Vitamin Q is a fat-soluble vitamin which is also called ubiquinone, which again is a generic term for compounds in animal organisms which have a benzoquinone core and a variable side chain and which are related to the transportation of electrons. The plant counterpart of coenzyme Q10 is plastoquinone. The compound is also known as coenzyme Q10. To be exact, ubiquinone is not a vitamin because the human organism synthesises it from mevalonic acid and the metabolites of fenylalanine and tyrosine and, due to this synthesis, the specific need for it is not described. However, an increased need of ubiquinone has been detected in the case of anaemias, muscular dystrophy, and myocardium contraction disorders and atherosclerosis and, therefore, the prophylactic administration of vitamin Q is essential.
Which foods contain the vitamin?
- Soy oil
- Whole grain products
The vitamin’s biofunctions
Coenzyme Q10 is a component in the transportation chain of electrons. The system is capable of electron transmission as the redox system of ubiquinone/dihydroubiquinone, which means that vitamin Q plays a central role in those systems which ensure that cells can breathe.
Vitamin Q is also an antioxidant which is produced by a lipophilic environment, one which offers protection against the peroxidation of lipids. Generally, endogenic antioxidants cope well under normal conditions without additional intake. However, together with alcohol, narcotics, infections, stress, toxins, radiation, and a diet which is lacking in nutrients and heavy trainings, additional antioxidants need to be administered to neutralise oxidative stress.
Absorption, retention, and excretion
Absorbs into lymph nodes from the small intestine and is retained in coenzymatic form in the liver, the side chain of which is synthesised in the organism from acetyl-CoA. It is important to know that absorption is inhibited by a deficiency of bile acids or pancreatic juice, excessive iron, oral contraceptives, antibiotics, and intestinal damage.
Problems related to deficiencies
- A decrease in load capacity
- Increased risk of cardiovascular diseases, immune system disorders, and the formation of tumours
- Accelerated aging
Risk groups for deficiencies
- The elderly
- People with a deficiency in B vitamins
- Long-time users of statins
- Users of beta blockers, methyl dopa, thiazides, and tricyclic antidepressants
Not known; however, it has been detected that, under some circumstances, vitamin Q may act as an oxidative stressor.
Vitamin Q is contraindicated if you are allergic to the preparation, or you have an hepatic impairment or a gallbladder abscess (where there is a risk of accumulation), or if you use aspirin or clopidogrel (where there is a risk of bleeding).
The use of vitamin preparations
Vitamin Q is used as an additional treatment component to treat atherosclerosis, ischemic heart disease, essential hypertension, periodontitis, premature aging, neurodegenerative diseases, muscular dystrophy, high cholesterol levels, and congestive heart failure.
For patients with Parkinson’s disease, research has indicated that an additional intake of coenzyme Q10 has resulted in the further progression of the disease..