This study explored effects of ubiquinol-10 and ubiquinone-10, two different forms of coenzyme Q10, in diabetic rats. Oxidative stress is characterized by the depletion of antioxidant defenses and overproduction of free radicals that might contribute to, and even accelerate, the development of diabetes mellitus (DM) complications. Coenzyme Q10 was administered orally to diabetic rats and oxidative stress markers were then assessed. Bioavailability in normal rats was additionally assessed in various tissues and subcellular fractions after short-term and long-term coenzyme Q10 supplementation. Elevated nonfasting blood glucose and blood pressure in diabetic rats were decreased by ubiquinone-10. Both ubiquinol-10 and ubiquinone-10 ameliorated oxidative stress, based on assays for reactive oxygen metabolites and malondialdehyde. Coenzyme Q10 levels increased with both treatments and liver nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) coenzyme Q reductase with ubiquinone-10. Ubiquinol-10 was better absorbed in the liver and pancreas than ubiquinone-10, though both were similarly effective. In bioavailability study, a longer period of coenzyme Q10 supplementation did not lead to its accumulation in tissues or organelles. Both forms of coenzyme Q10 reduced oxidative stress in diabetic rats. Long-term supplementation of coenzyme Q10 appeared to be safe.
Keywords: bioavailability; coenzyme Q10; diabetic rats; oxidative stress; ubiquinol-10; ubiquinone-10.