The Two Forms of Q10
In its reduced form, CoQH2, ubiquinol, inhibits protein and DNA oxidation but it is the effect on lipid peroxidation that has been most deeply studied. Ubiquinol inhibits the peroxidation of cell membrane lipids and also that of lipoprotein lipids present in the circulation. Dietary supplementation with CoQ10 results in increased levels of ubiquinol-10 within circulating lipoproteins and increased resistance of human low-density lipoproteins to the initiation of lipid peroxidation. Moreover, CoQ10 has a direct anti-atherogenic effect, which has been demonstrated in apolipoprotein E-deficient mice fed with a high-fat diet. In this model, supplementation with CoQ10 at pharmacological doses was capable of decreasing the absolute concentration of lipid hydroperoxides in atherosclerotic lesions and of minimizing the size of atherosclerotic lesions in the whole aorta. Whether these protective effects are only due to the antioxidant properties of coenzyme Q remains to be established; recent data point out that CoQ10 could have a direct effect on endothelial function. In patients with stable moderate CHF, oral CoQ10 supplementation was shown to ameliorate cardiac contractility and endothelial dysfunction. Recent data from our laboratory showed a strong correlation between endothelium bound extra cellular SOD (ecSOD) and flow-dependent endothelial-mediated dilation, a functional parameter commonly used as a biomarker of vascular function. The study also highlighted that supplementation with CoQ10 that significantly affects endothelium-bound ecSOD activity. Furthermore, we showed a significant correlation between increase in endothelial bound ecSOD activity and improvement in FMD after CoQ10 supplementation. The effect was more pronounced in patients with low basal values of ecSOD. Finally, we summarize the findings, also from our laboratory, on the implications of CoQ10 in seminal fluid integrity and sperm cell motility.
Littarru GP, Tiano L.
Bioenergetic and antioxidant properties of coenzyme Q10: recent developments.
Institute of Biochemistry, Polytechnic University of the Marche, Via Ranieri, Ancona 60131, Italy.