Background And Relevant Pharmacokinetics

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is an endogenous enzyme cofactor produced in humans from tyrosine through a cascade of reactions that itself requires eight vitamin coenzymes: tetrahydrobiopterin, vitamins B6, C, B2, B12, folic acid, niacin, and pantothenic acid (Folkers et al 1990). CoQ10 is also a fat-soluble antioxidant vitamin that plays an indispensable role in intracellular energy production.

Absorption occurs in the small intestine and tends to be poor, and is influenced by the presence of food and drink. CoQ10 is better absorbed in the presence of a fatty meal and is primarily bound to VLDL- and LDL- cholesterol. As such, serum levels of CoQ10 depend mostly on the amount of CoQ10-containing lipoproteins in circu-

After incorporation into lipoproteins in the liver, CoQ10 is subsequently concentrated in various tissues, including the adrenals, spleen, kidneys, lungs and myocardium. Physical activity markedly reduces muscle tissue levels of CoQ10, which do not correlate to serum levels, suggesting they are independently regulated (Laaksonen et al 1995a, Overvad et al 1999).

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