Coenzyme Q10, also referred to as ubiquinone 10, is a member of the ubiquinones. This concerns methylated benzoquinone derivatives with isoprenoid side chains, which are structurally related to other natural lipophile substances like vitamin K and E.
Depending on the number of isoprene units, a choice is made between the coenzyme W forms 1 to 10. Ubiquinones are widespread in the animate natural world, which gives the class of substance its name (lat. ubique: everywhere). Ubiquinones are found in many foods accordingly. While foods of animal origin, including offal, meat and fish predominantly contain coenzyme Q10, foods of animal origin usually contain ubiquinone forms with a lower number of isoprene elements. Only Coenzyme Q10 is of significance in the human body. In terms of nutritional physiology, the natural substance belongs to the group of vitaminoids. These are active ingredients with vitamin-like effects.
Functions of coenzyme Q10
The high concentration of coenzyme Q10 in tissues with a high metabolic rate and mitochondrial density, including the heart and liver, indicates the importance of the natural substance for the energy metabolism of the cells. Here, the oxidised form of coenzyme Q10, ubiquinol (Q10ox), can transition in a two-stage reaction via the intermediate stage of ubisemiquinone into the reduced form ubiquinone (Q10red). This redox characteristic substantiates the biological significance of the natural substance for the human body. As a coenzyme, it transfers electrons in the respiratory chain from the reduction equivalents originating from the breakdown of main nutrients in the form of NADH + H+ to oxygen. The energy which is released is used for the formation of ATP, the body's universal energy currency. Coenzyme Q10 works closely here with the vitamins B2 and niacin as well as the trace element iron and the mineral magnesium which contributes towards normal energy metabolism of the cells.
- The content of coenzyme Q10 in the blood and tissue lowers with increasing age.
- Coenzyme Q10 can be formed by the human body itself from the amino acid L-tyrosine. Essential cofactors of coenzyme Q10 synthesis are pantothenic acid in the form of coenzyme A (CoA), riboflavin and niacin in the form of FAD and NAD as well as folate and vitamin B12. A key enzyme of the synthesis is HMG-CoA reductase, the central regulator of endogenous cholesterol synthesis.
Information on production technology
- INTERCELL Pharma processes special, small-volume Q10 pellets. These already contain the active (reduced) Q10 form (ubiquinol) which can be better utilised by the body than conventional ubiquinone. In order to stabilise the sensitive ubiquinol, the pellets are covered in a plant-based lipid casing.
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