CoQ10, the Mediterranean diet and ageing

CoQ10, the Mediterranean diet and ageing

Mar 2017
Recent Article

CoQ10 and its more bioavailable form, Ubiquinol, are already widely known as antioxidants – substances that help fight cell damage. Since damaged cells lead to ageing, it begs the question: can CoQ10 and Ubiquinol help slow the ageing process?

Gene Bruno (MS, MHS), the Dean of Academics for Huntington College of Health Sciences in Knoxville, Tennessee, addressed this question in an article[1] he recently authored about the benefits of CoQ10 taken in conjunction with a Mediterranean diet – a diet that has long been known for its ability to reduce disease-causing inflammation. Here is an excerpt…

A study[2] in 2012 found that CoQ10 supplementation in combination with the Mediterranean diet in an elderly population reduces the inflammatory response and stress to those parts of the cell responsible for manufacturing proteins—which is important to help prevent ageing-related disease.[3]

The question is, would CoQ10 and the Mediterranean diet also help reduce DNA damage, which would be a boon to the ageing population? This was explored in more recent research.

In July of 2014, a new study[4] was published in which 20 participants were randomly assigned to one of three groups for four weeks: 1) a Mediterranean diet supplemented with coenzyme Q10, 2) a Mediterranean diet alone, and 3) a saturated fatty acid-rich diet. Volunteers were then tested to determine if certain genes expressed themselves (the process by which information from a gene is used in the synthesis of a protein or RNA), which in this case would be an indicator of DNA damage.

The results showed that those in the Mediterranean diet group, and especially those in the Mediterranean diet supplemented with Coenzyme Q10 group, experienced a reduction in the expression of the genes associated with increased DNA damage. The research concluded that these results indicated a triggering of DNA repair machinery.

This study supports the fact that appropriate uptake of CoQ10 into cells is crucial for the improvement of cell activity during ageing and may in fact help slow the down the ageing process. Alongside the healthy, anti-inflammatory Mediterranean diet, maintaining CoQ10 or Ubiquinol levels either through diet or supplementation, or by improving the body’s ability to produce this powerful antioxidant, may be a key strategy to enhance health during ageing.   

[1] Nutrition Express. 2015. Recent research on CoQ10 and reduced sperm motility, fibromyalgia, aging and autism. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 10 March 2017].
[2] Yubero-Serrano EM, Gonzalez-Guardia L, RangelZuñiga O, et al. Mediterranean diet supplemented with coenzyme Q10 modifies the expression of proinflammatory and endoplasmic reticulum stress-related genes in elderly men and women. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2012 Jan;67(1):3-10.
[3] Yoshida H. ER stress and diseases. FEBS J. 2007 Feb;274(3):630-58
[4] Gutierrez-Mariscal FM, Yubero-Serrano EM, RangelZúñiga OA, et al. Postprandial activation of p53-dependent DNA repair is modified by Mediterranean diet supplemented with coenzyme Q10 in elderly subjects. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2014 Jul;69(7):886-93

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