Common names: ubiquinone, ubidecarenone
What is Coenzyme Q10?
A vitamin-like, fat-soluble compound of the ubiquinone family, coenzyme Q10 functions in all cells of the body, serving as a coenzyme for several of the key enzymatic steps that facilitate ATP production through aerobic respiration within the mitochondrial electron transport chain. Coenzyme Q10 also doubles as potent antioxidant, helping destroy free radicals before they can cause damage to normal cells within the body. Coenzyme Q10 is found naturally in highest concentration within organs and muscles demanding the most energy, such as the heart.
Coenzyme Q10 can also be found in such dietary sources as meat, poultry, and fish. How it works: The human body is on a continuous mission to generate enough energy to support the performance of every cell. It is thought that increased dietary intake of coenzyme Q10, through whole food or supplementation, may help the body keep up the demand for mitochondrial ATP synthesis, especially when demand exceeds production during times of stress, including the stress of physical exertion on the cardiovascular system as well as the stress of muscle recovery from athletic injury. In addition, as a potent antioxidant in both the mitochondria and lipid membranes, coenzyme Q10 helps to combat the 10- to 20-fold increase in molecules called reactive oxygen species (ROS) during physical exercise that can contribute to muscle injury and decreased performance.