How Does Mitochondrial Health Affect the Lungs?

How Does Mitochondrial Health Affect the Lungs?

Aug 2021
Recent Article

In nearly every type of human cell, Mitochondria is vital to our survival. Functionally, nearly every cell in the lungs depend on mitochondrial metabolic activities: from nutrient and oxygen sensing, the aerobic production of ATP, to the regulation of critical cellular processes, including cell death and inflammation – the lungs are dependent on mitochondrial mechanisms and energy to work effectively[1].

Mitochondria dysfunction is a hallmark of aging[2]. As we age, mitochondria lose its ability to provide cellular energy and release reactive oxygen species that harm cells[3]. Research has found that mitochondrial dysfunction has been observed in cells of the lung, rapidly advancing as a key pathological feature that appears consistently in the development of lung disease and respiratory conditions[4].

What can we do to take care of our lungs?

With chronic lung and respiratory conditions affecting almost one-third (31%) of Australians[5]. it is important to understand the role that the mitochondria plays in lung cells as they are composed of over forty different cell types[6]. Mitochondria regulate lung defence mechanisms like  mucociliary function, mucus secretion and the biological aging in airway epithelial lung cells[7]. 

Taking a supplement that supports mitochondrial performance can potentially help maintain energy levels, cell metabolism, and healthy aging. 

CoQ10 is abundant in our lungs and is essential for the health of virtually all tissues and organs in our bodies[8]. As we age, the body’s natural levels of CoQ10 declines, becoming more susceptible to mitochondrial dysfunction. Ubiquinol, as an active form of CoQ10, is the primary antioxidant that helps to protect and support our mitochondria[9]. Used as a supplement, it can replenish the body’s natural supplies. Its active form also means that it does not have to be converted by the body to be assimilated, delivering effect support quickly[10].

Seek advice from a healthcare practitioner to determine if supplementation is right for you. Always read the label.

[1] Cloonan S.M., Choi A.M. 2020 ‘Mitochondria in lung disease’. J Clin Invest 126(3), 809-820. doi:10.1172/JCI81113

[2] Cloonan, S. M., Kim, K., Esteves, P., Trian, T. & Barnes, P. J. 2020. ‘Mitochondrial dysfunction in lung ageing and disease’. European Respiratory Review, 29, 200165.

[3] Lesnefsky, E. J., & Hoppel, C. L. 2006. ‘Oxidative phosphorylation and aging’. Ageing research reviews, 5(4), 402-433.

[4] Cloonan, S. M., Kim, K., Esteves, P., Trian, T. & Barnes, P. J. 2020. ‘Mitochondrial dysfunction in lung ageing and disease’. European Respiratory Review, 29, 200165.

[5] ABS  2018. National Health Survey: first results, 2017–18. ABS cat. no. 4364.0.55.001. Canberra: ABS.

[6] Cloonan, S. M., & Choi, A. M. (2016). Mitochondria in lung disease. The Journal of clinical investigation, 126(3), 809–820.

[7] Suzanne M. Cloonan, Kihwan Kim, Pauline Esteves, Thomas Trian, Peter J. Barnes, European Respiratory Review Sep 2020, 29 (157) 200165; DOI: 10.1183/16000617.0165-2020

[8] Saini R. 2011 ‘Coenzyme Q10: The essential nutrient’. J Pharm Bioallied Sci. 3(3), 466-467. doi:10.4103/0975-7406.84471

[9] MitoQ 2018, Why CoQ10 Is Crucial to Mitochondria And Overall Health Benefits. Available at: (Accessed: 28 July 2021).

[10] Nutraceutical Business Review 2017, Supporting mitochondrial functions with ubiquinol. Available at: (Accessed: 28 July 2021).

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