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MitoQ Could Benefit Chronic Hepatitis Patients

Nicole Cutler L.Ac. November 18, 2011

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Antioxidants are typically advised for people with chronic hepatitis, but MitoQ takes this idea to an even greater therapeutic level.

Individuals living with chronic liver disease – especially chronic Hepatitis B or C – know the importance of taking care of their liver. While factors that aggravate liver inflammation can easily lead to disease progression, anything that prevents liver cell inflammation helps deflect liver injury. A relative newcomer to the liver care arsenal, the innovative antioxidant MitoQ has posted some encouraging news about its potential to protect the liver from damage.

About Oxidation and Antioxidants

Describing the breakdown of organic material, cellular oxidation occurs when a substance loses an electron. This electron loss forms a free radical, an unstable compound that reacts easily with other compounds. In an effort to regain stability, the resulting reaction is due to the free radical’s attempt to recapture its lost electron. Unfortunately, to create that stability, another free radical is formed. Like a game of dominoes, a cycle of free radicals stealing electrons ensues and causes a cascade of cellular inflammation and injury.
Because they safely bind with free radicals, antioxidants can stop a destructive, oxidative rampage. Without antioxidant intervention, a free radical chain reaction can destroy many liver cells before fizzling out. Chronic hepatitis can is known to cause damage via cellular oxidation in the liver; thus, antioxidants are a valued component of any hepatitis wellness plan.

About MitoQ

Antioxidants have long been revered for their ability to impede cellular inflammation and injury to the liver, but their domain has largely been relegated to healthful produce, herbs and vitamins. Blurring the distinction between dietary supplements and medications, some companies have begun to manufacture innovative, pharmaceutical-grade substances that are the equivalent of super antioxidants.

Formally known as mitoquinone, MitoQ is a unique, super antioxidant developed by Antipodean Pharmaceuticals. MitoQ is different from other antioxidants because it binds with coenzyme Q10, an event that causes it to accumulate several-hundred fold within the mitochondria.

As the energy-producing structure inside the cell, the mitochondria’s accumulation of MitoQ protects it from being damaged by cellular oxidation. Likely because of its distinct ability to gather in the mitochondria, MitoQ has demonstrated a potency advantage over common antioxidants of preventing oxidative damage.

MitoQ Evidence

Due to the devastation cellular oxidation can cause someone with chronic liver disease, MitoQ has been the subject of these two liver-focused studies:

  1. 2011 – As published in an April 2011 edition of the journal Hepatology, researchers from Alabama evaluated MitoQ’s effect on steatosis (fatty liver with inflammation) in those with alcoholic liver disease. In this animal-based study, the researchers found that MitoQ was able to intercept and neutralize free radicals before they could damage the mitochondria, preventing the cascade of effects that ultimately leads to steatosis.
  2. 2010 – As published in an August 2010 edition of the journal Liver International, researchers from New Zealand investigated MitoQ’s effect on liver enzymes and viral load in people with Hepatitis C. Although participants on MitoQ did not have a statistically significant change in viral load, they did have a substantial improvement in liver enzyme levels. Based on their results, the researchers suggested that MitoQ is able to decrease the amount of liver inflammation and cellular death in people with Hepatitis C.

The research on MitoQ’s ability to help those with chronic hepatitis protect their liver from advancing liver disease is still in its infancy. However, this super antioxidant is at the forefront of innovation to prevent oxidation in the liver. By combining our knowledge of antioxidants, the tenets of cellular biology and a rooted understanding of hepatitis, mitochondria-centered therapeutics represent medical progress.

Many more years of testing are needed to determine MitoQ’s value to those with chronic hepatitis. Although its efficacy for chronic liver disease remains to be seen, there is little doubt that super antioxidants have the potential to change the way we approach liver protection.

Editor’s Note:

While MitoQ is not available at this time, we will announce when this changes. To learn more about MitoQ, click here.

References:

http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/QAA400537/Stumped-by-Oxidative-Stress.html, Stumped by Oxidative Stress?, Andrew Weil, MD, Retrieved May 14, 2011, Weil Lifestyle, LLC, 2011.

http://www.hivandhepatitis.com/2008icr/easl/docs/051308_c.html, Mitochondrial Antioxidant Mitoquinone (MitoQ) May Reduce Liver Necroinflammation in Patients with Chronic Hepatitis C, Liz Highleyman, Retrieved May 10, 2011, hivandhepatitis.com, 2011.

http://www.liversupport.com/wordpress/2009/07/helping-your-liver-with-alpha-r-lipoic-acid/, Helping Your Liver with Alpha R-Lipoic Acid, Nicole Cutler, L.Ac., Retrieved May 14, 2011, Natural Wellness, 2011.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20492507?dopt=Abstract, The mitochondria-targeted anti-oxidant mitoquinone decreases liver damage in a phase II study of hepatitis C patients, Gane EJ, et al, Retrieved May 10, 2011, Liver International, August 2010.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21520201, The mitochondria-targeted ubiquinone MitoQ decreases ethanol-dependent micro and macro hepatosteatosis, Chacko, BK, et al, Retrieved May 10, 2011, Hepatology, April, 2011.

http://www.news-medical.net/news/20110503/New-antioxidant-may-prevent-liver-damage-in-chronic-alcoholics.aspx, New Antioxidant May Prevent Liver Damage in Chronic Alcoholics, Retrieved May 10, 2011, News-Medical.net, 2011.

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HepatitisCentral.com provides information regarding hepatitis and liver disease. Comments are available to the community in order to discuss these topics and obtain answers to questions through community members. The Editors at HepatitisCentral.com will not be responding to questions or comments posed in article comments.

  • Honora Renwick

    I just bought a bottle of it from my local pharmacy. About $40 for a month’s supply of Mitoquinol (reduced form of ubiquinone) mesylate 5mg tablets. I’ll try it for a month and see if I can feel its tauted beneficial effects.