CoQ10 and ATP: Alphabet Soup for Energy & Health

CoQ10 and ATP: Alphabet Soup for Energy & Health

Most people do not routinely think about the microscopic processes in the body that result in the ability to move, function, and live. On a cellular level, all cells require glucose to survive. However, glucose is transformed by mitochondria, which are comparable to generators, into usable energy. The end result of this process derives a source of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), as explained in the text, Molecular Biology of the Cell, 4th Edition. Take a look at how ATP and CoQ10, and microscopic processes form the baseline for generating all of the energy in the body and what that means for staying healthy.

What Is CoQ10?

CoQ10 refers to a fat-soluble compound, which is most often synthesized by the body. However, CoQ10 may be obtained from the diet by eating organs, such as beef, pork, or chicken liver, and other often unappealing dishes of animal organs. CoQ10 actually refers to coenzyme Q10 and is considered a member of the ubiquinone family. All animals have the ability to synthesize CoQ10, but some lifestyle choices and medications may strip CoQ10 from the body. A ubiquinone is a fat-soluble molecule that contains one to 12 units of 5-carbon units. In humans, this tail-end contains ten of these grouped, carbon units, so CoQ10 defines how many units are appearing in the form synthesized by the human body.

What Does CoQ10 Have to Do With ATP Production?

As explained byOregon State University, the conversion of energy from carbohydrates, such as glucose, requires the presence of CoQ10 in the mitochondrial membrane. As glucose and other carbohydrates are used in the mitochondria, electrons are moved from one adenosine molecule to another, and subsequent transport of electrons result in the creation of adenosine diphosphate (ADP), a precursor to ATP. At the same time, coenzyme Q is responsible for the transfer of protons from within the mitochondria to the outside of the mitochondrial membrane. The energy is released when the protons return to the inside of the mitochondrial membrane and the final product, ATP, is fully synthesized. Essentially, the presence of CoQ10 is required for approximately 95 percent of ATP production.


CoQ10 and ATP: Antioxidant Properties

As CoQ10 is used in the mitochondria, the form of the substance is reduced to CoQ10 H2. This reduced form is an effective fat-soluble antioxidant, which is stored in cellular membranes. Furthermore, the presence of the reduced form of CoQ10 has been found to reduce damage from oxygen molecules outside of the body, otherwise known as free radicals. Furthermore, when low-density lipids, the bad type of cholesterol, are oxidized, or destroyed by oxygen atoms, the CoQ10 reduced form is the first antioxidant consumed. Furthermore, the reaction is also capable of creating an α-TOH molecule from the α-TO radical. In other words, this antioxidant state continues to produce subsequent antioxidants, even when an adequate supply is not acceptable. Exercise, diet, and positive lifestyle choices help to contribute to overall health, vitality, and youth. However, an individual must understand how CoQ10 is a necessary component of energy production and individual body cells, and the absence of CoQ10 could result in severe drops in energy production. If true beauty starts on the inside, the first step in fighting aging and illness must focus on restoring CoQ10 levels, regardless of what caused them to drop.