Mizuno M, Quistorff B, Theorell H, Theorell M, Chance B  Mol Aspects Med  1997;18 Suppl:S291-8

Department of Medical Biochemistry and Genetics, Panum Institute, University of Copenhagen, Denmark.

The effects of oral supplementation of 100 mg coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) for 6 months on muscle energy metabolism during exercise and recovery were evaluated in middle-aged post-polio (n = 3) and healthy subjects (n = 4) by the use of phosphorus-31 nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. The metabolic response to isometric plantar flexion at 60% of maximal voluntary contraction force (MVC) for 1.5 min was determined in gastrocnemius muscles before, after 3- (3MO) and 6-month (6MO) of CoQ10 supplementation. The MVC of plantar flexion was unchanged following CoQ10 supplementation. The resting Pi/PCr ratio in gastrocnemius muscles of all subjects decreased after 3MO- and 6MO-CoQ10 (P < 0.05). The post-polio individuals showed a progressive decrease in this ratio, while less pronounced changes were observed in the control subjects. Similarly, the post-polio individuals showed a lower Pi/PCr ratio at the end of 60% MVC in both 3MO- and 6MO-CoQ10, whereas no change in the ratio was observed in the control subjects. A less pronounced decrease in muscle pH was observed at the end of 60% MVC in both 3MO- and 6MO-CoQ10 in the post-polio individuals, but not in the control subjects. No systematic difference in end-exercise ATP was observed between the three phases in both groups. The half-time of recovery for PCr decreased in all subjects after 6MO-CoQ10 supplementation (P < 0.05). The results suggest that CoQ10 supplementation affects muscle energy metabolism in post-polio individuals to a greater extent than in control subjects. The mechanism for this effect is not clear, but may involve an effect of CoQ10 on peripheral circulation in the calf muscles, its action in mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation and/or its antioxidant potential.

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