Coenzyme Q10

(CO-Q10)

General Info

Absorbtion

Coenzyme Q10 is a fat-soluble substance. Absorption depends upon an individual's fat digestion ability. Coenzyme Q10 is best absorbed if it is taken with a meal that contains fat so that fat digestion is initiated.

Dietary Origins

Although coenzyme Q10 occurs in the cells of all plants and animals, dietary sources do not provide adequate levels of this nutrient.

Overview

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is an important nutrient produced in the body, so it is not considered to be a true vitamin. It is in practically all of the body’s cells. There are 10 coenzyme Q compounds that occur throughout nature, but only coenzyme Q10 is synthesized in humans. The heart, kidney, liver, and pancreas are areas where coenzyme Q10 is highly concentrated. Natural production and dietary intake do not provide enough coenzyme Q10 to treat deficiency or have therapeutic benefits. Although coenzyme Q10 is widely used throughout Europe and Asia, its value is just beginning to be recognized in the United States.

Toxicities & Precautions

General

No studies have reported toxicity or adverse side effects.

Health Conditions

Patients who are taking medications for various forms of cardiovascular disease should be closely monitored, since medications like statins deplete CoQ10. Coenzyme Q10 strengthens the heart.

Functions in the Body

Cardiovascular Disease

Coenzyme Q10 has proven to be a vital ingredient in the health of the cardiovascular system as well as an effective therapeutic agent in the treatment of a wide range of cardiovascular diseases.

Energy Production

Plays a role in the production of energy within the mitochondria. It is the coenzyme enzymes that are involved in the production of adenosine triphosphate (trī-fŏs'fāt), which is the high-energy fuel for all living cells. Coenzyme Q10 is a necessary component in Complex I, II, and III, which explains why CoQ10 plays such a critical role in energy production.

Important Antioxidant

This fat-soluble antioxidant protects cellular membranes throughout the body from oxidative damage. It is uniquely able to live in the mitochondrial cell membranes where it provides protection from mitochondrial free radical damage.

Periodontal Disease

Adequate levels of coenzyme Q10 are required for the health of gingival tissues and that gingival deficiencies of CoQ10 may influence periodontal disease.

Protection

Helps to protect against the side effects of numerous classes of drugs, many of which cause drug-induced depletions of CoQ10.

Symptoms & Causes of Deficiency

There is only a limited amount of coenzyme Q10 in dietary sources. The body’s cells manufacture the majority of CoQ10. The biosynthesis of coenzyme Q10 is a 17-step process that requires the following nutrients: riboflavin (B2), niacinamide (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), pyridoxine (B6), cobalamin (B12), folic acid, vitamin C, and numerous other trace elements. Consequently, there are many ways the complex synthesis of coenzyme Q10 can be interrupted. It is probable that a large amount of people with health problems are suffering from a coenzyme Q10 deficiency due to inadequate dietary intake of the necessary nutrients and/or ingestion of one or more drugs that interrupt the synthesis of coenzyme Q10. The symptoms of coenzyme Q10 deficiency include: angina, cardiac arrhythmias, cardiomyopathies, congestive heart failure, generalized weakening of the immune system, high blood pressure, lack of energy, gingivitis, and stroke. Since coenzyme Q10 is intimately involved in the production of energy, a deficiency of CoQ10 first affects the heart and cardiovascular system because the heart is the most energy demanding muscle in the human body.