoQ10 supplementation. In the group of participants who received a CoQ10 supplement, blood serum insulin levels showed a significant reduction. However, the level of insulin resistance and severity of metabolic syndrome appeared to decrease.
Researchers concluded the reduced serum insulin levels were the result of uptake of insulin by bodily cells. Furthermore, participants who received a CoQ10 supplement showed a significant increase in the total antioxidant capacity, or TAC, concentration in blood plasma. As a result, evidence suggests the daily intake of 100 milligrams of CoQ10 was beneficial to returning insulin levels and cellular uptake behavior to normal ranges.
When left untreated, diabetes may cause many severe health problems, which range from impaired kidney function to the loss of limbs. Unfortunately, even well-managed cases of the disease sometimes have poor outcomes. However, some evidence suggests CoQ10 supplementation may be of benefit in the treatment of diabetes. Before starting any supplement regimen, an individual should always talk with his or her endocrinologist to determine if diabetes medications may interact with the CoQ10 supplement.