eISSN: 1896-9151
ISSN: 1734-1922
Archives of Medical Science
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vol. 12
Clinical research

Smoking habits and coenzyme Q10 status in healthy European adults

Petra Niklowitz
Alexandra Fischer
Simone Onur
Michael Paulussen
Thomas Menke
Frank Döring

Arch Med Sci 2016; 12, 4: 715–720
Online publish date: 2016/07/01
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Introduction: Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is a lipophilic endogenously synthesised antioxidant that is present in nearly all human tissues and plays an important role in mitochondrial energy production. It has been postulated that smoking has a consumptive effect on CoQ10.

Material and methods: To further define the relation between smoking and the serum CoQ10 status, 276 healthy volunteers aged 19 to 62 years were grouped into non-smokers (n = 113; 77 male, 36 female) and smokers (n = 163; 102 male, 61 female). Serum lipid profile was analysed by standard clinical chemistry. Coenzyme Q10 concentration and redox status were analysed by high-pressure liquid chromatography with electrochemical detection.

Results: Male smokers showed higher serum CoQ10 levels than female smokers. This sex-related difference was accounted for when CoQ10 was related to low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol as the main carrier of CoQ10 in the circulation. Neither LDL-adjusted CoQ10 concentration nor redox status significantly differed when smokers and non-smokers were compared. Regarding the smoking history, the number of cigarettes consumed per day did not significantly affect the CoQ10 status. Interestingly, with increasing time of smoking habit we observed increasing levels of LDL-adjusted serum CoQ10 concentration (Spearman’s p < 0.002) and of the reduced form of CoQ10 (Spearman’s p < 0.0001).

Conclusions: As an adaptive response to oxidative stress in long-term smokers an increased demand for antioxidant capacity may be covered by increasing levels of LDL-adjusted CoQ10 serum concentrations and by a concomitantly increased availability of the reduced, active form of CoQ10, possibly by induction of enzymes that are involved in converting CoQ10ox to CoQ10red.

cigarette smoking, coenzyme Q10, ubiquinol, oxidative stress

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