Q10 may protect cartilage in the spine against decay
Intervertebral discs consist of cartilage, are located between the vertebrae and allow the spine to move. Many serious back problems arise because these intervertebral discs are worn or damaged. Maybe supplementation with Q10 can prevent this from happening. We formulate it cautiously. In the in vitro study we are basing us upon, researchers from Shandong University in China used Q10 in a pretty high concentration.
The researchers exposed intervertebral discs from mice in test tubes to interleukin-1-beta. Interleukin-1-beta plays an important role in the processes where wear, overload or disease affect the cartilage structures between the vertebrae.
Exposure of the intervertebral discs to interleukin-1-beta stimulated the inflammatory protein TNF-alpha and the enzyme MMP-13. MMP-13 breaks down collagen. When the researchers exposed the disks to Q10 as well, those effects largely disappeared.
Interleukin-1-beta reduced the production and the amount of collagen type-2 in the tissues. Collagen type-2 is the main component of cartilage, and aggrecan is again a prominent component of collagen type-2. The production of aggrecan also decreased due to exposure to interleukin-1-beta. Again, all those effects disappeared after exposure to Q10.
Other in vitro experiments showed how Q10 protects intervertebral discs against breakdown by interleukin-1-beta: Q10 maintains the anabolic machinery in the cells, preventing interleukin-1-beta from reducing the activity of the Akt molecule.
"Ultimately, Co-Q10 seems to protect against degeneration of intervertebral discs by maintaining homeostasis [...] by enhancing the activity of the Akt signaling pathway and restraining the NF-KB signaling pathway", write the researchers. "This may provide a potential therapeutic target in intervertebral disc degeneration."
The researchers used Q10 in a concentration of 20 micromolar. This is about a factor of 20 higher than the concentration in the body of healthy people who do not use supplements. Supplementation with Q10 can increase the concentration by a factor of 2-3, but achieving the concentration that the researchers used is not possible.
Int Immunopharmacol. 2018 Nov;64:424-31.
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