After taking a capsule containing 30 mg of the co-enzyme Q10 [structure shown below] your body spontaneously burns more fat. At least, if you combine it with light exercise. This is the conclusion of a human study carried out at the Kyoto University in Japan, and published in the summer of 2008 in the Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology.
The co-enzyme Q10 is a molecular thumb tack. The cell uses it to puncture the membranes of organelles that generate energy. The molecule absorbs the electrons that are released, and then transfers them to other molecules. In this way Q10 protects cell structures and enables energy to be generated.
Until now researchers have concentrated on the effect of Q10 in people with cellular metabolic disorders. The Japanese researchers did their experiment on male students to see whether Q10 also affects the metabolism of healthy people.
The Japanese gave their subjects a capsule containing 30 mg of Q10 and measured their energy burning at rest. Then they got the subjects to cycle at 30 percent of their VO2max. That’s like recreational pedalling. Compared to the control group – which had been given a placebo – the test subjects burned more fat during the physical exercise. The figure below shows this.
The black bars represent the Q10 group; the white bars the control group. Rest 1 = before administration; Rest 2 = half an hour after intake; Rest 3 = one hour after intake. Fat burning only increases significantly during the exercise, one hour after intake.
The Japanese also measured the activity of the autonomic central nervous system. This increased in the supplement takers. The researchers therefore suspect that Q10 raises fat burning through a mechanism involving the nervous system.
Other studies have also examined the effect of Q10 on fat burning, but found no effect. The Japanese researchers say that is because the studies only looked at the effects on people at rest or on athletes who did high-intensity exercise. It looks like Q10 only has an effect with light exercise.
Influence of CoQ10 on autonomic nervous activity and energy metabolism during exercise in healthy subjects.
CoQ10 has come to be widely used as a dietary supplement, and daily intake of it has increased in recent years. CoQ10 is produced in all living organisms and is an essential coenzyme for energy synthesis in the mitochondria and an important scavenger of reactive oxygen species.
This is a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled experiment to examine the acute effects of a single dose of CoQ10 on the autonomic nervous system (ANS) by using power spectral analysis of HRV and energy metabolism at rest and during low intensity exercise in healthy subjects. Eleven nonsmoking healthy male students (age: 26+/-1 y) volunteered to participate in this experiment. CM5 lead ECG and gas exchange parameters were recorded 5 min before, and 30 min and 60 min after the oral administration of CoQ10 or a placebo. Following this, the subjects exercised using a stationary cycle ergometer for 10 min at 60 rpm with an intensity of 30% of heart rate reserve. During the exercise, the ECG and gas exchange parameters were recorded continuously.
There were no significant differences in heart rate between the CoQ10 and placebo trials at rest or during exercise. With regard to the integrated values of the spectrum, there were no significant differences in the HF power representing parasympathetic activity or LF power representing both sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous activities between the trials at any timepoint. However, during the exercise, HF power and LF power in the CoQ10 trial showed a tendency to increase compared with the placebo trial (p<0.1). Total power representing the over-all ANS activity was significantly increased in the CoQ10 trial during exercise, which implied that autonomic nervous activity was augmented by CoQ10 (p<0.05). CoQ10 also induced enhanced lipid oxidation as shown by the significantly lower respiratory gas exchange ratio (R) and increased fat oxidation during exercise. The results shed some light upon the relationship between the autonomic nervous activity and energy metabolism.
These results suggested that CoQ10 may increase fat oxidation with augmented autonomic nervous activity during low intensity exercise.
PMID: 18797149 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]