Effects of the Mediterranean diet supplemented with coenzyme q10 on metabolomic profiles in elderly men and women

J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2015 Jan;70(1):78-84. doi: 10.1093/gerona/glu098. Epub 2014 Jul 1.


Background: Characterization of the variations in the metabolomic profiles of elderly people is a necessary step to understand changes associated with aging. This study assessed whether diets with different fat quality and supplementation with coenzyme Q10 (CoQ) affect the metabolomic profile in urine analyzed by proton nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy from elderly people.

Methods: Ten participants received, in a cross-over design, four isocaloric diets for 4-week periods each: Mediterranean diet supplemented with CoQ (Med + CoQ diet); Mediterranean diet; Western diet rich in saturated fat diet; low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet enriched in n-3 polyunsaturated fat.

Results: Multivariate analysis showed differences between diets when comparing Med + CoQ diet and saturated fat diet, with greater hippurate urine levels after Med + CoQ diet and higher phenylacetylglycine levels after saturated fat diet in women. Following consumption of Med + CoQ, hippurate excretion was positively correlated with CoQ and β-carotene plasma levels and inversely related to Nrf2, thioredoxin, superoxide dismutase 1, and gp91(phox) subunit of NADPH oxidase gene expression. After saturated fat diet consumption, phenylacetylglycine excretion was inversely related to CoQ plasma level and positively correlated with isoprostanes urinary level.

Conclusions: The association between hippurate excretion and antioxidant biomarkers along with the relationship between phenylacetylglycine excretion and oxidant biomarkers suggests that the long-term consumption of a Med + CoQ diet could be beneficial for healthy aging and a promising challenge in the prevention of processes related to chronic oxidative stress, such as cardiovascular and neurodegenerative disease.

Keywords: Coenzyme Q10; Hippurate; Mediterranean diet; Oxidative stress; Phenylacetylglycine..

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aging / genetics
  • Aging / metabolism*
  • Antioxidants / administration & dosage
  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Diet, Mediterranean*
  • Dietary Fats / administration & dosage
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Female
  • Gene Expression
  • Glycine / analogs & derivatives
  • Glycine / urine
  • Hippurates / urine
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Metabolomics
  • Oxidative Stress
  • Ubiquinone / administration & dosage
  • Ubiquinone / analogs & derivatives*
  • beta Carotene / blood


  • Antioxidants
  • Biomarkers
  • Dietary Fats
  • Hippurates
  • beta Carotene
  • Ubiquinone
  • phenylacetylglycine
  • coenzyme Q10
  • hippuric acid
  • Glycine