Coenzyme quinones occur in several chemical forms, with coenzyme Q10 being the only form found in human tissues.
The human body is able to synthesize (in the liver) a limited amount of coenzyme Q10, with the remainder being obtained from the diet. Rich sources of coenzyme Q10 include fish (mackerel, salmon, sardines) and nuts. Under normal circumstances, the body is able to maintain adequate levels of coenzyme Q10. However, coenzyme Q10 levels decrease with age, and are depleted by intense physical exercise or illness.
Coenzyme Q10 is an essential cofactor of enzymes involved in the energy production process. Coenzyme Q10 is stored in mitochondria, structures found within cells responsible for the generation of energy (in the form of a molecule called ATP). Tissues with a high-energy requirement (heart, liver, skeletal muscles) contain higher numbers of mitochondria within their cells.
Mitochondria illustration: Inside the mitochondria, energy is produced from nutrients in the food we eat. A Q10 deficiency may be one of the reasons why cells fail to produce energy. This, in turn, weakens the body’s ability to protect itself against illness and the onset of old age.