Ubiquinone supplementation and exercise capacity in trained young and older men

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Abstract

It has been suggested that ubiquinone improves exercise performance and antioxidant capacity. We studied the effects of ubiquinone supplementation (120 mg · day−1 for 6 weeks) on aerobic capacity and lipid peroxidation during exercise in 11 young (aged 22–38 years) and 8 older (aged 60–74 years), trained men. The cross-over study was double-blind and placebo-controlled. Serum ubiquinone concentration increased after supplementation (P < 0.0001 for treatment) in both age groups. The maximal oxygen uptake ( $\dot VO_{2\max } $ ) was measured using a direct incremental ergometer test. In the young subjects, the $\dot VO_{2\max } $ after placebo and ubiquinone treatment was 58.5 (95% confidence interval: 53.0–64.0) and 59.0 ml · min−1 · kg−1 (52.2–66.8), respectively. The corresponding results in the older subjects were: 37.2 (31.7–42.7) and 33.7 ml · min−1 · kg−1 (26.2–41.7) (P < 0.0001 for age group,P > 0.05 for treatment). In a prolonged test (60-min submaximal, then incremental load until exhaustion) time to exhaustion was longer after the placebo [young men: 85.7 (82.4–89.0), older men: 82.9 min (75.8–89.9)] than after ubiquinone [young men: 82.1 (78.5–85.8), older men: 77.2 min (70.1–83.7);P = 0.0003 for treatment]. Neither ubiquinone supplementation nor exercise affected serum malondialdehyde concentration. Oral ubiquinone was ineffective as an ergogenic aid in both the young and older, trained men.