Co Q10, or Ubiquinone, is a Vitamin-like substance that is found in virtually all cells of the human body. In 1957, Dr. Fred L Carne noticed a frothy substance that consistently rose to the top of the test tubes of meshed beef heart. This yellow crystalline substance was identified by Karl Folkers (the “father” of Co enzyme Q10) at the Merck, Sharp & Dohme laboratories in New Jersey in 1958. Dr. R.A. Morten called this Q10 compound ubiquinone because of its widespread appearance in living organisms. Unlike vitamins, which by definition are not synthesized by the body, Co Q10 is synthesized in all tissues of the body.
Co-enzyme Q10 has a quinone-like group (hence the Q) with 0 isoprenoid units as the side-chain (hence 10). The quinone ring is synthesized from the amino acid tyrosine whilst the isoprenoid side chains are formed from acetyl CoA (of which pantethine is also a precursor).
CoQ10 is a fat-soluble yellow crystalline compound with a Molecular weight of 338.44
(1.) Antioxidant activity. Biological oxidation is a ubiquitous event that occurs continually in the body, causing havoc and numerous pathological conditions. Oxidation results from the breakdown of oxygen molecules as they combine with other molecules in the body. Such oxidation can be the result of the body’s normal metabolism of the foods we eat, or it can occur in the body as a result of external forces such as exercise, radiation, pollution, alcohol or heavy metal intoxication, infections etc. The resulting free radicals are highly reactive molecules, which interfere with enzymatic reactions and cause disruption of cell membranes and even DNA. Co Q10 has a strong ability to give up electrons quickly and thus acts as a powerful antioxidant against free radicals, and affords protection against LDL oxidation, which is a pivotal step in the cause of atherosclerosis.
(2.) Acts as a Redox agent. Co Q10 keeps other antioxidants (e.g. vitamins E and C) in their reduced active states. For example, as vitamins C and E perform their functions as antioxidants, they themselves become oxidized. Since these vitamins are active in their reduced forms, Co Q10 recharges them (reduces them) to their active states by accepting electrons.
(3.) Membrane. Stabilizes membranes including the platelets.
(4.) Generation of ATP. Co Q10 is critical in generating the synthesis of ATP (the energy “currency” of all cells). This process takes place in the mitochondria and involves an intricate and complex cascade of enzymatic reactions called the “electron transfer chain”.
None reported. Shown to be useful with Beta-blockers, psychotropic drugs including phenothiazines and tricyclic antidepressants. A 1994 Lancet study reported 3 cases where Co Q10 reduced the effect of coumadin. No other cases have been reported. It may be wise to monitor the prothrombin when supplementing with Co Q10.