Coenzyme Q10 is a substance that is very similar to a vitamin. CoQ10 already exists within our body. It is found in the mitochondria of our cells, and assists in producing adenosine triphosphate, or ATP. Our bodies makes CoQ10, and our cells use it to produce the energy our bodies need for cell growth and maintenance. It also functions as an antioxidant, which protects the body from damage caused by harmful molecules. CoQ10 is naturally present in small amounts in a wide variety of foods, but levels are particularly high in organ meats such as heart, liver, and kidney, as well as beef, soy oil, sardines, mackerel, and peanuts. Coenzymes help enzymes work to digest food and perform other body processes, and they help protect the heart and skeletal muscles.
Some health and longevity benefits of CoQ10 are the:
CoenzymeQ10 is found in high concentrations in the heart, liver kidney, and pancreas. The total body content of CoQ10 has been estimated to be 0.5-1.5 grams. About 50% of the CoQ10 in the body is found within the mitochondria, where energy is generated on a continuous basis, and where CoQ10 has three major functions: to help several mitochondrial enzymes convert dietary nutrients (in the presence of oxygen) into the energy "currency" of the body ATP, or Adenosine Triphosphate; to help quench some of the free radicals generated in the energy making process; and to help protect the integrity of the mitochondrial membrane.
CoQ10 levels have been shown to be well below normal in patients with a wide variety of diseases including heart disease, cancer and muscular dystrophy, as well as in normally aging people. One likely reason for these age and disease-related declines in CoQ10 may be the complexity of the process by which CoQ10 is synthesized within the body.