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Nutrition. 2012 May;28(5):509-14. doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2011.08.003. Epub 2011 Nov 12.

Coenzyme Q(10), vitamin E, selenium, and methionine in the treatment of chronic recurrent viral mucocutaneous infections.

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Dermatology Research Institute (IDI IRCCS), Rome, Italy.



Host defense and latency determinants in viral recurrent dermatologic infections are not entirely understood, as conventional protocols are inadequate to achieve fast healing and relapse prevention. Endogenously produced oxygen/nitrogen reactive species (ROS/RNS) are essential for antiviral immune defense, while their excess may aggravate skin inflammation. Here, we sought a nutritional approach capable of controlling ROS/RNS balance to accelerate recovery and inhibit recurrences of two mucocutaneous chronic DNA-virus infections.


Two controlled clinical trials evaluated the feasibility of ROS/RNS-modulating nutriceutical dosages of coenzyme Q(10), RRR-α-tocopherol, selenium aspartate, and L-methionine associated with established therapies. Clinical trial 1 evaluated 68 patients with relapsing human papillomavirus skin warts treated with cryotherapy followed by 180 d of nutriceutical/placebo administration. Clinical trial 2 compared the combination of acyclovir followed by 90 d of nutriceutical administration versus acyclovir alone in patients with recurrences of herpes simplex genitalis (n = 60) or herpes zoster (n = 29). Viral DNA levels were assessed by polymer chain reaction, biomarkers of antiviral defense (peroxynitrite and IFNα/γ) and antioxidant capacity (lipophilic antioxidants and glutathione) were assayed by biochemical/enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay techniques in blood fractions.


In both trials, the nutriceutical induced significantly faster healing (P < 0.01-0.05) with reduced incidence of relapses (P < 0.05) as compared to control groups, which was confirmed by decreased viral load and increased antiviral cytokine and peroxynitrite plasma levels. Plasma antioxidant capacity was higher (P < 0.01) in the experimental versus control groups.


Results document positive clinical outcomes of the selected nutriceutical associated with conventional protocols in the management of relapsing mucocutaneous human papillomavirus and herpes infections.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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