You are on the go most of the time. You burn up a lot of energy in the course of the day. You undoubtedly know that the body produces something called ATP (adenosine triphosphate) molecules are the high-energy molecules with easily broken phosphate bonds that release energy to the energy-requiring processes in the cells. Coenzyme Q10 is essential to the process of ATP production.... Read more about this term (See ATP ) in the cells and that it uses the ATP to generate energy. But the cells produce and store only so much ATP. With strenuous exertion, you will soon deplete those stores of ATP.
Okay, so, how does Coenzyme Q10 come into the picture? First of all, Q10 itself is a fat-soluble substance that is synthesized in our bodies in a complicated multi-step process that requires the optimal availability of several vitamins, most notably vitamin B6.
Research studies have shown two things that we need to be aware of: 1) that our production of Q10 declines with advancing age, and 2) that, the older we get, the more difficult it is for us to get enough Q10 in the food we eat.
Q10’s two important functions
Q10 is known to fulfill two vital functions in our cells, especially in our heart muscle cells.
First of all, Q10 boosts energy production. It is necessary for the synthesis of the energy molecule ATP in the mitochondria of our cells. This is very important because ATP is what the cells use when they need energy.
Secondly, Q10 plays an important Antioxidants are substances that protect the cells and lipoproteins against the harmful effects of free radicals. They are substances that prevent the oxidation of other molecules and compounds. There are two broad categories of antioxidants: enzymatic and non-enzymatic. Non-enzymatic antioxidants are substances like Coenzyme Q10, vitamin C, vitamin E, glutathione, and various carotenoids. Prominent enzymatic antioxidants include catalase, glutathione peroxidase,... Read more about this term role in the The cell membranes, sometimes called plasma membranes, are the physical barrier that protects the contents of the cells from everything that is outside the cells. The cell membranes also regulate what can move in and out of the cells. Coenzyme Q10 is present in all cell membranes in the body except in the red blood cells. It helps to prevent... Read more about this term and in Lipoproteins are particles comprised of protein and lipids, with a core of triglycerides and cholesterol esters and an outer layer of phospholipids. Lipoproteins transport lipids through the bloodstream. LDL-lipoproteins carry cholesterol from the liver to the body tissues. HDL- lipoproteins carry cholesterol back to the liver from the body tissues. LDL-lipoproteins also bind and transport Coenzyme Q10 molecules, predominately in... Read more about this term. As such, it could help to protect us against degenerative diseases.
In this article, we will focus on the role of Q10 in energy production.
Q10’s role in energy production
The basics of energy production are that high-energy glucose molecules react with oxygen molecules to produce the reaction products of carbon dioxide and water and energy.
In effect, the cells take in nutrients (glucose) and push out waste products (carbon dioxide and water), and they produce energy in the form of ATP.
The reason for the cells’ production of energy in this process is that the reaction products CO2 and H2O are much lower-energy molecules than the glucose molecules are.
The four phases of energy production in the cells
There are four phases to the cells’ production of energy in the presence of oxygen (the process is called aerobic respiration).
Phase one is called the glycolysis phase. Glucose molecules are broken down into pyruvate molecules. There is a net yield of two ATP molecules per glucose molecule in this phase.
Phase two is called the preparatory phase. The pyruvate molecules enter the The mitochondria are the bean-shaped organelles in the cells. They are the key organelles with responsibility for the production of ATP energy molecules.... Read more about this term and are transformed into acetyl-coenzyme A molecules.
Phase three is the citrus acid cycle (also called the Krebs cycle) phase. Eight different reactions take place in this phase. The intermediate energy molecules NADH and FADH2 are produced. There is a net yield of two ATP molecules per glucose molecule in this phase as well.
Phase four is the The electron transport chain is the pathway in the mitochondria in which nutrients are oxidized and converted to generate the energy that used to produce ATP energy. The mitochondria require an optimal supply of Coenzyme Q10 in the form of ubiquinone to generate ATP energy.... Read more about this term phase. In the inner mitochondrial membrane, Q10 molecules accept electrons from the compounds that were generated in the The glucose metabolism is the process by which the body processes and uses sugars in the diet to produce energy. In patients with diabetes, the body’s tolerance and processing of sugars is impaired or damaged. Clinical studies have shown that the use of Coenzyme Q10 supplements does not impair the body’s glucose metabolism.... Read more about this term and that are ready to give up one or two electrons.
Q10 and the electron transfer chain
The Q10 molecules then transfer the electrons to other compounds that are ready to accept electrons. Simultaneously, the Q10 molecules transfer protons outside the inner membrane of the mitochondria. When protons flow back into the interior of the mitochondria, energy is released. That energy is used to form ATP.
The net yield of ATP molecules from a glucose molecule in phase four is 32 or 34, depending on conditions in the inner mitochondrial membrane. Altogether, in the process of Cellular respiration is the technical term for the metabolic reactions and processes in the cells that convert the biochemical energy from nutrients into adenosine triphosphate (ATP) energy and then release waste products.... Read more about this term, 36 or 38 ATP molecules are produced from a glucose molecule: two from phase one glycolysis, two from the citrus acid cycle in phase three, and 32 or 34 from phase four.
Please understand that the Q10 molecules have to be present for the release of the energy that is needed to produce ATP. Each Q10 molecule is usable multiple times, being reduced and oxidized many times, back and forth, before it falls apart and needs to be replaced.
Because the Q10 molecules will eventually fall apart, we need constantly to synthesize or ingest more Q10 molecules.
Steady demand for Q10
Our bodies store only enough ATP, at any one time, to fuel strenuous exertion for several minutes. So, if we are active, we will be using Q10 more or less steadily to make more ATP. Even at rest, our heart muscle is exerting itself, so we will always be needing more ATP produced.
How efficient are we in the process of energy production? Biology textbooks tell us that about 40% of the energy in a glucose molecule will be transferred to ATP. The rest of the energy from the glucose molecule will be lost as heat energy.
From aerobic to anaerobic energy production
We all know from experience what happens when we over-exert ourselves and cannot get enough oxygen to our cells rapidly enough. Our muscle tissues switch from aerobic energy production to anaerobic energy production, which, for a short period, gives us the energy that we need to continue.
But the lactate that builds up in our muscles during energy production in the absence of oxygen is toxic to our cells, and, when the blood can no longer carry away all of the lactate that builds up, then we begin to become fatigued, and we begin to cramp up.
Anaerobic energy production inefficient
During the period of anaerobic energy production, only two ATP molecules are produced from each glucose molecule. That is an efficiency rate of just over two percent.
So, oxygen is very important to efficient and sustainable energy production.
But, think about it. Those ATP molecules cannot be produced from glucose molecules unless there are Q10 molecules available to do their work in phase four of the process of cellular respiration.
It should be clear that we need to make sure that we have an adequate intake of Q10 with good bio-availability whenever we are exerting ourselves athletically and as we are getting up in age.
But even those of us who are younger or who are inclined to avoid strenuous physical exertion have a heart muscle that is constantly working, and the cells in the heart need energy constantly, and, to get energy from ATP, the cells need Q10.Please click here for more information about Q10 and energy production in the cells.