Targeted antioxidants: Explained

Antioxidants are compounds found in food and made in the body that help protect your health in many ways. From fighting free radicals that cause oxidative stress to supporting immunity and recovery – antioxidants play an important role in how your body feels and functions.

MitoQ pure product

For anyone wanting to boost their antioxidant intake, supplements may sound like a great option to consider. When it comes to antioxidant supplements – you want to make sure that whatever you’re taking is reaching the correct places in significant amounts.


Antioxidants are molecules that remove free radicals from the body and keep our cells – and the mitochondria that live inside them – functioning optimally. Our bodies naturally contain free radicals, which are unstable molecules that have important functions in normal, healthy amounts – but if too many free radicals build up in the body, they can damage your cells and disrupt the foundations of your health.

This is where antioxidants come in. They neutralize free radicals, reducing the damage they can cause to your cells. By doing this, they can enable you to function with optimal energy and stamina, so that you can give more to the people and activities that mean the most to you.

Different antioxidants work in different ways. Some work to neutralize free radicals at their source – within your mitochondria (the tiny energy batteries that live deep within your cells), while others connect with free radicals outside of the mitochondria and the cells themselves. But for antioxidants to be most effective, they must reach the body’s source of oxidative stress, before they leak out.

Why mitochondria are the body's source of oxidative stress

Your body is made almost entirely of cells (approximately 37.5 trillion of them!) and mitochondria are what give cells their functional energy. In fact, mitochondria are responsible for producing 95% of the body's energy (or ATP). But during the production of ATP, the body produces free radicals as a by-product.

As a self-defense mechanism, mitochondria self-manage this free radical build-up by producing and importing certain antioxidants, which stabilize free radicals and reduce the likelihood of oxidative damage. But the problem is, your body's antioxidant levels begin to naturally decline as you age – leaving free radicals 'free' to wreak havoc within your body.

Additionally, our day-to-day lives expose us to even more free radicals through stressors such as air pollution, U.V. radiation, poor diet, lack of (or too much!) exercise, too little sleep, smoking, emotional stress and drinking alcohol – making the battle against them that much harder.

We can limit the amount of oxidative stress placed on our body by living a healthy lifestyle, and we can also take antioxidants to supplement our diet, but the problem with common antioxidant supplements on the market is that they often don’t reach the places that free radicals accumulate the most – the mitochondria.

Regular antioxidant supplements vs MitoQ

Despite the existing abundance of studies that demonstrate the beneficial effects of antioxidants, emerging research over the past two decades have left consumers questioning the effectiveness of supplemented antioxidants and their ability to slow aging and support longevity (1,2). One of the common problems with antioxidant supplements is that they cannot enter the cell where they are needed the most, let alone in meaningful amounts (1). MitoQ is different.

MitoQ (Mitoquinol Mesylate) is the world’s first mitochondrially-targeted antioxidant. Unlike regular antioxidants that can’t get into the mitochondria in significant amounts, MitoQ’s unique structure allows it to easily enter the mitochondria, where it can start to tackle free radicals at the body’s source. This potent antioxidant ability means that MitoQ can reduce oxidative stress in the cell and support antioxidant ability.

Clinical trials and claims related to MitoQ’s antioxidant ability:

  • MitoQ reduces oxidative stress in the cell (3)
  • MitoQ has been shown to increase catalase concentration by 36%* (4)
  • MitoQ supports our natural antioxidant capacity (4,5,8)
  • Lessens the impact of free radicals (6,8)
  • Reduced reactive oxygen species (ROS) by up to 48% (8)
  • Targets and reduces cellular damage – the core of how we age. (3,7)
red to purple gradient background

The science of MitoQ

MitoQ molecule mitoquinol mesylate has been the source of global research for decades, spanning 750+ independent high-impact, peer-reviewed journals, and 19 clinical trials.


  1. Crozier A, Jaganath IB, Clifford MN. Dietary phenolics: chemistry, bioavailability and effects on health. Nat Prod Rep. 2009 Aug;26(8):1001-43. doi: 10.1039/b802662a. Epub 2009 May 13. PMID: 19636448.
  2. Del Rio, D., Rodriguez-Mateos, A., Spencer, J. P., Tognolini, M., Borges, G., & Crozier, A. (2013). Dietary (poly)phenolics in human health: structures, bioavailability, and evidence of protective effects against chronic diseases. Antioxidants & redox signaling, 18(14), 1818–1892. https://doi.org/10.1089/ars.2012.4581
  3. Williamson, J., Hughes, C. M., Cobley, J. N., & Davison, G. W. (2020). The mitochondria-targeted antioxidant MitoQ, attenuates exercise-induced mitochondrial DNA damage. Redox biology, 36, 101673. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.redo...;
  4. Pham, T., MacRae, C.L., Broome, S.C. et al. MitoQ and CoQ10 supplementation mildly suppresses skeletal muscle mitochondrial hydrogen peroxide levels without impacting mitochondrial function in middle-aged men. Eur J Appl Physiol 120, 1657–1669 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00421...;
  5. Jurkuvenaite, A., Benavides, G. A., Komarova, S., Doran, S. F., Johnson, M., Aggarwal, S., Zhang, J., Darley-Usmar, V. M., & Matalon, S. (2015). Upregulation of autophagy decreases chlorine-induced mitochondrial injury and lung inflammation. Free radical biology & medicine, 85, 83–94. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2015.03.039
  6. Rossman MJ, Santos-Parker JR, Steward CAC, Bispham NZ, Cuevas LM, Rosenberg HL, Woodward KA, Chonchol M, Gioscia-Ryan RA, Murphy MP, Seals DR. Chronic Supplementation With a Mitochondrial Antioxidant (MitoQ) Improves Vascular Function in Healthy Older Adults. Hypertension. 2018 Jun;71(6):1056-1063. doi: 10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.117.10787. Epub 2018 Apr 16. PMID: 29661838; PMCID: PMC5945293.
  7. Broome, S.C., Braakhuis, A.J., Mitchell, C.J. et al. Mitochondria-targeted antioxidant supplementation improves 8 km time trial performance in middle-aged trained male cyclists. J Int Soc Sports Nutr 18, 58 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12970-021-00454-0
  8. Aminizadeh, S., Lee, J., Zarezadehmehrizi, A., Najafipour, H., Ahmadi, M. A.-D., Moflehi, D., Rashidzadeh, H., & Park, Y.. (2023). MitoQ Supplementation During Vigorous Training Improves Reactive Oxygen Species, Glutathione Peroxidase, and miRNAs Regulating Vascular Inflammation in Cyclists. Brazilian Archives of Biology and Technology, 66, e23220914. https://doi.org/10.1590/1678-4324-2023220914
Woman and child talking

How Your Mitochondria Are Holding Back Your Health Goals

If you’re falling short of your health goals, it could be your mitochondria health that’s holding you back.

Read more

cells and mitochondria

Meet the MitoQ Science Expert Panel

Since the creation of MitoQ, research has been at the cornerstone of everything we do as a brand - and with that, we are excited to finally announce the formation of the MitoQ Science Expert Panel.

Read more