The effect of dietary glutathione and coenzyme Q10 on the prevention and treatment of inflammatory bowel disease in mice.

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Int J Vitam Nutr Res 2004 Jan; 74(1):74-85.


Because reactive oxygen species have been implicated as mediators of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), we evaluated the potential preventive and therapeutic effects of two dietary antioxidants, glutathione (GSH) and coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) on dextran sulfate sodium (DSS)-induced colitis in mice. Fifty female 8-wk old Swiss-Webster mice were randomly assigned to 4 groups for a pre-treatment "prevention" study: (1) GSH (1% of diet); (2) CoQ10 (200 mg/kg/d); (3) DSS only (3% of drinking water); (4) control (no treatment). The mice in groups 1 and 2 were fed with GSH or CoQ10 for 21 wks, and the mice in groups 1, 2 and 3 were provided DSS from wk 7 for 4 cycles (1 cycle = 1 wk DSS followed by 2-wk water). Another 50 mice were randomly assigned to 4 groups for a 21-wk "treatment" study where the mice in groups 1, 2, and 3 were administered DSS for 6 cycles (18 wks) to induce colitis. GSH and CoQ10 were added from wk 7 until the completion of the protocol. Loose stools and hemocult positivity were modestly but significantly reduced with GSH or CoQ10 at several periods during the intervention in both the prevention and treatment studies. In contrast, histological evaluation revealed increases in colonic dysplasia and ulceration with GSH or CoQ10. Thus, in this mouse model, GSH and CoQ10 appear to have a beneficial effect on acute signs of IBD, but may have an adverse impact on the chronic pathophysiology of the disease. Further studies using additional animal models are required to determine whether GSH or CoQ10 provide a favorable or unfavorable benefit:risk ratio in the prevention or treatment of IBD.

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