Effect of coenzyme Q10 intake on endogenous coenzyme Q content, mitochondrial electron transport chain, antioxidative defenses, and life span of mice

Free Radic Biol Med. 2006 Feb 1;40(3):480-7. doi: 10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2005.08.037. Epub 2005 Nov 9.


The main purpose of this study was to determine whether intake of coenzyme Q10, which can potentially act as both an antioxidant and a prooxidant, has an impact on indicators of oxidative stress and the aging process. Mice were fed diets providing daily supplements of 0, 93, or 371 mg CoQ10 /kg body weight, starting at 3.5 months of age. Effects on mitochondrial superoxide generation, activities of oxidoreductases, protein oxidative damage, glutathione redox state, and life span of male mice were determined. Amounts of CoQ9 and CoQ10, measured after 3.5 or 17.5 months of intake, in homogenates and mitochondria of liver, heart, kidney, skeletal muscle, and brain increased with the dosage and duration of CoQ10 intake in all the tissues except brain. Activities of mitochondrial electron transport chain oxidoreductases, rates of mitochondrial O2-* generation, state 3 respiration, carbonyl content, glutathione redox state of tissues, and activities of superoxide dismutase, catalase, and glutathione peroxidase, determined at 19 or 25 months of age, were unaffected by CoQ10 administration. Life span studies, conducted on 50 mice in each group, showed that CoQ10 administration had no effect on mortality. Altogether, the results indicated that contrary to the historical view, supplemental intake of CoQ10 elevates the endogenous content of both CoQ9 and CoQ10, but has no discernable effect on the main antioxidant defenses or prooxidant generation in most tissues, and has no impact on the life span of mice.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Aging*
  • Animals
  • Antioxidants*
  • Catalase / metabolism
  • Coenzymes
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Electron Transport*
  • Glutathione / chemistry
  • Glutathione / metabolism
  • Glutathione Peroxidase / metabolism
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mitochondria / metabolism*
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Oxidative Stress*
  • Oxidoreductases / metabolism
  • Superoxide Dismutase / metabolism
  • Superoxides / metabolism
  • Ubiquinone / administration & dosage
  • Ubiquinone / analogs & derivatives*
  • Ubiquinone / pharmacology


  • Antioxidants
  • Coenzymes
  • Superoxides
  • Ubiquinone
  • Oxidoreductases
  • Catalase
  • Glutathione Peroxidase
  • Superoxide Dismutase
  • coenzyme Q10
  • Glutathione