Coenzyme Q10 supplementation ameliorates inflammatory signaling and oxidative stress associated with strenuous exercise



Exhausting exercise induces muscle damage associated with high production of free radicals and pro-inflammatory mediators.


The objective of this study was to determine for the first time and simultaneously whether oral coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) supplementation can prevent over-expression of inflammatory mediators and oxidative stress associated with strenuous exercise.


The participants were classified in two groups: CoQ10 group (CG) and placebo group (PG). The physical test consisted in a constant run (50 km) that combined several degrees of high effort (mountain run and ultra-endurance), in permanent climbing.


Exercise was associated with an increase in TNF-α, IL-6, 8-hydroxy-2′-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG), and isoprostane levels, revealing the degree of inflammation and oxidative stress induced. Oral supplementation of CoQ10 during exercise was efficient reducing oxidative stress (decreased membrane hydroperoxides, 8-OHdG and isoprostanes generation, increased catalase, and total antioxidant status), which would lead to the maintenance of the cell integrity. Data obtained also indicate that CoQ10 prevents over-expression of TNF-α after exercise, together with an increase in sTNF-RII that limits the pro-inflammatory actions of TNF. Moreover, CoQ10 supplementation reduced creatinine production.


CoQ10 supplementation before strenuous exercise decreases the oxidative stress and modulates the inflammatory signaling, reducing the subsequent muscle damage.

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The authors are grateful to the University of Granada for the personal support of J. Díaz-Castro.

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The authors have declared that no conflict of interest exists.

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Correspondence to Julio J. Ochoa.

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Díaz-Castro, J., Guisado, R., Kajarabille, N. et al. Coenzyme Q10 supplementation ameliorates inflammatory signaling and oxidative stress associated with strenuous exercise. Eur J Nutr 51, 791–799 (2012).

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  • High-intensity (strenuous) exercise
  • Coenzyme Q10
  • Oxidative damage
  • Inflammation