CoQ10 (Coenzyme Q-10)
Coenzyme Q10, also known as CoQ10 or ubiquinone, is a fat-soluble, vitamin-like compound that is part of the antioxidant family. It is important for energy production as it helps generate energy in the cells, and acts as an antioxidant to curb free radical damage. The highest concentration of CoQ10 can be found in the heart, kidneys, lung and liver.
It is primarily found in the mitochondria, which are the cellular "power houses" that produces energy in every cell in our body. It plays a key role in the electron transport chain by transferring electrons generated from the reduction of fatty acids to electrons. Consequently, using CoQ10 to correct a deficiency state produces an overall rejuvenating effect.
Apart from the important energy production process, Coenzyme Q10 also stabilises cell membranes and acts as an antioxidant. Free radicals form at the cellular level as a natural part of oxygen metabolism. However, free radicals are dangerous because they destroy cells, interfere with enzyme process and damage our DNA cell structure. Free radicals, when interacted with low density lipoprotein (LDL), also cause plaque formatoin in the arteries, and greater risk of cardiovascular problems. Lifestyles subjected to much junk food, alcohol, tobacco, smoke, air pollution, radiation, frequent infections, stress and even intense strenous exercise can all result in excessive free radical production. CoQ10 has the capacity to protect the cells against free radicals while maintaining their required oxygen levels.
The presence of CoQ10 also inhibits the interaction of lipids (fatty acids) with oxygen. Fatty acids are found in the cell membranes and blood. Oxidised fat in membranes causes cell to lose their fluidity, resulting in poor tissue health, e.g. wrinkled skin and poor vascular strength.
Numerous studies have shown that CoQ10 is an indisputable heart health supplement. Reports indicate substantial benefits derived for a wide variety of cardiovascular concerns. CoQ10 is most abundantly found in the heart muscle and, therefore, deficiencies are common in most cardiovascular cases.
Other possible benefits of CoQ10 include maintenance of healthy blood sugar level, cholesterol profile, physical stamina, muscle function and gum condition.
Coenzyme Q10 can be found in food. Meats and coldwater fish, especially mackerel, salmon, tuna and sardines, are particularly high in CoQ10. Bran, peanuts, dark green vegetables and soybeans are all rich food sources of CoQ10.
Our body produces CoQ10 but the production amount decreases with age, individuals with heart disease, use of some medications (e.g. blood cholesterol lowering) etc. With low levels of CoQ10 in the body, one may feel more tired easily.