Thursday, February 21, 2008

CoQ10 - A supplement that works?

If you have read previous posts (for example "Post Workout drinks are a waste of money") you may have picked up the idea that I think supplements are - by and large - a waste of money. Desperate athletes try anything to improve their performance but their purchases are often driven more by marketing than by any scientific research. This is something pointed out in the Intermittent Fasting book Eat Stop Eat.

However that isn't to say that all supplements are useless. For example I keep hearing positive things about CoQ10. Here is another study on this:

Reducing exercise-induced muscular injury in kendo athletes with supplementation of coenzyme Q10.

Intensive physical exercise may cause muscular injury and increase oxidative stress. The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of an antioxidant, coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), on muscular injury and oxidative stress during exercise training. Eighteen male students, all elite Japanese kendo athletes, were randomly assigned to either a CoQ10 group (n 10) or a placebo group (n 8) in a double-blind manner. Subjects in the CoQ10 group took 300 mg CoQ10 per d for 20 d, while subjects in the placebo group took the same dosage of a placebo. All subjects practised kendo 5.5 h per d for 6 d during the experimental period. Blood samples were taken 2 weeks before, during (1 d, 3 d, 5 d) and 1 week after the training. Serum creatine kinase (CK) activity and myoglobin (Mb) concentration significantly increased in both groups (at 3 d and 5 d). Serum CK (at 3 d), Mb (at 3 d) and lipid peroxide (at 3 d and 5 d) of the CoQ10 group were lower than those of the placebo group. The leucocyte counts in the placebo group significantly increased (at 3 d) and neutrophils significantly increased in both groups (at 3 d and 5 d). Serum scavenging activity against superoxide anion did not change in either group. These results indicate that CoQ10 supplementation reduced exercise-induced muscular injury in athletes.

3 comments:

MikeMartial said...

Chris,

Great blog and I love the research you post up; in the case of this study, though, wouldn't you say it has the same outcome as the antioxidants reducing exercise adaptation? (From Jan 25th) In light of your Jan 25th post, reducing exercise induced oxidation may not be in an athletes best interest---and I'd assume this would be the same for CoQ10

Chris said...

Sorry - I don't know!

I thought of the 25 Jan post when I was reading this, but maybe coQ10 operates over different pathways or something....

There is another post above about vitamin E supplements posing a possible health risk.....

MikeMartial said...

There's no question it's a tough call to make as an athlete; we all know anti-oxidants have been proven in the arena of free radical reduction, and that crosses over into disease prevention. But do we draw the line at supplementation? Or is it a case of timing, much like nutrient macro timing pre and post workout? I don't know the answer, either. All I know is I now look at my containers of vitamin C and E with skepticism now. :)