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Coenzyme Q10 May Support Mood

The antioxidant coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) may possess antidepressant properties, according to a new study published in January 2013. Research has shown that depression is associated with oxidative stress pathways and reduced antioxidant status.

Using an experimental model of depression, researchers evaluated the impact of CoQ10 administration on depressive-like behavior, oxidative stress and DNA damage. Depression was induced using chronic restraint stress in rats. The rats were administered 25, 50, 100 or 150 mg/kg/day CoQ10 for three weeks. The scientists assessed the rats’ behavior, changes in body weight, and corticosterone level. The investigators evaluated oxidative stress by measuring hippocampal catalase, glutathione peroxidase, reduced glutathione, hippocampal malondialdehyde and nitric oxide and 8-hydroxy-2′-deoxyguanosine levels.

The researchers found that CoQ10 administration moderated changes in behavior during forced swimming and open field tests, elevated corticosterone level and body weight loss seen with chronic restraint stress, suggesting an antidepressant effect. Additionally, CoQ10 administration restored the antioxidant enzymes in the hippocampus (the area of the brain responsible for mood) including catalase, glutathione peroxidase and reduced glutathione and decreased markers of oxidative stress including hippocampal malondialdehyde, nitric oxide and 8-hydroxy-2′-deoxyguanosine levels. This indicates that CoQ10 exhibits potential protection against oxidative stress and DNA damage.

The researchers concluded, “CoQ10 possesses antidepressant activity and can protect against chronic restraint stress-induced hippocampal DNA damage…. Therefore, CoQ10 may have a potential therapeutic value for the management of depressive disorders. However, further research is still required to characterize the mechanism of the antidepressant effect of CoQ10 and extend these results before the safe application in humans.”


Aboul-Fotouh S. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2013 Jan 11. [Epub ahead of print.]


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