Consuming Coenzyme Q10 (ubiquinone), a common dietary supplement, may not be very beneficial, new research suggests. Findings from this study are published in Nature Communications.

Cells use ubiquinone to produce energy from nutrients and oxygen. It has been recommended for various conditions and as an anti-aging supplement for its antioxidant properties.

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Researchers from McGill University’s Department of Biology created the first strain of mice where scientists were able to gradually decrease and then restore their ubiquinone levels. Loss of ubiquinone resulted in severe sickness and early death in the mice. However, the team did not find signs of elevated oxidative damage to cell membranes or DNA from free radicals. They concluded that the lack of damage did not come from other antioxidant strategies in the mice. The study data, however, did shed insight on the role of ubiquinone in energy production by the mitochondria.

The study authors plan to use findings from this study to discover new methods and treatment to boost ubiquinone levels or help residual levels to be effective in defective mitochondria.

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