Researchers within the School of Health and Kinesiology at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) have found that a novel antioxidant can provide a number of health benefits for individuals with peripheral artery disease.
The antioxidant specifically targets mitochondria, considered the powerhouse of the cell. The study was led by Assistant Professor Song-Young Park, Ph.D., and published in the American Journal of Physiology-Heart and Circulatory Physiology.
Park recruited eleven men and women with PAD to participate in this research; six of which received 80 milligrams of the antioxidant while the remaining five participants were given a placebo. Measurements were done before and 40 minutes after each participant took the supplement or placebo to assess the roles of vascular mitochondria in endothelial function, arterial stiffness, exercise tolerance and skeletal muscle function. After a 14 day “wash out” period, the two groups switched, with the placebo group taking the supplement and vice versa and measurements were assessed again.
When a participant took the supplement, the researchers noted an increase in dilation of the arteries, popliteal flow-mediated dilation, antioxidant superoxide dismutase, maximal walking time and distance, and time to claudication or leg pain.
“The results of this study reveal for the first time that acute oral intake of a mitochondrial-targeted antioxidant is effective for improving vascular endothelial function and superoxide dismutase in patients with peripheral artery disease (PAD),” Park said. “This improvement is clinically important and such antioxidants may potentially be utilized as therapeutic supplement for patients with PAD”.
The antioxidant, commercially available as MitoQ, contains the naturally occurring ubiquinol which is a coenzyme that gives the antixoxidant the ability to cross the cell membrane and accumulate within the mitrochondria.
Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a common cardiovascular disease in which atherosclerotic plaque forms in the arteries of the leg which can cause decrease blood flow and reduced perfusion in the lower extremity. The disease affects nearly 200 million people worldwide, with over 20 percent of individuals over 80 years old being affected by this disease. Common symptoms often include foot ulcers and leg pain during walking. If severe, medical treatment up to and including leg amputation may be required.
This study was funded in part by the University of Nebraska at Omaha Graduate Research and Creative Activity (GRACA) grant awarded to Jiwon Song, University of Nebraska at Omaha University Committee on Research and Creative Activity (UCRCA) awarded to Song-Young Park and the NASA Nebraska Space Grant (#NNX15AI09H) awarded to Song-Young Park. Doses of MitoQ were donated to UNO by MitoQ Limited for use in this research study.
About the University of Nebraska at Omaha
Located in one of America’s best cities to live, work and learn, the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s premier metropolitan university. With more than 15,000 students enrolled in 200-plus programs of study, UNO is recognized nationally for its online education, graduate education, military friendliness and community engagement efforts. Founded in 1908, UNO has served learners of all backgrounds for more than 100 years and is dedicated to another century of excellence both in the classroom and in the community.