Women have higher levels of CoQ10 than men when supplemented with a single dose of CoQ10 with monoglycerides omega-3 or rice oil and followed for 48 h: a crossover randomised triple blind controlled study

J Nutr Sci. 2022 Jan 18;11:e2. doi: 10.1017/jns.2021.106. eCollection 2022.


Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), a lipid involved in ATP synthesis, exhibits very limited oral absorption, and its endogenous production decreases with ageing and with the occurrence of oxidative stress. Our group previously showed that monoglycerides omega-3 (MAG-OM3) increase OM3 plasma concentrations. Since CoQ10 is liposoluble, we hypothesised that its 48 h pharmacokinetics is higher when provided with MAG-OM3 compared to CoQ10 alone (in powder form) or added to rice oil (a neutral triacylglycerol oil). A randomised triple-blind crossover study was performed with fifteen men and fifteen women consuming the three supplements providing 200 mg of CoQ10 in a random order. Blood samples were collected before (t = 0) and 1, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, 24 and 48 h after the supplement intake. Plasma total CoQ10 concentrations were analysed on ultrahigh-performance liquid chromatography coupled to a tandem mass spectrometer (UPLC-MS/MS). Participants were 26⋅1 ± 4⋅8 years old. When CoQ10 was provided with rice or MAG-OM3 oils, the 48 h area under the curve (AUC 0-48 h) was approximately two times higher compared to when provided without an oil. The delta max concentration (ΔCmax) of plasma CoQ10 was, respectively, 2 (MAG-OM3) and 2⋅5 (rice oil) times higher compared to CoQ10 alone. There was a significant sex by treatment interaction (P = 0⋅0250) for the AUC 0-6 h supporting that in postprandial, men and women do not respond the same way to the different supplement. Women had a higher CoQ10 concentration 48 h after the single-dose intake compared to men. We conclude that CoQ10 supplements must be provided with lipids, and their kinetics is different between men and women.

Keywords: AUC, area under the curve; C 0 h, plasma concentration at baseline; C 48 h, plasma concentration at 48 h post-single-dose intake; Cmax, maximum concentration; CoQ10; CoQ10, coenzyme Q10; CoQ9, coenzyme Q9; Crossover study; MAG, monoglyceride; Monoglyceride omega-3; OM3, omega-3 fatty acids; Pharmacokinetics; Tmax, time to reach maximum concentration.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Chromatography, Liquid
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Monoglycerides*
  • Oryza*
  • Tandem Mass Spectrometry
  • Ubiquinone / chemistry


  • Monoglycerides
  • Ubiquinone