Background Current studies suggest mitochondrial dysfunction is a major contributor to impaired physical performance and exercise intolerance in chronic kidney disease (CKD). We conducted a clinical trial of coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) and nicotinamide riboside (NR) to determine their impact on exercise tolerance and metabolic profile in patients with CKD.Methods We conducted a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, crossover trial comparing CoQ10, NR, and placebo in 25 patients with an estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) of less than 60mL/min/1.73 m2. Participants received NR (1,000 mg/day), CoQ10 (1,200 mg/day), or placebo for 6 weeks each. The primary outcomes were aerobic capacity measured by peak rate of oxygen consumption (VO2 peak) and work efficiency measured using graded cycle ergometry testing. We performed semitargeted plasma metabolomics and lipidomics.Results Participant mean age was 61.0 ± 11.6 years and mean eGFR was 36.9 ± 9.2 mL/min/1.73 m2. Compared with placebo, we found no differences in VO2 peak (P = 0.30, 0.17), total work (P = 0.47, 0.77), and total work efficiency (P = 0.46, 0.55) after NR or CoQ10 supplementation. NR decreased submaximal VO2 at 30 W (P = 0.03) and VO2 at 60 W (P = 0.07) compared with placebo. No changes in eGFR were observed after NR or CoQ10 treatment (P = 0.14, 0.88). CoQ10 increased free fatty acids and decreased complex medium- and long-chain triglycerides. NR supplementation significantly altered TCA cycle intermediates and glutamate that were involved in reactions that exclusively use NAD+ and NADP+ as cofactors. NR decreased a broad range of lipid groups including triglycerides and ceramides.Conclusions Six weeks of treatment with NR or CoQ10 improved markers of systemic mitochondrial metabolism and lipid profiles but did not improve VO2 peak or total work efficiency.Trial registration ClinicalTrials.gov NCT03579693.Funding National Institutes of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (grants R01 DK101509, R03 DK114502, R01 DK125794, and R01 DK101509).


Armin Ahmadi, Gwenaelle Begue, Ana P. Valencia, Jennifer E. Norman, Benjamin Lidgard, Brian J. Bennett, Matthew P. Van Doren, David J. Marcinek, Sili Fan, David K. Prince, Jorge Gamboa, Jonathan Himmelfarb, Ian H. de Boer, Bryan R. Kestenbaum, Baback Roshanravan


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