Is coenzyme Q a key factor in aging?

Mech Ageing Dev. 2010 Apr;131(4):225-35. doi: 10.1016/j.mad.2010.02.003. Epub 2010 Mar 1.


Coenzyme Q (Q) is a key component for bioenergetics and antioxidant protection in the cell. During the last years, research on diseases linked to Q-deficiency has highlighted the essential role of this lipid in cell physiology. Q levels are also affected during aging and neurodegenerative diseases. Therefore, therapies based on dietary supplementation with Q must be considered in cases of Q deficiency such as in aging. However, the low bioavailability of dietary Q for muscle and brain obligates to design new mechanisms to increase the uptake of this compound in these tissues. In the present review we show a complete picture of the different functions of Q in cell physiology and their relationship to age and age-related diseases. Furthermore, we describe the problems associated with dietary Q uptake and the mechanisms currently used to increase its uptake or even its biosynthesis in cells. Strategies to increase Q levels in tissues are indicated.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aging / drug effects
  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / metabolism*
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Biological Transport
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Diet
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Energy Metabolism / physiology*
  • Lipids / pharmacology
  • Muscles / metabolism
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases / metabolism*
  • Rats
  • Ubiquinone / metabolism*
  • Ubiquinone / pharmacology
  • Ubiquinone / physiology*


  • Antioxidants
  • Lipids
  • Ubiquinone