Reduced coenzyme Q(10) in female smokers and its association with lipid profile in a young healthy adult population

Arch Med Sci. 2011 Dec 31;7(6):948-54. doi: 10.5114/aoms.2011.26605. Epub 2011 Dec 30.


Introduction: Cigarette smoking has a negative effect on body reserve of antioxidants and cholesterol metabolism. Coenzyme Q(10) (CoQ(10)), a potent antioxidant synthesized as part of the cholesterol pathway, is a potential biomarker for systemic oxidative stress. We aimed to investigate gender variation in plasma lipid profile and CoQ(10) concentrations in healthy non-smokers and in smokers.

Material and methods: The study included 55 cigarette smokers (25 females and 30 males) and 51 non-smokers (25 females and 26 males) with the age range from 21 to 45 years, and who had no history of alcohol abuse or chronic diseases such as diabetes mellitus or obesity. Coenzyme Q(10) plasma concentrations were measured by reverse-phase high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) with ultraviolet detection. Fasting plasma glucose and lipid levels were determined by standard colorimetric methods.

Results: Our results showed that CoQ(10) concentrations were significantly decreased in smokers, especially in females, than their non-smoker counterparts. Female smokers also exhibited a significant decrease in plasma concentrations of total cholesterol (TC), HDL-C, LDL-C, and atherogenic ratios HDL-C/TC and CoQ(10)/LDL-C than male counterparts. Plasma triglyceride concentrations were increased in smokers irrespective of gender. Plasma CoQ(10) was relatively more associated with TC and LDL-C in female smokers than male smokers.

Conclusions: The adverse effects of smoking on body reserve of antioxidants and cholesterol metabolism are greater in females than in males, partially as a result of decreased CoQ(10) plasma concentrations, HDL-C and total-cholesterol and abnormal atherogenicity indices.

Keywords: cigarette smoking; coenzyme Q10; high density lipoprotein; low density lipoprotein; total cholesterol; triglycerides.