Age-Related Loss in Bone Mineral Density of Rats Fed Lifelong on a Fish Oil-Based Diet Is Avoided by Coenzyme Q 10 Addition

Nutrients. 2017 Feb 22;9(2):176. doi: 10.3390/nu9020176.


During aging, bone mass declines increasing osteoporosis and fracture risks. Oxidative stress has been related to this bone loss, making dietary compounds with antioxidant properties a promising weapon. Male Wistar rats were maintained for 6 or 24 months on diets with fish oil as unique fat source, supplemented or not with coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), to evaluate the potential of adding this molecule to the n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (n-3 PUFA)-based diet for bone mineral density (BMD) preservation. BMD was evaluated in the femur. Serum osteocalcin, osteopontin, receptor activator of nuclear factor-κB ligand, ostroprotegerin, parathyroid hormone, urinary F₂-isoprostanes, and lymphocytes DNA strand breaks were also measured. BMD was lower in aged rats fed a diet without CoQ10 respect than their younger counterparts, whereas older animals receiving CoQ10 showed the highest BMD. F₂-isoprostanes and DNA strand breaks showed that oxidative stress was higher during aging. Supplementation with CoQ10 prevented oxidative damage to lipid and DNA, in young and old animals, respectively. Reduced oxidative stress associated to CoQ10 supplementation of this n-3 PUFA-rich diet might explain the higher BMD found in aged rats in this group of animals.

Keywords: antioxidants; dietary fat; n-3 PUFA; oxidative stress; ubiquinone.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bone Density / drug effects*
  • DNA Damage / drug effects
  • Diet
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / administration & dosage
  • Femur
  • Fish Oils / administration & dosage*
  • Lipid Peroxidation
  • Male
  • Osteoporosis / prevention & control*
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Ubiquinone / administration & dosage
  • Ubiquinone / analogs & derivatives*


  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3
  • Fish Oils
  • Ubiquinone
  • coenzyme Q10