Case reports and open-label studies suggest that coenzyme Q(10) (CoQ(10)) treatment may have beneficial effects in mitochondrial disease patients; however, controlled trials are warranted to clinically prove its effectiveness. Thirty patients with mitochondrial cytopathy received 1200 mg/day CoQ(10) for 60 days in a randomized, double-blind, cross-over trial. Blood lactate, urinary markers of oxidative stress, body composition, activities of daily living, quality of life, forearm handgrip strength and oxygen desaturation, cycle exercise cardiorespiratory variables, and brain metabolites were measured. CoQ(10) treatment attenuated the rise in lactate after cycle ergometry, increased (∽1.93 ml) VO(2)/kg lean mass after 5 minutes of cycling (P < 0.005), and decreased gray matter choline-containing compounds (P < 0.05). Sixty days of moderate- to high-dose CoQ(10) treatment had minor effects on cycle exercise aerobic capacity and post-exercise lactate but did not affect other clinically relevant variables such as strength or resting lactate.