, Volume 34, Issue 2, pp 389–403 | Cite as

Mediterranean diet supplemented with coenzyme Q10 induces postprandial changes in p53 in response to oxidative DNA damage in elderly subjects

  • Francisco M. Gutierrez-Mariscal
  • Pablo Perez-Martinez
  • Javier Delgado-Lista
  • Elena M. Yubero-Serrano
  • Antonio Camargo
  • Nieves Delgado-Casado
  • Cristina Cruz-Teno
  • Monica Santos-Gonzalez
  • Fernando Rodriguez-Cantalejo
  • Justo P. Castaño
  • Jose M. Villalba-Montoro
  • Francisco Fuentes
  • Francisco Perez-Jimenez
  • Jose Lopez-MirandaEmail author


Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ) is a powerful antioxidant that reduces oxidative stress. We explored whether the quality of dietary fat alters postprandial oxidative DNA damage and whether supplementation with CoQ improves antioxidant capacity by modifying the activation/stabilization of p53 in elderly subjects. In this crossover study, 20 subjects were randomly assigned to receive three isocaloric diets during 4 weeks each: (1) Mediterranean diet (Med diet), (2) Mediterranean diet supplemented with CoQ (Med+CoQ diet), and (3) saturated fatty acid-rich diet (SFA diet). Levels of mRNAs were determined for p53, p21, p53R2, and mdm2. Protein levels of p53, phosphorylated p53 (Ser20), and monoubiquitinated p53 were also measured, both in cytoplasm and nucleus. The extent of DNA damage was measured as plasma 8-OHdG. SFA diet displayed higher postprandial 8-OHdG concentrations, p53 mRNA and monoubiquitinated p53, and lower postprandial Mdm2 mRNA levels compared with Med and Med+CoQ diets (p < 0.05). Moreover, Med+CoQ diet induced a postprandial decrease of cytoplasmatic p53, nuclear p-p53 (Ser20), and nuclear and cytoplasmatic monoubiquitinated p53 protein (p < 0.05). In conclusion, Med+CoQ diet improves oxidative DNA damage in elderly subjects and reduces processes of cellular oxidation. Our results suggest a starting point for the prevention of oxidative processes associated with aging.


Aging Coenzyme Q10 p53 Oxidative stress DNA damage 





Body mass index


Coenzyme Q10


HDL cholesterol


Low-density lipoprotein

Med diet

Mediterranean diet

Med+CoQ diet

Mediterranean diet supplemented with CoQ


Monounsaturated fatty acid


Polyunsaturated fatty acid


Reactive oxygen species


Saturated fatty acid

SFA diet

Saturated fatty acid-rich diet



Source of support

This study was supported in part by research grants from the Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación (AGL 2004-07907, AGL2006-01979, AGL2009-12270 to JL-M; CB06/03/0047-CIBER Fisiopatologia de la Obesidad y Nutrition is an initiative of ISCIII to FP-J), Consejería de Innovación, Ciencia y Empresa, Junta de Andalucía (P06-CTS-01425 to JL-M), Consejería de Salud, Junta de Andalucía (06/128, 07/43, PI0193/2009 to JL-M, 06/129 to FP-J), and Kaneka Corporation (Japan) for the production of CoQ and placebo capsules.


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Copyright information

© American Aging Association 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Francisco M. Gutierrez-Mariscal
    • 1
  • Pablo Perez-Martinez
    • 1
  • Javier Delgado-Lista
    • 1
  • Elena M. Yubero-Serrano
    • 1
  • Antonio Camargo
    • 1
  • Nieves Delgado-Casado
    • 1
  • Cristina Cruz-Teno
    • 1
  • Monica Santos-Gonzalez
    • 4
  • Fernando Rodriguez-Cantalejo
    • 2
  • Justo P. Castaño
    • 3
  • Jose M. Villalba-Montoro
    • 4
  • Francisco Fuentes
    • 1
  • Francisco Perez-Jimenez
    • 1
  • Jose Lopez-Miranda
    • 1
    • 5
    Email author
  1. 1.Lipid and Atherosclerosis UnitIMIBIC/Reina Sofia University Hospital/University of Cordoba, and CIBER Fisiopatologia Obesidad y Nutricion (CIBEROBN), Instituto Salud Carlos IIICórdobaSpain
  2. 2.Clinical Analysis ServiceReina Sofia University HospitalCórdobaSpain
  3. 3.Department of Cell Biology, Physiology and ImmunologyIMIBIC/Reina Sofia University Hospital/University of Cordoba, and CIBER Fisiopatologia Obesidad y Nutricion (CIBEROBN), Instituto Salud Carlos IIICórdobaSpain
  4. 4.Department of Cell Biology, Physiology and ImmunologyUniversity of CordobaCórdobaSpain
  5. 5.Lipid and Atherosclerosis UnitReina Sofia University HospitalCórdobaSpain

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