Study finds coQ10 minimizes oxidative stress and muscle damage during strenuous exercise

Despite the physical and mental benefits associated with ultra-endurance exercises, such as marathons or triathlons, these exercises do promote inflammation and oxidative stress in the body. There are, however, ways to protect yourself. Supplements of coenzyme Q10 (coQ10) may offset the oxidative stress related to strenuous exercise and reduce later muscle damage, according to a new study.

Researchers from the University of Granada of Spain wrote, “The present findings provide evidence that oral supplementation of coQ10 during high-intensity exercise is efficient reducing the degree of oxidative stress… [and] muscle damage during physical performance.”

The researchers, who published their results in the European Journal of Nutrition, supplemented 20 highly trained male athletes with either a placebo or coQ10 prior to a 50-kilometer run across one of the most difficult terrains in Europe.

To test the effects of coQ10 on exercise-induced inflammation and oxidative stress, the researchers supplied 150 mg coQ10 in divided doses prior to race time. Post-race analysis included measures of oxidative stress, antioxidant levels and expression of pro-inflammatory genes, such as TNFa and ILs (interleukins).

The results of the study found a significantly greater increase in oxidative stress in the placebo group compared to the coQ10 group. Similarly, the athletes consuming the coQ10 supplement also had evidence of increased antioxidant defenses and reduction in overexpression of pro-inflammatory genes.  Finally, coQ10 reduced levels of creatinine, an indicator of muscle breakdown, compared to the placebo group.

Although a degree of muscle breakdown during exercise stimulates muscle remodeling and growth, the damage must be repaired before remodeling and growth is able to occur. Minimizing muscle damage during exercise can allow athletes to recover faster and train more often.

While most of us are likely little more than “weekend warriors” it is good to know that a high quality supplement containing bioavailable coQ10, such as Ageless Actives™ included in the Ageless Essentials Daily Pack, may be just the ticket for those aspiring to push more or run farther.

Reference: Diaz-Castro J, Guisado R, Kajarabille N et al. Coenzyme Q10 supplementation ameliorates inflammatory signaling and oxidative stress associated with strenuous exercise. Eur J Nutr 2011. doi: 10.1007/s00394-011-0257-5