Coenzyme Q10 or just CoQ10 is a fat-soluble vitamin-like substance found in two forms: ubiquinone and ubiquinol (ubi is Latin and means ”everywhere”).
When a cell needs energy, it converts fat, carbohydrate, and protein, to ATP (adenosine triphosphate), a molecule that stores energy in its chemical form. The cell breaks down the ATP molecule and releases the energy trapped inside. The entire process takes place inside the cells in some small bean-shaped structures called mitochondria. CoQ10 is found in all mitochondria. Muscle cells are particularly dependent on large amounts of energy, which is why muscle cells contain substantially more mitochondria than other types of cells. The heart muscle is a good example of body tissue with cells that contain a large number of mitochondria and have a correspondingly large energy requirement.
Good CoQ10 Sources
CoQ10 is found in different types of food. Our diet consists of both ubiquinone and ubiquinol, about half of each with the best sources being products like:
- soy oil
The reason why CoQ10 cannot be called a vitamin is that the body is able to synthesize it. The endogenous production of CoQ10 takes place in almost all of the body's cells. As we grow older and also as a result of certain diseases, our body’s ability to synthesize CoQ10 tapers off. Experts estimate that the body’s CoQ10 levels peak in the early twenties. From this point on, the body’s production of CoQ10 starts to decline.
Although it has not been established officially, the diet is thought to provide around 5-10 mg of CoQ10 daily. The body has a CoQ10 “buffer” of around 1 to 1.5 grams. The major part of this reserve is stored in the heart, kidneys and liver.
CoQ10 and cholesterol, a substance that is also produced in the liver, share the same chemical pathway. Scientific studies have shown that certain cholesterol-lowering drugs inhibit the body’s natural production of CoQ10.
A Very Safe Substance
Studies show that even if you take CoQ10 dietary supplements of for an extended length of time it does not affect the body’s endogenous production of the compound. Some studies have used doses of up to 1,200 mg daily without any problems. More than 20 years of science support the use of Pharma Nord’s CoQ10.
Ubiquinone = oxidized CoQ10 = yellow
Ubiquinol = reduced CoQ10 = white