Coenzyme Q10 (ubiquinone, Vitamin Q)
Vitamin Q (scientific name: coenzyme Q10, other names: CoQ10, mitoquinone, Q10, ubidecarenone, ubiquinone) is a compound found naturally in the energy-producing center of the cell known as the mitochondria.
CoQ10 is involved in the making of an important molecule known as ATP. ATP serves as the cell's major energy source and drives a number of biological processes including muscle contraction and the production of protein. CoQ10 also works as an antioxidant. Vitamin Q is one of the electron carriers in mitochondria and therefore has an essential function in all energy-yielding metabolism. It may also have a general antioxidant role in membranes. It is readily synthesized in the body and there is no evidence that it is a dietary essential nor that supplements serve any useful purpose.
Antioxidants are substances that scavenge free radicals, damaging compounds in the body that alter cell membranes, tamper with DNA, and even cause cell death. Free radicals occur naturally in the body, but environmental toxins (including ultraviolet light, radiation, cigarette smoking, and air pollution) can also increase the number of these damaging particles. Free radicals are believed to contribute to the aging process as well as the development of a number of health problems including heart disease and cancer. Antioxidants such as CoQ10 can neutralize free radicals and may reduce or even help prevent some of the damage they cause.
Coenzyme Q (CoQ), also known as ubiquinone or ubiquinol, is a biologically active quinone with an isoprenoid side chain, related in structure to vitamin K and vitamin E. The various kinds of Coenzyme Q can be distinguished by the number of isoprenoid side chains they have. The most common CoQ in human mitochondria is Q 10. The image above has three isoprenoid units and would be called Q3. Coenzyme Q-10 is used extensively in Japan and its use is more common in Europe and western Asia than it is in the United States. However, one particular coenzyme Q-10 product has been given orphan drug status in the United States. An orphan drug has received FDA approval because it shows effectiveness for treating severe or rare diseases that usually have few other treatment options. In this case, the coenzyme Q-10 product is used as a treatment for rare, inherited defects in mitochondria, which are tiny structures within body cells. Because mitochondria are responsible for energy production by each cell, many of them are found in cells that use lots of energy ?such as muscle cells. Cells that use little energy have few mitochondria. If the mitochondria do not function properly, progressively worsening symptoms that may include muscle weakness, nerve damage, seizures, stroke-like episodes, and eventually death may result. Although coenzyme Q-10 seems to be an effective treatment to prevent, delay, or decrease the symptoms of inherited mitochondrial defects in some individuals, it may take 6 months or longer to produce a noticeable response.
As an antioxidant, coenzyme Q10 may also have potential as an anticancer and immune-stimulating agent. Antioxidants are thought to protect body cells from damage caused by a chemical process called oxidation, which produces oxygen free radicals, natural chemicals that may also suppress immune function. As shown in case reports of women with breast cancer, supplementing prescription cancer treatments with coenzyme Q10 may have helped to slow or stop the cancer from growing. In some cases, the spread of cancer to other parts of the body appeared to be prevented. In separate studies of people living with AIDS, the numbers of certain white blood cells reached more normal levels when coenzyme Q10 was taken. In general, white blood cells, especially the kind known as T cells, are responsible for attacking abnormal substances – such as cancer cells. This apparent strengthening of the immune system may help prevent and treat AIDS and other infectious diseases. The antioxidant effects of coenzyme Q10 may also protect the liver from some of the damage caused by certain drugs or chemicals or by chronic alcohol abuse. Some evidence from recent studies, may also show that coenzyme Q10 has potential to prevent or lessen the severity of migraine headaches. All these possible effects need further study to prove or disprove them.
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ 10) or ubiquinone is essentially a vitamin or vitamin-like substance. Disagreements on nomenclature notwithstanding, vitamins are defined as organic compounds essential in minute amounts for normal body function acting as coenzymes or precursors to coenzymes. They are present naturally in foods and sometimes are also synthesized in the body. CoQ10 likewise is found in small amounts in a wide variety of foods and is synthesized in all tissues. The biosynthesis of CoQ10 from the amino acid tyrosine is a multistage process requiring at least eight vitamins and several trace elements. Coenzymes are cofactors upon which the comparatively large and complex enzymes absolutely depend for their function. Coenzyme Q10 is the coenzyme for at least three mitochondrial enzymes (complexes I, II and III) as well as enzymes in other parts of the cell. Mitochondrial enzymes of the oxidative phosphorylation pathway are essential for the production of the high-energy phosphate, adenosine triphosphate (ATP), upon which all cellular functions depend. The electron and proton transfer functions of the quinone ring are of fundamental importance to all life forms; ubiquinone in the mitochondria of animals, plastoquinone in the chloroplast of plants, and menaquinone in bacteria.
Synonyms: CoQ10, neuquinon, neuquinone, ubidecarenone, ubiquinone 50
Molecular formula: C59H90O4
CAS No: 303-98-0
EINECS No: 206-147-9