Coenzyme Q10 Supplementation and Exercise in Healthy Humans: A Systematic Review

Curr Drug Metab. 2016;17(4):345-58. doi: 10.2174/1389200216666151103115654.


Objective: Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is an endogenous lipid-soluble benzoquinone compound that functions as a diffusible electron carrier in the electron transport chain. It is prevalent in all human tissues and organs, although it is mainly biosynthesised and concentrated in tissues with high energy turnover. The aim of this review was to perform an exhaustive analysis of the influence and effects of CoQ10 supplementation on parameters related to exercise in healthy humans, and to clarify the current state of knowledge of this field of study, presenting the relevant data in a systematic manner.

Method: This paper describes a transversal descriptive systematic review of published research in this field; the study was conducted using a method adapted from the PRISMA guidelines. The inclusion criteria applied were based on the PICO (population, intervention, comparison, and outcome) model.

Results: The database search performed yielded 372 citations. Finally, 13 studies met all the inclusion criteria and were incorporated in the present review.

Conclusion: CoQ10 has properties related to bioenergetic and antioxidant activity; thus, it is intimately involved in energy production and in the prevention of peroxidative damage to membrane phospholipids and of free radical-induced oxidation. These properties make it suitable as a dietary supplement to improve cellular bioenergetics and to inhibit certain age-related pathologies.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Antioxidants / administration & dosage
  • Antioxidants / analysis
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology*
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Energy Metabolism / drug effects*
  • Exercise Tolerance / drug effects
  • Exercise*
  • Humans
  • Non-Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Ubiquinone / administration & dosage
  • Ubiquinone / analogs & derivatives*
  • Ubiquinone / blood
  • Ubiquinone / pharmacology
  • Vitamins / blood
  • Vitamins / pharmacology*


  • Antioxidants
  • Vitamins
  • Ubiquinone
  • coenzyme Q10