What is coenzyme Q10 (ubiquinone/ubiquinol)?

Q10 is a body own substance. It is partly absorbed through the food, but is also produced in the body itself. In every human cell the energy from food is converted into body energy (ATP). Q-10 is involved as a coenzyme in oxidative phosphorylation, which produces 95% of the total body energy (ATP). The organs with the highest energy requirements - such as heart, lung and liver - therefore also have the highest Q-10 concentration.

Q10 is abundantly found in organ meat (liver), oily fish (sardines, mackerel, etc.), nuts (e.g. pistachios), legumes, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, vegetable, oils, cabbage, onions, potatoes, spinach, brussels sprouts, and broccoli. Cooking, however, can destroy the coenzyme. Q10 is able to effectively absorb and neutralize (= antioxidant function) harmful free radicals in the body. Ubiquinone Q10 is so far the only known fat-soluble antioxidant produced naturally in the organism. It exists in the body in two forms, the reduced and the oxidized form, both of which perform specific tasks.

Q10 has a twofold antioxidant activity. On the one hand, in its reduced form (ubiquinol) as a diphenol it has an antioxidant effect; on the other hand, the side chain of the ubiquinone (oxidized form) is membrane-stabilizing. In its function as a free radical scavenger, Q10 is consumed. Due to the sufficient presence of the radical scavenger Q10, oxidative damage in the body can be effectively reduced.

Ubiquinon Q10 is particularly important in neurodegenerative diseases (that affect nerve function), since oxidative stress (too many free radicals) is considered to be one of the main causes of nerve cell damage. Too many free radicals attack particularly the nerve cells and especially their mitochondria (i.e. their cell power plants). As a result, the energy metabolism of the nerve cells is increasingly impaired, thus strongly affecting their function. 


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