Skip to main content

Effects of coenzymeQ10 administration on pulmonary function and exercise performance in patients with chronic lung diseases


Serum coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) levels were measured at rest and during incremental exercise in 21 patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and 9 patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). The mean serum CoQ10 levels at rest in patients with COPD and IPF were 0.56 ± 0.20 and 0.45 ± 0.16 μg/ml, respectively. In both groups these levels were decreased compared with those of healthy subjects. In the patients with COPD, CoQ10 levels were significantly correlated with body weight, however, there was no correlation between CoQ10 levels and ventilatory function, PaO2, VO2/kg at rest, or maximal VO2. In eight of nine patients whose PaO2 at rest was lower than 75 torr, serum CoQ10 levels were lower than 0.5 μg/ml. We studied the effects of the oral administration of CoQ10 at 90 mg/day for 8 weeks on pulmonary function and exercise performance in eight patients with COPD. Serum CoQ10 levels were significantly elevated in association with an improvement in hypoxemia at rest, whereas pulmonary function was unaltered. Oxygen consumption during exercise was not changed, whereas PaO2 was significantly improved, and heart rate was significantly decreased compared with the results obtained at an identical workload at baseline. Furthermore, lactate production was suppressed during the anaerobic exercise stage after CoQ10 administration, and exercise performance tended to increase. These data suggested that CoQ10 has favorable effects on musclar energy metabolism in patients with chronic lung diseases who have hypoxemia at rest and/or during exercise.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.



chronic obstructive pulmonary disease


idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis


  1. 1.

    Abe K, Ishibashi K, Ohmae M, Kawabe K, Katui G (1978) Determination of ubiquinone in serum and liver by high-speed liquid chromatography. J Nutr Sci Vitaminol 24:555–567

    Google Scholar 

  2. 2.

    Baum SR, Keim NL, Dixon RM, Clagnas P, Andereg A, Shrago ES (1986) The prevalence and determinants of nutritional changes in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Chest 86:558–563

    Google Scholar 

  3. 3.

    Cohen CA, Zagelbaum CMG, Gross D, Macklem PT (1982) Clinical manifestation of inspiratory muscle fatigue. Am J Med 73:308–316

    Google Scholar 

  4. 4.

    Costa LE, Mirande IM, Taquini AC(1974) Effect of chronic hypobaric hypoxia on ubiquinone levels in heart muscle. Acta Physiol Latino americana 24:631–637

    Google Scholar 

  5. 5.

    Criner GJ, Celli BR (1987) Ventilatory muscle recruitment in exercise with O2 in obstructed patients with mild hypoxemia. J Appl Physiol 63:195–200

    Google Scholar 

  6. 6.

    Downing SE, Mitchell JH, Wallance AG (1963) Cardiovascular responses to ischemia, hypoxia and hypercapnea of the central nervous system. Am J Physiol 204:881

    Google Scholar 

  7. 7.

    Folkers K, Littarru GP, Ho L, Runge TH, Havanonda S, Cooley D (1970) Evidence for a deficiency of coenzymeQ-10 in human heart disease. Int J Vitam Res 40:380–390

    Google Scholar 

  8. 8.

    Folkers K, Watanabe T, Kaji M (1977) Critique of coenzyme Q in biochemical and biomedical research and in 10 years of clinical research on cardiovascular disease. J Mol Med 2:431–460

    Google Scholar 

  9. 9.

    Gandevia SC, Killian KJ, Cambell EJM (1981) The effects of respiratory muscle fatigue on respiratory sensations. Clin Sci 60:463–466

    Google Scholar 

  10. 10.

    Jones NL, Campbell EJM (1982) Clinical exercise testing. 2nd edn, Saunders, Philadelphia, pp 80–82

    Google Scholar 

  11. 11.

    Kilmartin JV, Rossi-Bernardi L (1973) Interactionof hemoglobin with hydrogen ions, carbon dioxide and organic phosphates. Physiol Rev 53:836

    Google Scholar 

  12. 12.

    Kishi T, Okamoto T, Kanamori N, Yamagami T, Kishi H, Okada A, Folkers K (1981) Estimation of plasma levels of coenzymeQ-10, and relationship to oral dosage. In: Folkers K, Yamamura Y (eds) Biochemical and clinical aspects of coenzymeQ-10, Vol 3. Elsevier, Amsterdam, pp 67–78

    Google Scholar 

  13. 13.

    Kurihara N, Fujimoto S, Terakawa K, Yamamoto M, Takeda T (1987) Prediction of PaO2 during treadmill walking in patients with COPD. Chest 91:328–332

    Google Scholar 

  14. 14.

    Kurihara N, Fujimoto S, Terakawa K, Ohta K, Hirata K, Nakamo Y, Nakano N, Matushita H, Fujiwara H, Adachi N, Takeda T (1990) Exercise performance and limiting factors in patients with chronic lung diseases. Osaka City Med J 36:129–139

    Google Scholar 

  15. 15.

    Lange-Anderson K, Shephard R, Denoline H, Varnauskas E, Masironi R (1971) Fundamentals of exercise testing. World Health Organization, Geneva

    Google Scholar 

  16. 16.

    Okuyama T (1983) Ubiquinone 10 contents in serum and liver of patients with liver diseases. Osaka City Med J 32:243–254 (in Japanese)

    Google Scholar 

  17. 17.

    Ogura F, Morii H, Ohno M, Ueno T, Kitabatake S, Hamada N, Ito K (1980) Serum coenzymeQ-10 levels in thyroid disorders. Horm Metab Res 12:537–540

    Google Scholar 

  18. 18.

    Sawa H, Takezawa H (1981) Influence of cellular metabolism on coenzymeQ-10. In: Yamamura Y, Kimura E (eds) CoenzymeQ-10 Report. Eisai Medical View Tokyo (in Japanese)

    Google Scholar 

  19. 19.

    Scano G, Van Meerhaeghe A, Willeput R, Vachaudes JP, Sergysels R (1982) Effect of oxygen on breathing during exercise in patients with chronic obstructive lung disease. Eur J Respir Dis 63:23

    Google Scholar 

  20. 20.

    Spiro SG, Dowdeswell RG, Clark TJH (1981) An analysis of submaximal exercise responses in patients with sarcoidosis and fibrosing alveolitis. Br J Dis Chest 75:169–180

    Google Scholar 

  21. 21.

    Vandenburg E, Woestigne V, Gyselen A (1967) Weight changes in the terminal stages of chronic obstructive lung diseases. Am Rev Respir Dis 96:556

    Google Scholar 

  22. 22.

    Yamamura Y (1985) A survey of the therapeutic uses of coenzymeQ-10. In: Lenaz G (ed) CoenzymeQ biochemistry, bioenergetics and clinical applications of ubiquinone. Wiley, New York, pp 479–505

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information



Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Fujimoto, S., Kurihara, N., Hirata, K. et al. Effects of coenzymeQ10 administration on pulmonary function and exercise performance in patients with chronic lung diseases. Clin Investig 71, S162–S166 (1993).

Download citation

Key words

  • CoenzymeQ10
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Hypoxemia
  • Exercise performance
  • Blood lactate