The Health Benefits of Co-enzyme Q10

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The growing interest of health and cosmetic industry is gradually increasing in bioactive compounds because of their wide application in modern medicine, cosmetics preparation, food industry and other health related sectors, as they manifest several biological functioning. According to the medical dictionary, bioactive compounds are having an effect on living tissue, in respect of biological reaction processing or triggering a response to conduct bioactivity. However, the response may be positive or negative and that solely depends upon the nature of the compound, dose, and bioavailability. [1] Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is a bioactive essential compound that is naturally found in plants, animals, microorganisms and almost every human cells. Though, in human body, the level of CoQ10 depends upon the rate of biosynthesis and the consumption amount. It has been found that with increasing of age, the cellular level of CoQ10 decreases. This bioactive compound plays a vital role in healthy life, therefore, dietary consumption is essential to maintain its adequate level. [2]

What is Coenzyme Q10?

In a scientific literature, Coenzyme Q10 is discussed as vitamin Q10. [3] Later it is considered that Coenzyme Q10 is a vitamin like naturally derived lipid soluble essential compound. Chemically, it is categorized under ubiquinone family, as it contains benzoquinone in its structure. [4] Therefore, Coenzyme Q10 alternatively known as ubiquinone.

In human body, approximately 2 grams of total body weight contains Coenzyme Q10 and is stored in mitochondria (maximum), and in cytoplasm and nucleus (little amount) of the body cells. The Coenzyme Q10 is greatly utilized in highly metabolic organs, such as brain, heart, kidneys, liver and skeletal muscle. [5]

How is it made in the human body? Is it consumed in the diet?

The pathway for biosynthesis of Coenzyme Q10 is similar to as cholesterol. Coenzyme Q10 is bio-synthesized in human body with the help of amino acid- tyrosine in presence of seven essential vitamins namely, Vitamin B2, B3, B6, B12, folate, patothenic acid and vitamin C. Other essential component include trace minerals like magnesium and selenium. Methylation is a step required for the biosynthesis of Coenzyme Q10 for which methionine is required. The biosynthesis of Coenzyme Q10 is stimulated through the enhancement of oxidative stress or by performing energy requiring activities. [6]

Apart from biosynthesis of Coenzyme Q10, several foods contain Coenzyme Q10 and consuming of those foods can also supply dietary Coenzyme Q10. The following are some foods which contain Coenzyme Q10:

Food Items

Quantity of Food

Quantity of Coenzyme Q10 in Milligram (mg)

Fried Beef

3 ounce

2.6 

Marinated Herring

3 ounce

2.3 

Fried Chicken

3 ounce

1.4 

Soybean oil 

1 tablespoon

1.3 

Canola oil 

1 tablespoon

1.0

Steamed Rainbow trout

3 ounces 

0.9 

Roasted Peanuts

1 ounce

0.8

Roasted Sesame seeds

1 ounce

0.7

Roasted Pistachio nuts

1 ounce 

0.6

Boiled Broccoli

Half cup, chopped

0.5 

Boiled Cauliflower

Half cup, chopped

0.4

Orange

1 (Medium size)

0.3

Strawberries 

Half cup,

0.1

Boiled Egg

1 (Medium size)

0.1

Source: http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/dietary-factors/coenzyme-Q10

What is it used for in the body?

The multiple functionalities of Coenzyme Q10 involves gene expression, gene metabolism, cellular transport, transcription control and cell signaling pathway. All these impacts are considered as a potent gene regulator. CoQ10 assist to provide two major clinical benefits:

Coenzyme Q10 takes part in ATP production and cellular respiration and acts as a transitional electron transport chain situated in the membrane of mitochondria.

CoQ10 also shows intercellular antioxidant activity and acts as free-radical scavengers. [2]

Health Benefits

Weight loss

According to the experts, Coenzyme Q10 has potentiality to reduce weight in obese individuals. It has hypothesized that with the increase of BMI (body mass index, the measurement of adiposity), CoQ10 level decreases. Therefore, supplementation of Coenzyme Q10 may decrease BMI. However, high-end research needs to confirm this effect. [7]

Heart Failure

The impairment of cardiac muscle unable to pump out sufficient blood to other organs is determined as a specific clinical presentation during a heart failure. It has been found that myocardial coenzyme Q10 level is lower in patients having heart failure and that can be reduced by providing coenzyme Q10 therapy. [8] Recent clinical trial report showed that decreased plasma coenzyme Q10 level in heart failure patient causes increased mortality rate. [9] The cardiac functionality improves in heart failure patients by administering 100-300 mg/day of coenzyme Q10 for one to three months. [9, 10] However, it has also been suggested that coenzyme Q10 is an adjuvant therapy for patients with higher risk of heart failure along with other medication. [11]

Energy

Different physiological functioning that depends on energy requiring processes, such as immunological functioning, cell proliferation, angiogenesis and cell apoptosis can be regulated by Coenzyme Q10, as it assists in mitochondrial energy production. Coenzyme Q10 participates in redox signaling through which it contributes in energy metabolism and regulate cell survival and cell death. This gives a newer approach in cancer research and there is a further potentiality of Coenzyme Q10 in cancer treatment. [2]

Cardiovascular functioning can be improved by supplementation of Coenzyme Q10 as it increases energy level in myocardium. Sufficient energy supply to the myocardium and antioxidant effect of Coenzyme Q10 has potentiality to prevent LDL (low-density lipoproteins) oxidation and decrease oxidative stress in the cardiac muscle. The improvement in cardiac functioning provides improved cardiac muscle contractility and decreases the risk of heart failure. [2]

Apart from organ specific energy supply, CoQ10 also improves overall health development by supplying energy to every cells and that is essential for general growth and maintenance. Human study result shows CoQ10 has a positive role to provide more oxygen supply to the skeletal muscle and respiratory organs during physical activity and improve stamina. [12] It has been also observed that older individual who are under statin medication get better physical endurance after consuming Coenzyme Q10 supplementation. [13]

Blood Pressure

A small uncontrolled human study showed that coenzyme Q10 supplementation provides beneficial effect in hypertensive patients. Several human study results showed that 120 mg/day coenzyme Q10 supplementation for eight weeks to twelve weeks, along with other conventional medical therapy provides moderate reduction of both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. [14] The reduction of systolic blood pressure varies from 11 mm Hg to 17 mm Hg and diastolic blood pressure by 8 mm Hg to 10 mm Hg. [15]

Antioxidants

Lipid peroxidation in the body increases loads of free radicals and damages membrane proteins and DNA. Coenzyme Q10 has a protective effect against this oxidative damage by inhibiting lipid peroxidation. [16] Coenzyme Q10 also increases the levels of antioxidant enzyme like γGCS, GSR, GST, Nrf2. [17] The experts assume that the strong antioxidant effect of coenzyme Q10 has potentials to provide beneficial effects to cardiac muscle and improve heart functionality. [19]

There are other health benefits apart from those discussed above, where CoQ10 demonstrates to be an essential factor for disease prevention. The deficiency of CoQ10 leads to several kinds of diseases like a severe infantile multisystemic disease, encephalomyopathy, isolated myopathy cerebellar ataxia and Leigh syndrome with growth retardation. The correction of deficiency of CoQ10 is possible by oral administration of CoQ10 supplementations. Other than these, CoQ10 supplementations can treat different health conditions that include primary and secondary CoQ10 deficiencies, like diabetes mellitus, fibromyalgia, mitochondrial diseases, male infertility, neurodegenerative diseases, periodontal disease, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. [2]

 

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  17. Ernster LDallner G. Biochemical, physiological and medical aspects of ubiquinone function. Biochim Biophys Acta. 1995 May 24;1271(1):195-204. Retrieve from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7599208

  18. Wagner AEErnst IMBirringer MSancak OBarella LRimbach G. A combination of lipoic acid plus coenzyme Q10 induces PGC1α, a master switch of energy metabolism, improves stress response, and increases cellular glutathione levels in cultured C2C12 skeletal muscle cells. Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2012;2012:835970. doi: 10.1155/2012/835970. Epub 2012 May 9. Retrieve from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22655115

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