Age-related changes in plasma coenzyme Q10 concentrations and redox state in apparently healthy children and adults

Clin Chim Acta. 2004 Sep;347(1-2):139-44. doi: 10.1016/j.cccn.2004.04.003.


Background: Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ) is an endogenous enzyme cofactor, which may provide protective benefits as an antioxidant. Because age-related CoQ changes and deficiency states have been described, there is a need to establish normal ranges in healthy children. The objectives of this study are to determine if age-related differences in reduced CoQ (ubiquinol), oxidized CoQ (ubiquinone), and CoQ redox state exist in childhood, and to establish reference intervals for these analytes in healthy children.

Methods: Apparently healthy children (n=68) were selected from individuals with no history of current acute illness, medically diagnosed disease, or current medication treatment. Self-reported healthy adults (n=106) were selected from the ongoing Princeton Follow-up Study in greater Cincinnati. Participants were assessed for lipid profiles, ubiquinol concentration, ubiquinone concentration, total CoQ concentration, and CoQ redox ratio.

Results: Mean total CoQ and ubiquinol concentrations are similar in younger children (0.2-7.6 years) and adults (29-78 years); however, lipid-adjusted total CoQ concentrations are significantly increased in younger children. Also CoQ redox ratio is significantly increased in younger and older children compared with adults.

Conclusions: Elevated CoQ and redox ratios in children may be an indication of oxidative stress effects, which are associated with early development of coronary heart disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging / metabolism*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Coenzymes
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Lipids / blood
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Reference Values
  • Ubiquinone / analogs & derivatives*
  • Ubiquinone / blood*


  • Coenzymes
  • Lipids
  • Ubiquinone
  • coenzyme Q10
  • ubiquinol