CoQ10 appears to decrease muscle damage during intensive exercise. This should lead to less soreness.
CoQ10 is especially abundant in the mitochondria – the ‘power plants’ of the cell – and plays a vital role in the production of chemical energy by participating in the production of adenosince triphosphate (ATP), which is the main compound of energy storage by the body. Our muscles use this energy to produce movement, and our ability to synthesize CoQ10 peaks at 20 years of age and decreases faster after we pass the age of 40. it is also known as ubiquinone because of its ‘ubiquitous’ distribution throughout the human body. A recent study published in the European Journal of Nutrition (Oct. 2011), looked to determine if CoQ10 can prevent muscle damage from the over-expression of inflammatory mediators and oxidative stress associated with strenuous exercise. Prior research has looked at the ability of CoQ10 to suppress the oxidative stress associated with “supramaximal exercise” by evaluating the blood levels of an oxidative biomarker produced as a result of lipid oxidation known as malondialdehyde. It goes like this, strenuous exercise produces reactive oxygen species (known more commonly as free radicals) and malondialdehyde is formed from the degrading effect of free radicals on polyunsaturated fats (PUFA). This is one aspect of why oxidative stress–and the resultant inflammation– can be so damaging…It compromises PUFA levels. This also implies that overly strenous or supra-maximal exercise is not healthy. As I often say on this site, “you can have too much of a good thing.” The study showed that giving daily CoQ10 supplements to twenty ultra-runners was associated with reductions in levels of biomarkers of oxidative stress and inflammation, as well as a reduction in the excretion of creatinine indicating less muscle damage in the supplement group. Ultra-runners are prone to muscle damage that causes the release of a muscle protein into the bloodstream called myoglobulin. Higher concentrations of myoglobulin can affect kidney functiona and cause a rise in creatinine levels in the blood. The fact that the ultra-distance runners did not have increased creatinine suggest that there wasn’t significant muscle damage from the ultra-distance running presumably fromn the CoQ10 supplementation. Twenty ultra-runners participated in the study and were divided into two equal groups:
- One group received one 30 mg capsule of CoQ10 two days before the test, three 30 mg capsules the day before the test, and one capsule one hour before the test.
- The other group received placebo at the same time.
The test involved a 50 km distance run across Europe’s highest road in the Sierra Nevada. Results showed that:
- The placebo group displayed a 100% increase in levels of 8-OHdG, which a sensitive indicator of DNA damage as a result of oxidative stress.
- The runners in the CoQ10 group showed an increase of only 37.5%.
- A reduction in levels of creatinine in the urine was observed in the CoQ10 group, compared with the placebo group.
The reduced oxidative stress and resultant reduced inflammation apparently lead to greater muscle cell integrity, less myoglobin stress on the kidneys, and a resultant reduction in creatinine. The authors conclude that, “CoQ10 supplementation before strenuous exercise decreases the oxidative stress and modulates the inflammatory signaling reducing the subsequent muscle damage.” In morepractical terms, decreased muscle damage means less post-exercise soreness and faster recovery following exercise for diabetes and pre-diabetes metabolic syndrome management.
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