Coenzyme Q10 (2,3, dimethoxy-5-methyl-6 decaprenyl-1,4-benzoquinone) was isolated from cardiac mitochondria by Dr. Frederick L. Crane and colleagues at the University of Wisconsin in 1957, and its chemical structure was determined by Dr. Karl Folkers et al. of the University of Texas in 1958.
Coenzyme Q10 is also known as “ubiquinone”, a name derived from the words ‘ubiquitous’, meaning ‘everywhere’, and ‘quinone’. The biological function common to quinone compounds such as ubiquinone, vitamin K and plastoquinone is to act as redox components of transmembrane electron transport system. Ubiquinol, vitamin K hydroquinone and plastoquinol are the two-electro reduction products of ubiquinone, vitamin K and plastoquinone, respectively. In other words, ubiquinone is the oxidized form and ubiquinol is the reduced form of Coenzyme Q10. Ubiquinol is unstable in air and easily oxidized back to ubiquinone. The first report on antioxidative activity of ubiquinol was by Drs. Mellors and Tappel in 1966. In the plasma of healthy human, more than 90% of Coenzyme Q10 exists in the reduced form, ubiquinol. It is reported that ratio of ubiquinol to Coenzyme Q10 in the plasma is a bio-marker for oxidative stress, indicating that people suffering from strong oxidative stress have lower levels of ubiquinol in their plasma . Kaneka Ubiquinol supplementation will help these people to maintain healthy condition. Kaneka developed the method to supply ubiquinol commercially and the FDA accepted Kaneka Ubiquinol as a New Dietary Ingredient in 2005.
Coenzyme Q10 is a valuable biological substance whose homologues are present everywhere in the organic world, among a variety of plant species, animals, and microorganisms.
The most remarkable characteristic of Coenzyme Q10 in terms of the human body lies in its indispensability in the production of energy. Coenzyme Q10 exists in components within the cell membrane such as mitochondria and lysosomes. Coenzyme Q10 was first referred to as “vitamin Q”, due to its vitamin-like functions. Coenzyme Q10 is internally biosynthesized through the mevalonate pathway, the bio synthetic pathway of intrinsic cholesterol and exists in the heart, kidneys, liver, muscles, pancreas, and thyroid in high concentrations. Coenzyme Q10 is an important factor in the process of electron transfer at the heart of the aerobic energy-supply process and exerts a great influence on the production of ATP. It has been reported that the supply of Coenzyme Q10 activates the production of ATP. This is considered to be due to the activation of the electron transfer process through an increase in the amount of Coenzyme Q10 in the body. It has also been reported that the body does not produce a sufficient amount of Coenzyme Q10 for all necessary electron transfer processes. This supports the theory that Coenzyme Q10 activates ATP production.