CoQ10 and royal jelly blend may boost athletic performance, study suggests

By Will Chu

- Last updated on GMT

CoQ10 and royal jelly may help athletes, study says

Related tags: Coq10, royal jelly, Sports nutrition

Supplementation with a blend of bee-derived royal jelly (RJ) and coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) may play a role in improving athletic performance, reduce oxidative stress and muscle damage.

A Russian team of scientists, who enrolled 20 elite swimmers in the study attribute the findings to components of royal jelly and CoQ10 that have antioxidant activity.

Further theories point to CoQ10’s ability to activate AMPK, an enzyme which increases antioxidant capacity and cell survival.

“CoQ10 and some RJ components contain medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs), amino acids/proteins, flavonoids, and phenolic compounds, which have antioxidant properties,”​ the team writes in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.

MCFAs presented in RJ, such as 10H2DA, 10-hydroxydecanoic acid, and sebacic acid, have been reported to increase extracellular superoxide dismutase expression.

In addition, 10H2DA, has been suggested to also increase manganese-superoxide dismutase (MnSOD) and catalase (CAT) expression via activation of AMPK in skeletal muscle.

Elite swimmer sample

The team from Lobachevsky University in Russia enrolled the 20 high-level swimmers, randomly allocating them to receive either 400 milligrams (mg) of RJ and 60 mg of CoQ10 (RJQ) or matching placebo (PLA) once daily for 10 days.

Exercise performance was evaluated at baseline, and then reassessed at day ten of intervention, using a HIIE protocol.

Diene conjugates (DC), Schiff bases (SB), and creatine kinase (CK) were also measured in blood plasma and saliva before and immediately after high-intensity interval exercise (HIIE) in both groups.

The study revealed that the RJQ supplementation reducing the increment in DC, SB, and CK in both blood plasma and saliva of swimmers under HIIE conditions compared to PLA.

The team found the alterations of DC, SB, and CK in saliva were shown to be similar to those observed in plasma both in RJQ group and PLA group.

“We also found strong negative correlation between HIIE performance and salivary and plasmatic PC1 values,”​ they add.

PC1 values in the RJQ group were less than those in the PLA group, corresponding to a much lower increase in DC, SB, and CK levels in both blood plasma and saliva in response to HIIE.

“Thus, we demonstrated that RJQ-induced reducing in lipid peroxidation and muscle damage in swimmers under HIIE conditions improves their exercise performance,”​ the researchers conclude.

Library of studies

RJ, which is secreted by the honeybee (Apis mellifera L.​) contains nutrients that may stimulate​ an antioxidant response in skeletal muscles.

Previous reports also suggest that 10-hydroxy-2-decenoic acid (10H2DA), a unique medium-chain fatty acid presented in RJ, activates 5′-AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) in skeletal muscles.

Meanwhile, Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), an organic molecule synthesized by human cells plays a key role in supplying energy to all cells and is said to play a core role in redox reactions within the electron transport chain at the mitochondrial level.

CoQ10 consumption before exercise can mitigate lipid peroxidation propagation and the subsequent muscle damage during and following exercise.

Source: Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition

Published online: doi.org/10.1080/15502783.2022.2086015

'Royal jelly plus coenzyme Q10 supplementation improves high-intensity interval exercise performance via changes in plasmatic and salivary biomarkers of oxidative stress and muscle damage in swimmers: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot trial'

Authors: Aleksandr Ovchinnikov et al.

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