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Improved Q10 analogue MitoQ rejuvenates old blood vessels in human study

If people with stiff and worn blood vessels use 20 milligrams of the Q10 variant MitoQ every day, their blood vessels appear to rejuvenate. The supplementation makes the blood vessels become smoother, and also reduces the cardiovascular damage that the 'bad cholesterol' LDL can cause. This is evident from a small human study that American researchers will soon publish in Hypertension.

MitoQ is also called mitoquinol or mitochondrial matrix-targeted ubiquinol. MitoQ is a variant of Q10 that is better absorbed by cells by the presence of a tetraphenylphosphonium group [on the right in the structural formula below]. This tetraphenylphosphonium group enhances the ability of the molecule to penetrate the membranes of cells and the mitochondria.

Improved Q10 analogue MitoQ rejuvenates old blood vessels in human study

In healthy cells Q10 is mainly found in the membranes of the mitochondria. There the Q10 molecule capture electrons that are released during the conversion of nutrients into energy, and ensures that energy production can continue. Aging and physiological stress reduce the concentration of Q10 molecules, and therefore some researchers suspect that supplementation with Q10 may slow down the aging process.

In in vitro studies, MitoQ extends the life span of cells. [Aging Cell. 2003 Apr;2(2):141-3.] According to animal studies, MitoQ may protect against Alzheimer's disease [J Neurosci. 2011 Nov 2;31(44):15703-15.] [Free Radic Biol Med. 2014 Jun;71:390-401.], liver fibrosis [Int J Physiol Pathophysiol Pharmacol. 2016 Apr 25;8(1):14-27.], muscle damage by type-2 diabetes [Br J Nutr. 2016 Apr 14;115(7):1155-66.], anxiety [Neuropsychopharmacology. 2016 Jun;41(7):1751-8.] and heart failure [Free Radic Biol Med. 2018 Mar;117:18-29.].

Improved Q10 analogue MitoQ rejuvenates old blood vessels in human study

Human research into the effects of MitoQ is not yet as much. The study on which this message goes is, as far as we know, the first. It is partly funded by the New Zealand MitoQ Limited [], but the American government was the main sponsor.

In animal studies, supplementation with MitoQ rejuvenates the arteries. [J Appl Physiol (1985). 2017 Oct 26:jap006702017.] Blood vessels become stiffer due to aging, but supplementation with MitoQ reverses that process. American physiologists at the University of Colorado Boulder wondered whether MitoQ has the same effect in humans.

The researchers divided 20 subjects aged 60-79 years with stiffened blood vessels into 2 groups. For 6 weeks they gave one group 20 milligrams of MitoQ every day - if you want to know exactly: the researchers use mitoquinol mesylate - and gave the other group a placebo.

In the subjects who used MitoQ, the brachial artery flow-mediated dilation [BAFMD] was significantly increased after 6 weeks. This had not happened in the placebo group. The brachial artery flow-mediated dilation is a measure of the vitality and suppleness of the blood vessels.

Improved Q10 analogue MitoQ rejuvenates old blood vessels in human study

Improved Q10 analogue MitoQ rejuvenates old blood vessels in human study

At the same time, supplementation with MitoQ had reduced the oxidation of the 'bad cholesterol' LDL. Especially in its oxidized form is LDL dangerous for the blood vessels.

"Here, we demonstrate for the first time that supplementation with the mitochondria-targeted antioxidant MitoQ is safe and well tolerated in late middle-aged and older adults, improves vascular endothelial function (likely by suppressing excess excess mitochondrial reactive oxygen species), reduces aortic stiffness in middle-aged and older adults with elevated initial levels, and decreases oxidized LDL, a circulating marker of oxidative stress", write the researchers.

"Collectively, these findings establish the experimental basis for conducting a larger scale clinical trial in older adults or clinical populations, particularly those associated with endothelial dysfunction and elevated aortic stiffness."

"In the broadest terms, our results provide initial support for the idea that MitoQ, and potentially other mitochondria-targeted antioxidants, may be an effective treatment for improving vascular function and possibly decreasing the risk of cardiovascular diseases and other clinical disorders of aging, including cognitive dysfunction and chronic kidney disease."

Hypertension. 2018;71:00-00.

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