Coenzyme Q10Background Structure Coenzyme Q10 (also known as CoQ10, Q10, vitamin Q10, ubiquinone, or ubidecarenone) is made in the human body. The term "coenzyme" denotes it as an organic, nonprotein molecule necessary for the proper functioning of its protein partner (an enzyme or an enzyme complex). The "Q" and the "10" in the name refer to the quinone chemical group and the 10 isoprenyl chemical subunits, respectively, that are part of this compound's structure.It was isolated in 1857 and in 1958 the precise chemical structure of CoQ10 was determined as 2,3 dimethoxy-5 methyl-6 decaprenyl benzoquinone. In 1978 Peter Mitchell won the Nobel Prize for his contribution of understanding of biological energy transfer through the formulation of the chemiosmotic theory, which includes the vital protonmotive role of CoQ10 in energy transfer systems.Absorption Coenzyme Q could best be described as a fat soluble nutrient (not a vitamin since we can make it). It is very similar in structure to vitamin K and vitamin E. According to this, research supports the idea that oil-based suspension of coenzyme Q10 absorbs better than forms that lack oil.CharacteristicsCoenzyme Q10 is used by cells of the body in a process known variously as aerobic respiration, aerobic metabolism, oxidative metabolism, or cell respiration. Through this process, energy for cell growth and maintenance is been generated by mitochondria.Coenzyme Q10 is also used by the body as an antioxidant that helps to prevent cellular damage from free radicals created during intense exercise and during the generation of energy. An antioxidant is a substance that protects cells from free radicals, which are highly reactive chemicals, often containing oxygen atoms, capable of damaging important cellular molecules such as DNA and lipids. In addition, the plasma level of coenzyme Q10 has been used, in studies, as a measure of oxidative stress.Coenzyme Q10 is present in the mitochondria of most tissues, but the highest concentrations are found in the heart, liver, kidneys, and pancreas. Tissue levels of this compound decrease as people age, due to increased requirements, decreased production, or insufficient intake of the chemical precursors needed for synthesis.Dietary SourcesIt is contained in most meat products, especially organ meats like the heart, liver and kidneys. Other sources include eggs, spinach, broccoli, potatoes, rice, wheat, corn, sardines and mackerel. Various nuts like pistachios, walnuts, peanuts, chestnuts, and
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almonds contain CoQ. Sesames seeds are a source also. Unfortunately, even the amounts contained in the richest sources aren’t enough to correct a CoQ deficiency. For example 3.5oz of sardines contain around 6.4 mg., peanuts-2.7mg. etc. Therapeutic dosages usually range from 30mg to 60 mg. Daily and severe problems may require 100mg. daily. As with most vitamins, CoQ levels are lowered when food is co