Science Update

New Study Investigates the Association between CoQ10 Status, Oxidative Stress, and Muscle Strength and Endurance in Patients with Osteoarthritis

CoQ10 has powerful antioxidant properties and is a vitamin-like nutrient that helps protect against oxidative stress. It is naturally found in the diet, and it is also an endogenous compound.

Previous research of CoQ10 supplementation may improve biomarkers of glucose metabolism, lipids, inflammation, and oxidative stress.

According to a study published last week in Antioxidants, researchers investigated the association between CoQ10 status, oxidative stress, and muscle strength and endurance in patients with osteoarthritis. This study was a case-control trial consisting of 100 patients ages 40 years and older with osteoarthritis and 100 individuals without osteoarthritis. Assessments included height, weight, body mass index, CoQ10 status, oxidative stress (malondialdehyde), antioxidant capacity, dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, and handgrip and leg-back strength. In addition, muscle endurance was assessed with dumbbell curls, gait speed, a chair-stand test, and a short physical performance battery.

As a result, both osteoarthritis patients and elderly patients had low CoQ10 levels. In addition, oxidative stress was significantly and negatively associated with muscle function. CoQ10 levels were positively associated with antioxidant capacity, muscle mass, muscle strength, and muscle endurance in patients with osteoarthritis.

After 40 years of age, the body’s cells are typically less able to produce antioxidants and soak up free radicals making them more susceptible to damage and death. In addition, CoQ10 synthesis may decline due to the aging process, stress, chronic disease, or increased demand.

This is believed to be the first study to investigate the association between CoQ10 status, muscle mass, strength, and endurance in patients with osteoarthritis. Both individuals with osteoarthritis and elderly patients have a CoQ10 deficiency. These patients should consider CoQ10 supplementation to increase their antioxidant capacity and to improve muscle function.

Geranylgeraniol (GG) is also an endogenous compound naturally found in foods that plays an important role in biological processes. GG is a precursor to the synthesis of CoQ10. Since GG is part of the structure of CoQ10, having low CoQ10 levels is also a marker of low GG status. Supplementation with GG may overcome the limitations of supplementing with CoQ10 alone, as GG is a much smaller molecule that is well absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract.

Other dietary supplements that have been shown to be effective for promoting healthy aging include tocotrienols, fish oil, and high-dose probiotics.

By Michael Jurgelewicz, DC, DACBN, DCBCN, CNS

Source: Chang P-S, Yen C-H, Huang Y-Y, Chiu C-J, Lin P-T. Associations between Coenzyme Q10 Status, Oxidative Stress, and Muscle Strength and Endurance in Patients with Osteoarthritis. Antioxidants. 2020;9(12):1275.