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Coenzyme Q10

A vitamin-like substance, coenzyme Q10 is naturally present in most human cells, except red blood cells and eye lens cells. Known as CoQ10 for short, it assists the body by aiding the conversion of food to energy in the energy-producing mitochondria of each human cell. Overall, ninety-five percent of the human body's energy requirements are met with the energy converted in processes involving it.

Some of its many benefits include treatment uses for mitochondrial disorders, migraine headaches, cancer, brain and neurodegenerative diseases, cardiac arrest, and blood pressure issues. Additional proposed or considered coenzyme Q10 benefits may be found on the Treatments page.

Organs with high energy requirements tend to have higher levels of CoQ10. For example, the heart, the lungs and the liver are amongst those with the highest concentrations. Consequently, some fish and animal heart tissue can be amongst the best natural sources.

Coenzyme Q10 was first discovered in 1957 by professor Fred L. Crane, as well as colleagues at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Enzyme Institute. Others greatly involved in early study of it include professor Karl Folkers and his colleagues at Merck, as well as British scientist Peter D. Mitchell, who received the Nobel Prize in chemistry as an award in 1978.

CoQ10 is also known as ubiquinone, ubidecarenone and the slightly abbreviated coenzyme Q. A benzoquinone, the Q in the name refers to the quinone chemical group. The number 10 refers to the isoprenyl chemical subunits. Ubiquinol is a reduced form, sometimes known as QH2.



Coenzyme Q10 is used as a vitamin dietary supplement, especially amongst the sick and elderly who may at times not be able to produce enough. Younger and healthier people may be able to produce it from lower numbered ubiquinones (e.g. Q8 and Q6). It acts as an antioxidant through its ability to transfer electrons.

Interestingly, the substance shares the same biosynthetic pathway with cholesterol. Mevalonate, which is its intermediary precursor, can have its synthesis inhibited by certain things such as: some beta blockers, medicines for lowering blood pressure, and statins (one class of drugs to lower cholesterol). Specifically, the use of statins can reduce the blood serum levels of CoQ10 by up to 40%.

Natural food sources also exist: a few potentially useful ones include mackerel and herring heart, as well as pork heart.

Before considering taking coenzyme Q10, please visit the Side Effects page, and consult with your doctor if you have any potentially conflicting conditions or medications. The information on this site is not to be considered professional advice or a substitute for it.

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