Co-Enzyme, CoQ10 Dr..Kumar Pati

Co-Enzyme, CoQ10

Dr. Kumar Pati, USA

In 1957, Andrew L. Crane along with his team of scientists at the University of Wisconsin-Mandison Enzyme Institute discovered an oil-soluble vitamin known as CoQ 10.   CoQ 10 is the abbreviation of Conenzyme 10, also know as ubiquinone and ubidecarenone.   The chemical name of CoQ 10 is 1,4-benzoquinone.  Q refers to the quinine and 10 represents the number of isopenyl repeats present in the chemical structure.  The main function of CoQ 10 can be found in the mitochondria, the energy-producing organelle, in almost all euakaryotic cells.  CoQ 10 is also abundant in the inner membranes or many organelles including endoplastic reticulum, peroxisomes lysosomes, and vesicles.  Because ATP provides more than 95% of the energy required by the human body, organs such as the liver and heart requiring a high supply of energy demand high CoQ 10 concentrations.

The ability of CoQ 10 to transfer electrons makes it an antioxidant.   Currently, CoQ 10 is mainly used as a dietary supplement and it has yet to be approved for many clinical purposes.  Physicians would only prescribe CoQ 10 as a treatment for very serious mitochondrial or metabolic disorders where the patient is unable to produce enough CoQ 10.   There are some evidence that suggest CoQ 10 could be effective in treating patients with congestive heart failure and Parkinsons disease, but more research needs to be conducted.  In recent years, a big market has established of incorporating CoQ 10 into many anti-aging cosmetic products  especially inAsia.  It has also been added to products associated with body building and weight loss.

Absorption of CoQ 10 crystalline powder by the human body is not very efficient due to its high molecular weight, low polarity and water-insolubility.  In addition, its solubility in lipids is low which makes it difficult to be adsorbed in the gastro-intestinal tract.   The absorption process in the GI tract can be facilitated by bile and the mechanism appears to be similar to that of Vitamin E.  Steps have been taken to improve the bioavailability of CoQ 10 such as reducing particle sizes and increasing solubility in water.

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