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Coenzyme Q10 - 'Vitamin Q'

Coenzyme Q10 (also known as CoQ10, Q10, vitamin Q10, vitamin Q, ubiquinone, or ubidecarenone) is a vitamin-like substance found in many foods and existing in every cell in the body. It is concentrated in the liver, heart, kidneys and pancreas. The lowest amounts are found in the lungs. Tissue levels of coenzyme Q10 decrease as people get older. It plays a part in cell function and is believed to help in the treatment of obesity, diabetes and Alzheimer's disease.

The functions of coenzyme Q10

Coenzyme Q10 is a substance needed for the proper functioning of an enzyme, a protein that speeds up the rate at which chemical reactions take place in the body. The Q and the 10 in coenzyme Q10 refer to parts of the compound's chemical structure.

Coenzyme Q10:

The symptoms and signs of coenzyme Q10 deficiency

When coenzyme Q10 is deficient, the cells cannot function properly and the rate at which the muscle cells work is adversely affected.

Coenzyme Q10 deficiency may be caused by:

Decreased dietary intake is presumed in chronic malnutrition and cachexia.

Food sources of coenzyme Q10

Coenzyme Q10 is found in organ meats, spinach, polyunsaturated vegetable oils, and fish, such as, tuna and sardines.

Therapeutic uses

The health benefits of taking coenzyme Q10 include the:

How much is needed?

There is no RDA for coenzyme Q10 but Sullivan (2002) recommends that 15 to 30 mg be taken daily for optimum good health.

Taking other antioxidants in addition to coenzyme Q10 would increase the health benefit.

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Bland, J. 1996, Contemporary Nutrition. J & B Associates.

Davies, S. and A. Stewart., 1997, Nutritional Medicine. Pan.

Holden, S., Hudson, K., Tilman, J. & D. Wolf, 2003, The Ultimate Guide to Health from Nature. Asrolog Publication.

Pressman, A. and S. Buff, 2000, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Vitamins and Minerals. (2nd Ed.) Alpha Books.

Singh, R.B., Kartik, C., Otsuka, K., Pella D, and Pella, J. 2002, Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) Research Biomed Pharmacother 56 Suppl 2:257s-265s.

Soothill, R. 1996, The Choice Guide to Vitamins and Minerals. A Choice Book Publication.

Sullivan, K. 2002, Vitamins and Minerals: A Practical Approach to a Health Diet and Safe Supplementation. Harper Collins.

Watts, G.F., Playford, D.A., Croft, K.,D, Ward, N.C., Mori, T.A., and Burke, V. 2002, Coenzyme Q10 Improves Endothelial Dysfunction of the Brachial Artery in Type II Diabetes Mellitus. Diabetologia Mar;45(3):420-6.

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