Results from a Human Trial of Mitochondrially Targeted Antioxidant MitoQ

A range of mitochondrially targeted antioxidant compounds have been developed over the past decade or more: SkQ1, SS-31, and MitoQ, the subject of the trial here. The present consensus in the research community is that ordinary antioxidants are probably, on balance, somewhat harmful if used over the long term. They sabotage the oxidative signaling need for the beneficial response to exercise, for example. Mitochondrially targeted antioxidants, on the other hand, appear to modestly slow aging in a range of species, and have proven an effective treatment for some conditions characterized by inflammation and oxidative stress, meaning the excessive production of oxidative molecules and resultant damage to molecular machinery. It can be debated on a case by case basis as to the degree to which this is a compensatory treatment versus addressing a specific causative issue in any given condition.

Mitochondria in cells generate oxidative molecules in the course of producing chemical energy stores to power cellular processes. Moderately raised production can result in overall benefits, because cells react with increased housekeeping activities. Greatly increased production is harmful, however, and appears as aging progresses due to the accumulation of mitochondrial damage. It raises the level of oxidized lipids in the bloodstream, a contributing factor in atherosclerosis. It can cause cells to become dysfunctional, though the details are varied and tissue specific. It can spur chronic inflammation. In this trial, it is interesting to see confirmation of these various themes, with a focus on the vascular system in aging, though I think the pulse wave velocity data is mixed at best. The reduction in oxidized LDL cholesterol is more interesting, and more compelling when one considers that this outcome is the goal of statin drugs.

Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) remain the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in developed societies. Advancing age is the primary risk factor for CVD, which is largely mediated by adverse changes to arteries. Two features of vascular aging that are key antecedents to CVD are the development of endothelial dysfunction, as assessed by reduced endothelium-dependent dilation (EDD), and stiffening of the large elastic arteries. Vascular dysfunction with age is a consequence of excessive superoxide-related oxidative stress, much of which is of mitochondrial origin. Given the projected increase in CVD prevalence in the coming decades, driven mainly by increases in the number of middle-aged and older (MA/O) adults, identifying novel strategies that reduce excess mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (mtROS) to improve vascular function and reduce CVD risk in this population is a biomedical priority.

MitoQ is a mitochondria-targeted antioxidant consisting of the naturally occurring antioxidant ubiquinol attached to a lipophilic cation; the lipophilicity and positive charge of this compound enable it to cross cell membranes and accumulate in the matrix facing the surface of the mitochondrial inner membrane where it is optimally positioned to reduce mtROS. MitoQ is now available as a dietary supplement and recently was administered chronically (3 weeks) to healthy young adults without adverse effects. However, presently, the efficacy of chronic MitoQ supplementation for improving vascular function in healthy MA/O adults is unknown. Accordingly, we sought to translate our preclinical findings to humans by conducting the first randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial with MitoQ in healthy late MA/O humans.

MitoQ was well tolerated, and plasma MitoQ was higher after the treatment versus placebo period. Brachial artery flow-mediated dilation was 42% higher after MitoQ versus placebo; the improvement was associated with amelioration of mitochondrial reactive oxygen species-related suppression of endothelial function. Aortic stiffness (measured via carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity) was lower after MitoQ versus placebo in participants with elevated baseline levels. Plasma oxidized LDL (low-density lipoprotein), a marker of oxidative stress, also was lower after MitoQ versus placebo. These findings in humans extend earlier preclinical observations and suggest that MitoQ and other therapeutic strategies targeting mitochondrial reactive oxygen species may hold promise for treating age-related vascular dysfunction.



ive been using mitoq since 2015. great to read a human study. hope more robust studies are conducted in the coming years, at least its something for the time being

Posted by: scott emptage at April 20th, 2018 8:36 AM

And what I'd personal result? Are there any peer reviewer studies to support it?

Posted by: Cuberat at April 20th, 2018 9:56 AM

Hi Scott/Reason,

Is this something that you'd recommend supplementing? I try to avoid supplementing anything and just eat a clean diet plus plenty of exercise, but obviously I'll take something if it definitely confers benefit over the long run and has no side effects.

Posted by: DdR at April 20th, 2018 10:17 AM

Hmm, 20 participants in the trial don't make for robust results.

Posted by: DdR at April 20th, 2018 10:21 AM

@DdR yes but its up to you to research for yourself and not to take my word for it. i dont reccomend anything unless there is convincing enough data. it is in my opinion that mitoq is beneficial (especially for energy levels) and it has some good pre clinical data shwowing rejuvenated arteries in aged mice. i agree more better studies need to be done. i do use supplements but only ones that have good data behind it. my advice is to research for youreself and make your own mind up.

hope this helps

Posted by: scott emptage at April 20th, 2018 1:03 PM

I dont use any special supplement, except some really cheap ones

Like metformin before heavy carb meal, fish oil, ashwagandha, raw garlic, and multivitamin and ofcourse fasting with plenty of exercise. To me NAD is sham.

Posted by: salman at April 20th, 2018 10:53 PM

@salman: NAD in the form of NR has proven very beneficial in anti-aging in the latest research studies. Get up to speed with the research.

Posted by: Biotechy at April 21st, 2018 3:48 PM

@Biotechy ill second that

Posted by: scott emptage at April 21st, 2018 6:05 PM

I take both MitoQ and Niagen (NR).

Posted by: NY2LA at April 21st, 2018 10:41 PM

Me too plus I add pterostilbene

Posted by: Scott e at April 22nd, 2018 3:25 AM

Is MitoQ better than PQQ?
I was taking PQQ + CoQ10 for a while to good effect and I think the combination might be a bit cheaper than MitoQ.

Posted by: CD at April 22nd, 2018 10:17 AM

@salman " To me NAD is sham " ... yes, according to this blog/blogger or to sens/michaelrae ... but if you look at published research, such as:

"Impairment of an Endothelial NAD+-H2S Signaling Network Is a Reversible Cause of Vascular Aging"

maybe you realize that things are different in the real world.

Posted by: xyz at April 22nd, 2018 12:32 PM


I take CoQ10 and Selenium. I read in a study that it reduces heart attack by 50%.

Plus my other expensive urine (Sheldon's comment on Big Bang Theory), low dose aspirin, multi-vitamin, and fish oil.

Posted by: Robert at April 22nd, 2018 9:31 PM

I've read conflicting things about CoQ10 supplementation, so I'm having difficulty deciding if I want to go back to taking the PQQ + CoQ10 combination even though I felt really good on it and my nail beds were quite pink (I'd like to see nail bed color assessed as an aging biomarker; gum color might work, also).

Do be careful with selenium dosing; I o.d.'d a bit a while back when I was taking a multi that included Se along with eating brazil nuts (one a day) and wheat germ. Now I just eat a brazil nut most days. Using Cronometer alerted me to the problem, as well as to an issue with excess manganese intake (yerba mate has a lot of Mn). I try to get most of my micronutrients from food these days - which means lots of trips to Whole Foods - so you could say I have expensive urine as well as expensive muscle, skin, bones, etc. ;)

Posted by: CD at April 23rd, 2018 9:57 AM


Thanks for your thoughts/info. Whole Food, whole payments:) I go to Trader Joes, smaller but much cheaper (usually). Maybe Whole Foods is cheaper now that Amazon has it.

I dunno, it would be nice if we could have a definitive answer on what vitamins and/or supplements to take, maybe in the next decade or so.

Posted by: Robert at April 23rd, 2018 11:11 PM

Berberine is supposed to be a more natural substitute for Metformin.

Posted by: bob at April 24th, 2018 9:44 AM

Trader Joe's does have some good deals, especially on frozen wild blueberries and lentil pasta.

In ten years I'd like to see some effective gene therapies (by that I just mean single genes targeting limited cell types, anything more seems far longer to develop). At the same time I wish there were more studies on supplements/'nutraceuticals' and functional foods - and no, that doesn't mean less money for SENS. Research funding isn't a zero sum game. Consider what society spends money on - be it public or private spending - I can think of lots of spending categories where the funds would be better used to support scientific research in general.

Anyway, learning about functional foods, etc. is a fun hobby. This week I'm reading up on beta cryptoxanthin; it's really fascinating. I'm at the point where I'm trying to figure out the cheapest and easiest food source... looks like it might be Clementines.

Posted by: CD at April 24th, 2018 10:11 AM

Referenced study was done on live non-human tissue ex-vivo and gives no idea of dosage or dose equivalence. Meaningless.

Posted by: Murray Duffin at February 20th, 2019 2:48 PM

What is the best MitoQ supplement on the market?

Posted by: Sam Jenkins at May 8th, 2020 11:44 AM
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