Grapefruit juice to increase CoQ10 uptake.
Article Type: Report
Subject: Grapefruit juice (Chemical properties)
Drug metabolism (Reports)
Author: Hunter, Kim
Pub Date: 03/22/2010
Publication: Name: Australian Journal of Medical Herbalism Publisher: National Herbalists Association of Australia Audience: Academic Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Health Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2010 National Herbalists Association of Australia ISSN: 1033-8330
Issue: Date: Spring, 2010 Source Volume: 22 Source Issue: 1
Product: SIC Code: 2033 Canned fruits and vegetables; 2037 Frozen fruits and vegetables
Accession Number: 223824000
Full Text: Itagaki S et al. 2010. Grapefruit juice enhances the uptake of coenzyme Q10 in the human intestinal cell-line Caco-2. Food Chem 120:2;552-5.

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is a widely used and expensive supplement however its absorption rate from the intestine is low. The absorption of compounds from the gastrointestinal tract is one of the important determinants for oral bioavailability. It has been reported that efflux transport of CoQ10 is mediated by a protein in the membrane of cells called P-glycoprotein (P-gp) in Caco-2 cells. The authors of this study tried to improve intestinal absorption of CoQ10 by modulating P-gp.

Since grapefruit juice is reported to inhibit P-gp function, this study investigated the effect of the juice on the transport of CoQ10 by Caco-2 cells (a cell line used to model the lining of the human intestine). Cells were cultured in the presence of CoQ10 powder (10 micromoles) and grapefruit juice (diluted to a concentration of 1%).

Results showed that CoQ10 uptake in the presence of grapefruit juice was increased by almost 50%. The juice appeared to inhibit P-gp thereby leading to an increased absorption of CoQ10. The authors consider that it is possible that co-administration of CoQ10 with grapefruit juice will be an easily accessible way to improve the pharmacological effects of CoQ10.

Comment: Grapefruit juice is well known to interact with other compounds in the digestive system. Chemicals in juice and pulp of the fruit are reported to interfere with the enzymes that metabolise certain drugs in the digestive system, including statins, to lower cholesterol. This results in potentially toxic quantities of drugs circulating in the blood.

Kim Hunter MNHAA
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