27 facts about CoQ10

27 facts about CoQ10

CoQ10 is as mysterious as it is ubiquitous. Here are some facts about this amazing substance.

Coenzyme Q10 is also known as ubiquinone  because of its 'ubiquity' in the human body

What it is

  • Fat-soluble, vitamin-like substance occurs primarily in the mitochondria of practically every cell in the body
  • Plays a unique role in the electron transport chain (ETC) and its primary function is to generate energy in cells
  • Is responsible for generating 95 percent of the human body’s energy
  • Discovered by Prof. Fredrick L. Crane et al at the University of Wisconsin, Madison Enzyme Institute in 1957.

Where it’s found

  • Found in highest concentration in the inner membrane of the mitochondrion
  • Naturally present in many foods, particularly high in organ meats (heart, liver and kidney), beef, soy oil, sardines, mackerel, and peanuts
  • Available as natural and synthetic; ubiquinone is produced through a proprietary bacteria-production process; ubiquinol is manufactured via yeast fermentation
  • Leading brands: Kyowa CoQ10TM; Kaneka Q10TM; Nu Skin Enterprises’ Pharmanex NanoCoQ10

Food or medicine?

  • Peter Mitchell received a Nobel Prize in 1978 for proposing in 1961 how CoQ10 works
  • CoQ10 levels in the body decline with age and may be augmented with food or supplements
  • Important as an antioxidant and free radical scavenger
  • People prone to chronic diseases such as heart conditions, muscular dystrophies, Parkinson’s disease, cancer, diabetes, and HIV/AIDS have low levels of CoQ10
  • Supplementation helps not only boosts energy but also cognitive functions for an overall energy boost
  • GRAS status in the USA for food and beverage applications
  • Scientific evidence supports CoQ10 supplementation to counter angina, heart attack, and hypertension
  • Popularly used to offset the CoQ10-depletion by statin drugs

Manufacturing pluses

  • Fat-soluble and relies on emulsifiers for dispersion in water-based applications
  • Used in high added-value foods, nutraceuticals, cosmetics, cosmeceutical, and anti-aging finished products
  • Nanoemulsion is the technology of choice for water-based applications

Manufacturing minuses

  •  Ubiquinol highly prone to oxidation in the air; supplements therefore are still the leading format of consumption

Market drivers

  • Growing consumer demand for non-caffeinated energy supplements favors CoQ10
  • Role in cognitive health, heart health and anti-aging has catapulted its popularity in the U.S.
  • Antioxidant defense system for breast cancer patients bolstering new medical food products
  • Emerging studies report CoQ10’s role in preventing or managing neurodegenerative diseases

Physiological effects

  • Placebo-controlled studies have established the effectiveness of heart disease treatment with CoQ10
  • Effective in lowering blood pressure

Surprising fact

  • CoQ10 in facial creams is gaining popularity with women and men for use as an anti-aging topical supplement

Resource: Coenzyme Q10 Supplementation and Heart Failure. Nutrition Reviews, Vol. 65, No. 6, 2007

Kantha Shelke, PhD, is a principal at Corvus Blue LLC, a Chicago-based food science and nutrition firm that specializes in competitive intelligence and expert witness services. Contact her at [email protected] or 312-951-5810.

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