Methods: A total of 40 patients with Type II diabetes and dyslipidaemia were randomized to receive 200 mg of coenzyme Q10 or placebo orally for 12 weeks. Endothelium-dependent and independent function of the brachial artery was measured as flow-mediated dilatation and glyceryl-trinitrate-mediated dilatation, respectively. A computerized system was used to quantitate vessel diameter changes before and after intervention. Arterial function was compared with 18 non-diabetic subjects. Oxidative stress was assessed by measuring plasma F2-isoprostane concentrations, and plasma antioxidant status by oxygen radical absorbance capacity.
Results: The diabetic patients had impaired flow-mediated dilation [3.8 % (SEM 0.5) vs 6.4 % (SEM 1.0), p = 0.016], but preserved glyceryl-trinitrate-mediated dilation, of the brachial artery compared with non-diabetic subjects. Flow-mediated dilation of the brachial artery increased by 1.6 % (SEM 0.3) with coenzyme Q10 and decreased by –0.4 % (SEM 0.5) with placebo (p = 0.005); there were no group differences in the changes in pre-stimulatory arterial diameter, post-ischaemic hyperaemia or glyceryl-trinitrate-mediated dilation response. Coenzyme Q10 treatment resulted in a threefold increase in plasma coenzyme Q10 (p < 0.001) but did not alter plasma F2-isoprostanes, oxygen radical absorbance capacity, lipid concentrations, glycaemic control or blood pressure.
Conclusion/interpretation: Coenzyme Q10 supplementation improves endothelial function of conduit arteries of the peripheral circulation in dyslipidaemic patients with Type II diabetes. The mechanism could involve increased endothelial release and/or activity of nitric oxide due to improvement in vascular oxidative stress, an effect that might not be reflected by changes in plasma F2-isoprostane concentrations. [Diabetologia (2002) 45: 420–426]