Coenzyme Q10 (Ubiquinone)

Ubiquinone and its reduced form ubiquinol are present in virtually all cells. As part of the respiratory chain, ubiquinone is involved in mitochondrial electron transport and shuttles reducing equivalents from NADH dehydrogenase, succinate dehydrogenase and fatty acyl-CoA dehydrogenase to cytochromes, which ultimately deliver electrons to molecular oxygen.

Like vitamin E, ubiquinone is absorbed in the intestine along with dietary fat and becomes incorporated into chylomicrons for transport in the serum. While in circulation, ubiquinone is associated with low density lipoprotein sub-fractions. Because ubiquinol is readily oxidized in the presence of oxygen, ubiquinone is the form most likely ingested from food, and is the form administered in supplements.  Recent experiments demonstrated that although absolute levels increased after supplementation, the ratio of ubiquinol to ubiquinone in serum was unchanged, indicating that a portion of ingested ubiquinone becomes reduced before it is incorporated into lipoproteins.

Because ubiquinol is recognized as a powerful antioxidant, it may play a role in inhibiting diseases associated with oxidative damage, such as the onset of premature aging, cancer and a variety of degenerative diseases. Research has demonstrated that vitamin E confers protection against lipid peroxidation in LDL subfractions, and thus may inhibit atherogenesis and ischemic heart disease. Recent experiments have demonstrated that ubiquinol protects LDL from free radical damage in a dose-dependent manner. Therefore, ubiquinol is likely to play a role in preventing heart disease.57-

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