Background: Coenzyme Q10 has been recognized as an important antioxidant factor besides its main role in bioenergetic metabolism. CoQ10 tissue levels depend both on exogenous dietetic intake and on endogenous biosynthesis, as this compound can be partly synthesized in human cells. Q10 plasma levels reflect the tissue content of the coenzyme and can be used to evaluate the presence of this compound in the human organism. Design/Methods: Aim of the study was to measure CoQ10 plasmatic levels in a newborn breast-fed population and to compare them to CoQ10 levels in a newborn formula-fed population in order to verify whether changes in CoQ10 plasmatic contents could be related to a different dietetic intakes. We measured CoQ10 plasmatic levels in 25 healthy term neonates with different dietetic intakes: 15 breast-fed and 10 bottle-fed with a common infant formula. These infants were evaluated prospectively during the first month of life. The analyses were performed on the mothers’ blood samples and cord blood samples at the time of delivery, then on infants at 4 and 28 days of age. Results: Our results showed markedly reduced Q10 levels in cord blood samples compared to maternal Q10 plasmatic levels at the time of delivery, suggesting placental impermeability towards this molecule or increased fetal utilization during labor and delivery. At 4 days of age Q10 levels had increased in both groups of neonates, but significantly more in breast-fed infants compared to formula-fed babies (p < 0.05). At 4 weeks of age no significant changes occurred in breast-fed infants, while values increased significantly in formula-fed infants (p < 0.05). The content of Q10 in breast milk samples was lower than in infant formula. Conclusions: The results of this study show that CoQ10 plasmatic levels are at least partly influenced by the exogenous dietetic supply.

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