Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is commonly consumed as an antiaging supplement at doses of 30–210 mg/day. The aim of the study was to determine if CoQ10 alters markers of antioxidant status, oxidative damage, and gene expression in aging skeletal muscle. Female guinea pigs aged 26 months were supplemented for 6 weeks with CoQ10 at a human equivalent dose of 10 mg/kg/day. Body weight, plasma CoQ10 concentration, and WBC DNA abasic sites were measured at weeks 0, 2, 4, and 6 of the supplementation period. At the end of supplementation, concentrations of skeletal muscle CoQ10, glutathione, malondialdehyde, protein carbonyls, DNA abasic sites, activities of catalase and glutathione peroxidase, and the gene expression of cyctochrome c oxidase subunits were measured. Dietary supplementation with CoQ10 elevated plasma CoQ10 levels (pre 73 ± 3 nmol/L, post 581 ± 15 nmol/L, P < 0.05) and decreased abasic sites in WBC DNA (pre 16.8 ± 0.5 Ap/100000 bp, post 9.7 ± 0.4 Ap/100000 bp, P < 0.05). In contrast, all of the measures made in skeletal muscle were not different between groups (P > 0.05). These results indicate that dietary supplementation with CoQ10 at a dose of 10 mg/kg/day may be capable of increasing antioxidant protection and reducing oxidative damage in the plasma, but may have no effect in skeletal muscle.
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