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Other Names: Coenzyme Q10, Co Q10, Ubiquinone, Vitamin Q
Definition: CoQ10 is a naturally-occuring compound found in every cell in the body. CoQ10’s alternate name, ubiquinone, comes from the word ubiquitous, which means “found everywhere.”Coenzyme Q10 is a benzoquinone, where Q refers to the quinone chemical group, and 10 refers to the isoprenyl chemical subunits.
This oil-soluble vitamin-like substance is 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
CoQ10 plays a key role in producing energy in the mitochondria, the part of a cell responsible for the production of energy in the form of ATP.
Coenzyme Q was first discovered by professor Fred L. Crane and colleagues at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Enzyme Institute in 1957. In 1958, its chemical structure was reported by Professor Karl Folkers and coworkers at Merck.
The oxidized structure of CoQ, or Q, is given here. The various kinds of Coenzyme Q can be distinguished by the number of isoprenoid side-chains they have. The most common CoQ in human mitochondria is Q10. The image to the right has three isoprenoid units and would be called Q3.
If Coenzyme Q is reduced by one equivalent, the following structure results, a ubisemiquinone, and is denoted QH. Note the free-radical on one of the ring oxygens (either oxygen may become a free-radical, in this case the top oxygen is shown as such).
If Coenzyme Q is reduced by two equivalents, the compound becomes a ubiquinol, denoted
CoQ is found in the membranes of many organelles. Since its primary function in cells is in generating energy, the highest concentration is found on the inner membrane of the mitochondrion. Some other organelles that contain CoQ10 include endoplasmic reticulum, peroxisomes, lysosomes, and vesicles.
Because of its ability to transfer electrons and therefore act as an antioxidant, Coenzyme Q is also used as a dietary supplement. When one is younger the body can synthesize Q10 from the lower-numbered ubiquinones such as Q6 or Q8. The elderly and sick may not be able to make enough, thus Q10 becomes a vitamin later in life and in illness.
Why People Use CoQ10:
*Heart Attack Prevention and Recovery
*High Blood Pressure
*Counteract Prescription Drug Effects
The Evidences For CoQ10:
People with heart failure have been found to have lower levels of CoQ10 in heart muscle cells. Double-blind research suggests that CoQ10 may reduce symptoms related to heart failure, such as shortness of breath, difficulty sleeping, and swelling. CoQ10 is thought to increase energy production in the heart muscle, increasing the strength of the pumping action. Recent human studies, however, haven’t supported this.
In one study, 641 people with congestive heart failure were randomized to receive either CoQ10 (2 mg per kg body weight) or a placebo plus standard treatment. People who took the CoQ10 had a significant reduction in symptom severity and fewer hospitalizations.
In another study, 32 patients with end-stage heart failure awaiting heart transplantation received either 60 mg of CoQ10 or a placebo for 3 months. Patients who took the CoQ10 experienced a significant improvement in functional status, clinical symptoms, and quality of life, however there were no changes in echocardiogram (heart ultrasound) or in objective markers.
A study randomized 55 patients with congestive heart failure to receive either 200 mg per day of CoQ10 or a placebo in addition to standard treatment. Although serum levels of CoQ10 increased in patients receiving CoQ10, CoQ10 didn’t affect ejection fraction, peak oxygen consumption, or exercise duration.
A longer-term study investigated the use of 100 mg of CoQ10 or a placebo in addition to standard treatment in 79 patients with stable chronic congestive heart failure. The results indicated that CoQ10 only slightly improved maximal exercise capacity and quality of life compared with the placebo.
Several small trials have found CoQ10 may be helpful for certain types of cardiomyopathy.
Lower levels of CoQ10 have also been observed in people with Parkinson’s disease. Preliminary research has found that increasing CoQ10 may increase levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine, which is thought to be lowered in people with Parkinson’s disease. It has also been suggested that CoQ10 might protect brain cells from damage by free radicals.
A small, randomized controlled trial examined the use of 360 mg CoQ10 or a placebo in 28 treated and stable Parkinson’s disease patients. After 4 weeks, CoQ10 provided a mild but significant significant mild improvement in early Parkinson’s symptoms and significantly improved performance in visual function.
A larger 16 month trial funded by the National Institutes of Health explored the use of CoQ10 (300, 600 or 1200 mg/day) or a placebo in 80 patients with early stage Parkinson’s disease. The results suggested that CoQ10, especially at the 1200 mg per day dose, had a significant reduction in disability compared to those who took a placebo.
*CoQ10 and Statin Drugs
Some research suggests that statin drugs, or HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, a class of drugs used to lower cholesterol, may interfere with the body’s production of CoQ10. However, research on the use of CoQ10 supplements in people taking statins is still inconclusive, and it is not routinely recommended in combination with statin therapy.
You may click to see:->Statin Drugs May Lower CoQ10 Levels
In a 12-week randomized controlled trial, 74 people with type 2 diabetes were randomized to receive either 100 mg CoQ10 twice daily, 200 mg per day of fenofibrate (a lipid regulating drug), both or neither for 12 weeks. CoQ10 supplementation significantly improved blood pressure and glycemic control. However, two studies found that CoQ10 supplementation failed to find any effect on glycemic control.
A small study looked at the topical application of CoQ10 to the periodontal pocket. Ten male periodontitis patients with 30 periodontal pockets were selected. During the first 3 weeks, the patients applied topical CoQ10. There was significant improvement in symptoms.
A typical CoQ10 dosage is 30 to 90 mg per day, taken in divided doses, but the recommended amount can be as high as 200 mg per day.
CoQ10 is fat-soluble, so it is better absorbed when taken with a meal that contains oil or fat.
The clinical effect is not immediate and may take up to eight weeks.
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.
Supplementation of Coenzyme Q10 has been found to have a beneficial effect on the condition of some sufferers of migraine headaches. So far, three studies have been done, of which two were small, did not have a placebo group, were not randomized, and were open-label, and one was a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial, which found statistically significant results despite its small sample size of 42 patients. Dosages were 150 to 300 mg/day.
It is also being investigated as a treatment for cancer, and as relief from cancer treatment side-effects.
Brain health and neurodegenerative diseases
Recent studies have shown that the antioxidant properties of coenzyme Q10 benefit the body and the brain in animal models. Some of these studies indicate that coenzyme Q10 protects the brain from neurodegenerative disease such as Parkinson’s, although it does not relieve the symptoms. Dosage was 300 mg per day.
Another recent study shows a survival benefit after cardiac arrest if coenzyme Q10 is administered in addition to commencing active cooling (to 32–34 degrees Celsius).
There are several reports concerning the effect of CoQ10 on blood pressure in human studies. In a recent meta-analysis of the clinical trials of CoQ10 for hypertension, a research group led by Professor Frank Rosenfeldt (Director, Cardiac Surgical Research Unit, Alfred Hospital, Melbourne, Australia) reviewed all published trials of Coenzyme Q10 for hypertension, and assessed overall efficacy, consistency of therapeutic action, and side-effect incidence. Meta-analysis was performed in 12 clinical trials (362 patients) comprising three randomized controlled trials, one crossover study, and eight open-label studies. The research group concluded that coenzyme Q10 has the potential in hypertensive patients to lower systolic blood pressure by up to 17 mm Hg and diastolic blood pressure by up to 10 mm Hg without significant side-effects.
Studies have shown that low dosages of coenzyme Q10 reduce oxidation and DNA double-strand breaks, and a combination of a diet rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids and coenzyme Q10 supplementation leads to a longer lifespan in rats
*Consult your doctor before trying CoQ10, especially if you have heart disease, kidney failure, or cancer.
*Side effects of CoQ10 may include diarrhea and rash.
*CoQ10 is used in combination with standard treatment, not to replace it.
*CoQ10 may lower blood sugar levels, so people with diabetes should not use CoQ10 unless under a doctor’s supervision. CoQ10 may also lower blood pressure.
The safety of Co q10 in pregnant or nursing women or children has not been established.
Possible Drug Interactions:-
You may click to see:-> CoQ10 drug interactions.