Co Q10, or Ubiquinone, is a Vitamin-like substance that is found in virtually all cells of
the human body. In 1957, Dr. Fred L Carne noticed a frothy substance that consistently
rose to the top of the test tubes of meshed beef heart. This yellow crystalline substance
was identified by Karl Folkers (the “father” of Co enzyme Q10) at the Merck, Sharp &
Dohme laboratories in New Jersey in 1958. Dr. R.A. Morten called this Q10 compound
ubiquinone because of its widespread appearance in living organisms. Unlike vitamins,
which by definition are not synthesized by the body, Co Q10 is synthesized in all tissues
of the body.
Co-enzyme Q10 has a quinone-like group (hence the Q) with 0 isoprenoid units as the
side-chain (hence 10). The quinone ring is synthesized from the amino acid tyrosine
whilst the isoprenoid side chains are formed from acetyl CoA (of which pantethine is also
Co Q10 is a fat-soluble yellow crystalline compound with a Molecular weight of 338.44
Daltons. Co Q10 functions as a co-enzyme in the energy-
producing metabolic pathways of every cell of the body with a
powerful antioxidant activity.
(1.) Antioxidant activity. Biological oxidation is a ubiquitous event that occurs continually in the body, causing
havoc and numerous pathological conditions. Oxidation results from the breakdown of oxygen molecules as they
combine with other molecules in the body. Such oxidation can be the result of the body’s normal metabolism of
the foods we eat, or it can occur in the body as a result of external forces such as exercise, radiation, pollution,
alcohol or heavy metal intoxication, infections etc. The resulting free radicals are highly reactive molecules, which
interfere with enzymatic reactions and cause disruption of cell membranes and even DNA. Co Q10 has a strong
ability to give up electrons quickly and thus acts as a powerful antioxidant against free radicals, and affords
protection against LDL oxidation, which is a pivotal step in the cause of atherosclerosis.