Performance, energy supply, antioxidant - these terms are all directly linked to a vitamin-like compound found in the biological system, known as coenzyme Q10. It plays a role in all energy-supplying metabolic processes in the body and is of fundamental importance to our powerhouses of the cell: the mitochondria. Without this vital substance, no cell in the human organism can function efficiently. Coenzyme Q10 was first discovered more than 50 years ago by biologist Fred L. Crane. More than 20 years since, British scientist Peter D. Mitchell was awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1978 for his findings on the role of coenzyme Q10 in the respiratory chain of mitochondria. The first pioneering coenzyme Q10 research was performed by Prof. Dr. Karl Folkers, who had been researching the vitaminoid in detail since the early 1960s. The increasing number of scientific studies published in recent years proves just how intensively research has increased around this exclusive nutrient.**
What exactly is Coenzyme Q10?
It’s a small lipophilic molecule ubiquitously present in cell membranes. It is abundant in mitochondria and boasts a full range of extraordinary functions. The body isn’t capable of synthesizing sufficient amounts of coenzyme Q10 for the best health support. It’s for this reason that extra coenzyme Q10 should be obtained from food. Coenzyme Q10 is called a vitamin-like substance due to its similarity to vitamins K and E. It is widely distributed in all cell membranes and becomes a critical electron shuttle between complexes of the respiratory chain. It’s also known as a cofactor of various enzymes. Coenzyme Q10 also plays an essential role in the production of energy in the cells. Each cell depends massively on the respective coenzyme Q10 concentration in the body. You can compare it to a spark plug in an engine. Coenzyme adds the “spark” necessary for the body to release energy stored in the form of sugar and fats, taking the form of ATP (adenosine triphosphate). This process takes place in the cell powerhouses of our body, the mitochondria, which occur in every cell. Organs that require plenty of energy such as the heart, lungs, liver, muscles, or brain, depend on a sufficient supply of coenzyme Q10. Coenzyme Q10 also strengthens the immune system, thanks to its central role in the antioxidative protection of biological membranes. The nutrient even supports the stabilization of cell walls and membranes by protecting against free radicals. Coenzyme Q10 is particularly essential for controlling both performance and aging processes, as the body’s natural coenzyme Q10 production decreases with age. At the age of around 40, it’s crucial to pay close attention to coenzyme Q10 levels, especially in cases of increased personal need, reduced self-synthesis or declining intake via Q10-rich foods. In these instances, an additional intake of high-quality Q10 supplements is a good alternative.**
Ubiquinone vs. Ubiquinol
Coenzyme Q10 exists in two biochemical forms, “ubiquinone” and a reduced version, “ubiquinol.” Both compounds are found in food, and both exist in the body. The advantage of ubiquinol is that it is an active reduced form. This means it doesn’t have to be converted in the body via selenium and zinc-dependent enzymes (a process that can be restricted with old age or in the case of a disease). Ubiquinol is the so-called “ready-to-go form” of coenzyme Q10. Thanks to its higher bioavailability, ubiquinol can be taken in lower doses, making it immediately available to all organs. In contrast, coenzyme Q10 as ubiquinone must be first be converted into the active ubiquinol form in the body via several enzymatic steps.
Quality and safety
Coenzyme is also a fascinating topic in terms of raw materials and its production. Production directly influences the quality. Of the three common methods of production (chemical synthesis, fermentation by bacteria and fermentation by yeasts), production by yeast fermentation represents the favored method. It’s currently the only way to produce bioidentical coenzyme Q10 without impurities. Pure bioidentical coenzyme Q10 contains the biologically active trans isomers and no contamination by cis isomers, as is the case with synthetic production. Coenzyme Q10 made by the market leader, Kaneka, is produced in a patented fermentation process. As mentioned, this process generates bioidentical coenzyme Q10 that is free from the impurities associated with classical synthesis processes. It has been used in clinical trials for over 30 years. It’s also allergen-free and certified kosher. Kaneka’s pure raw material is also produced according to pharmaceutical GMP standards. Additionally, coenzyme Q10 has been tested for human safety and has GRAS (generally recognized as safe) status.**
NutriGellets® - on the trail of the latest technology
Sensitive active ingredients like the reduced form of coenzyme Q10, ubiquinol, need additional protection. The latest technologies offer a suitable alternative in small, specially manufactured fish gelatin pearls. These pearls allow active ingredients to be stored and distributed uniformly. The advantage is clear: it contains zero unnecessary additives or stabilizers, colorants, or preservatives. The high-quality NutriGellets® technology optimizes the bioavailability of the active substances in the intestine, making it easily absorbable by the body.
Effects and Use Cases
Lack of drive, fatigue, and above all, stress, are predators of coenzyme Q10 and have dire effects on the body’s Q10 requirements. When the body is under pressure, it does not run at full capacity, but on a so-called “low flame,” tasked with increasing and handling the high energy demand. Therefore, especially in challenging phases of life, coenzyme Q10 helps us cope with stress and remain efficient in the long run. Keep in mind, environmental pollutants and an unhealthy lifestyle can lead to an increased need for coenzyme Q10. To support the cardiovascular system efficiency, especially at increasing age, a coenzyme Q10 supplement is recommended.** Physical activity is also associated with an increased Q10 requirement, which is why athletes benefit from an additional coenzyme Q10 intake. During athletic training, the body naturally requires more coenzyme Q10 because of increased muscle activity to neutralize the free radicals produced.** The intake of certain drugs used to lower cholesterol levels (or statins) also influences the synthesis of coenzyme Q10. What’s critical to know is, coenzyme Q10 and cholesterol have the same pathways and precursors in their production in the liver. When statins block cholesterol synthesis, it inhibits an enzyme, which is needed to form coenzyme Q10. This leads to an increased need for coenzyme Q10 from food, as the body’s production becomes inhibited. In these cases, an additional dose of Q10 is useful.** Coenzyme Q10 is also used in many other applications and offers excellent potential therapeutic advantages.**
Side Effects and Dosage
Coenzyme Q10 is a natural nutrient that is produced by the body and occurs in small amounts in certain foods. Coenzyme Q10 can be found mostly in animal products, making a meat-oriented diet appealing. It’s important to consider the potential health risks involved with this decision. Vegetable oils and nuts also provide small amounts of coenzyme Q10. These foods are especially relevant for vegetarians and vegans. Coenzyme Q10 supplements have been offered for many years as dietary supplements in Europe and many other countries like the United States and Japan. Numerous scientific studies on safety issues have concluded that even higher doses are considered safe. According to the Observes Safe Level (OSL), the safety of ubiquinone is 1200 mg/d. In a study, the administration of 300 mg ubiquinol/d over four weeks was tolerated without any problems and declared safe and harmless. Usually, coenzyme Q10 is taken in doses of up to 120 mg per day. It’s a fat-soluble substance, so it is generally recommended to take Q10 with meals to improve absorption. However, as is the case for every supplement, you should consult your healthcare provider before taking coenzyme Q10 products.
Coenzyme Q10 is a natural, organic substance essential to our health and indispensable in our everyday lives. Due to its unique abilities (protection against free radicals, the promotion of our cells’ energy production and immune system support), avoidance of this miracle molecule is a mistake. Many factors influence the body’s coenzyme Q10 balance, including stress, UV radiation, smoking, malnutrition, or even increased age. Older adults should especially focus on a sufficient intake of coenzyme Q10 to help reduce physical and mental performance. Coenzyme Q10 supplementation energizes the body and helps us cope with daily challenges. Above all, the active form of coenzyme Q10 (ubiquinol) is a simpler compound for the body to absorb, which makes it unique. So what can we do to regain energy and experience vitality to the fullest? Keep an eye on coenzyme Q10. It’s worth it, for sure!**