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Coenzyme Q10

Coenzyme Q10 (also known as ubidecarenone, coenzyme Q, and abbreviated at times to CoQ10 – pronounced like "ko-cue-ten" –, CoQ, Q10, or simply Q) is a  vitamin-like nutrient that plays a vital role in cellular energy production. It is also known as ubiquinone because its chemical structure is that of a quinone and it is ubiquitously distributed in nature.

Coenzyme Q10 is oil-soluble substance present in most eukaryotic cells, primarily in the mitochondria. It is a component of the electron transport chain and participates in aerobic cellular respiration, generating energy in the form of ATP. Ninety-five percent of the human body’s energy is generated this way. Therefore, those organs with the highest energy requirements—such as the heart and the liver—have the highest CoQ10 concentrations.

CoQ compounds are widely distributed in nature, from microorganisms to plants to animals including humans. In humans and several other species, the side chain is comprised of 10 isoprene units and hence the name CoQ10.

The various kinds of Coenzyme Q can be distinguished by the number of isoprenoid side-chains they have. The most common Coenzyme Q in human mitochondria is CoQ10.

CoQ10 was discovered by Dr. Frederick L. Crane and colleagues
at the University of Wisconsin in 1957 during his research on the biochemistry of the mitochondrial electron transport chain, also known as the respiratory chain. The pure substance isolated from beef heart mitochondria was sent to Dr. Karl Folkers at the pharmaceutical company Merck for identification and elucidation of its structure. In 1958, its chemical structure was reported by Dr. Karl Folkers and coworkers at Merck; in 1968, Folkers became a Professor in the Chemistry Department at the University of Texas at Austin. Coenzyme was designated coenzyme Q10 because of its quinone structure and the ten isoprene unit side chain. During the same time period, another group of scientists led by Dr. R. A. Morton in England isolated the same substance from mitochondria and named it ubiquinone because of its widespread occurrence in nature. The vital role of CoQ10 in the electron transport chain was first described by Dr. Peter Mitchell of England who was awarded the Nobel prize for his work.

Besides endogenous synthesis, CoQ10 is also supplied to the organism by various foods. Animal products such as beef, pork and chicken are relatively good sources of CoQ10. Organ meats such as heart and muscle are the best sources. As a general rule, tissues with high energy demands contain relatively high amounts of CoQ10. Dairy products are much poorer sources of CoQ10 compared to animal tissues, while a modest amount can be found in butter (7 mg/kg). Fish and shellfish represent an important dietary source of CoQ10 (estimated at 9%-22% in different countries). Peanuts, sesame seeds and pistachio are the richest CoQ10 representatives within nuts and seeds with levels over 20 mg/kg. Many other nuts are also good sources of this compound. Among foods of plant origin, parsley and perilla are the richest CoQ10 sources, broccoli, rape, cauliflower, and spinach contain modest amounts of CoQ10. Unrefined vegetable oils such as soybean oil, rapeseed oil, olive oil and palm oil are also good sources of CoQ10. Some oils, particularly corn oil, are much richer in CoQ9 than in CoQ10.

CoQ10 is present in almost all the cells in our body and also in circulation (in lipoproteins). Practically every cell has the ability to synthesize CoQ10. The endogenous synthesis of CoQ10 happens to be a very complex process requiring numerous vitamins such as vitamin B6, vitamin B12, folic acid, niacinamide, pantothenic acid and vitamin C, and also certain trace elements. The quinone ring structure is derived from the amino acid tyrosine, the methyl groups on the ring supplied by methionine, and the isoprenoid side chain coming from the mevalonate pathway (the same pathway shared by cholesterol). Thus the production of CoQ10 is dependent on an adequate supply of numerous precursors and cofactors, and a deficiency of one or more of these essential components can adversely affect the production of adequate amounts of CoQ10.


RECOMMENDED READING:


The Miracle Nutrient: Coenzyme Q10 - CoQ10 is a natural nutrient essential to the life and health of every living cell.  Without it, our bodies are unable to fight back against infections and disease.  Unfortunately, many of us, especially as we age, lack sufficient CoQ10, putting us at risk of serious illness.  now Dr. Emile G. Bliznakov and medical writer Gerald L. Hunt tell the whole remarkable story of this life-preserving nutrient already hailed as the immune system miracle.  They show that by supplementing your body's natural ability to supply CoQ10, you may dramatically reverse the effects of again, poor diet, and decreasing health to:
  • Revitalize the immune system and aid in its defense against cancer infections.
  • Reverse the effects of again naturally.
  • Protect and strengthen the heart and cardiovascular system.
  • Normalize high blood pressure without side effects.
  • Control or even reverse periodontal (gum) disease.
  • Energize your body and increase your tolerance for exertion.
  • Reduce weight naturally without dieting or drugs.
Updated to include the latest medical studies and complete with dietary lists and natural CoQ10 food sources, this important new book is the definitive new guide to CoQ10--the miracle nutrient produced from natural sources now available at pharmacies and health food stores nationwide. ORDER NOW!


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Did You Know?
Various factors reduce the concentration of CoQ10 in different organs; the following are known:
- Use of statins reduce CoQ10 levels.
- Aging, in individuals older than 20 years, reduces CoQ10 levels in internal organs.
- UV exposure reduces CoQ10 levels in the skin.
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Coenzyme Q10 shares a common biosynthetic pathway with cholesterol.

The synthesis of an intermediary precursor of coenzyme Q10, mevalonate, is inhibited by some beta blockers, blood pressure-lowering medication, and statins, a class of cholesterol-lowering drugs.

Statins can reduce serum levels of coenzyme Q10 by up to 40%.

Some research suggests the logical option of supplementation with coenzyme Q10 as a routine adjunct to any treatment that may reduce endogenous production of coenzyme Q10, based on a balance of likely benefit against very small risk.
* * *
Supplementation of coenzyme Q10 is a treatment for some of the very rare and serious mitochondrial disorders and other metabolic disorders, where patients are not capable of producing enough coenzyme Q10 because of their disorder. Coenzyme Q10 is then prescribed by a physician.
* * *

Potential Beneficial Effects of CoQ10 Supplementation:

Cardiovascular disease
Cardiomyopathy
Congestive heart failure
Angina pectoris
Arrhythmias
Mitral valve prolapse
Hypertension
Atherosclerosis
Cardiotoxicity (drug-induced)
Neurodegenerative diseases
Huntington’s Disease
Parkinson’s Disease
Alzheimer’s Disease
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrigs Disease)
Neuromuscular diseases
Mitochondrial cytopathies (MELAS, MERRF, etc.)
Muscular dystrophy
Ataxias
Diabetes
Cancer
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
Asthma
Migraine
Immune disorders
HIV/AIDS
Periodontal disease
Chronic fatigue syndrome
Male infertility