Grapefruit Juice Ups CoQ10 Absorption

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SAPPORO, Japan—Washing that coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) supplement down with grapefruit juice may boost the absorption of the nutrient, according to a study published in Food Chemistry (15 May 2010;120(2):552-555).

CoQ10, an oil-soluble substance, is produced by the human body and is necessary for the basic functioning of cells. CoQ10 levels decrease with age and many consumers up their levels by using a dietary supplement. However, CoQ10 is taken up from the intestine into the circulation at a low rate. The absorption of compounds from the gastrointestinal (GI) tract is one of the important determinants for oral bioavailability.

Previous research found CoQ10’s bioavailability is enhanced by P-glycoprotein (P-gp) in Caco-2 cells, human cells used in vitro assays to predict the absorption rate of compounds across the intestinal epithelial cell barrier. Because grapefruit juice has shown to inhibit P-gp function, researchers investigated the effect of grapefruit juice on the transport of CoQ10 by Caco-2 cells.

They found CoQ10 transit time was decreased in the presence of grapefruit juice, and the uptake of CoQ10 was increased.

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