Several factors are responsible for this decrease in coenzyme Q10 levels in the body: age, insufficient dietary intake, stress, or even infections.
Although this molecule is naturally present in many foods, the highest concentrations of coenzyme Q10 are found in meat and fish. The average daily dietary intake of coenzyme Q10 is estimated at around 10 mg, which is a long way from the 100 mg per day that many studies have shown is necessary to meet the body's needs. However, the current diet alone cannot provide this necessary dose.
Coenzyme Q10 exists in two forms:
- Ubiquinone : oxidised form, which participates in mitochondrial cellular energy metabolism and in the synthesis of ATP (adenosine triphosphate).
- Ubiquinol : reduced form, also essential because it guarantees the antioxidant function of coenzyme Q10.
Depending on the needs and the location (blood and lymph for ubiquinol, mitochondria for ubiquinone), each form will have a specific action: protection of membranes and lipoproteins from oxidation for ubiquinol, mitochondrial function and ATP production for ubiquinone. After absorption, coenzyme Q10 switches from one form to the other, i.e. from the ubiquinone to the ubiquinol form, which is why the benefits of supplementation are comparable. However, the ubiquinol form has the advantage of significantly increasing the bioavailability of coenzyme Q10. This property is useful in cases of disturbed intestinal absorption, more specifically in the elderly, in cases of chronic inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and in cases of imbalance of the intestinal flora.