Coenzyme Q10 is a naturally occurring benzoquinone that is important in electron transport in mitochondrial membranes, plays a vital role in converting carbohydrates and fats into ATP (the energy currency of the cells). Coenzyme Q10 functions as an endogenous antioxidant (that prevents the generation of free radicals); deficiencies of this enzyme have been observed in patients with many different types of cancer, and limited studies have suggested that coenzyme Q10 may induce tumour regression in patients with breast cancer. This agent may have immunostimulatory effects. It is sold as a dietary supplement. Coenzyme Q10 is primarily found in the heart, liver, kidney, and pancreatic tissue. Generally, In humans, normal blood levels of coenzyme Q10 have been defined variably, with reported average values range from 0.30 to 3.84 µg/mL.
Coenzyme Q10 activity
The “Q” & the “10” in the name refer to the quinone chemical group and the ten isopentyl subunits, a part of the compound’s structure, respectively. The term “coenzyme” stands for an organic (contains carbon atoms), a nonprotein molecule for its protein partner (an enzyme or an enzyme complex). Coenzyme Q10 is used by cells in aerobic respiration, aerobic metabolism, Oxidative metabolism, Cell respiration.
The body also uses coenzyme Q10 as an endogenous antioxidant. The antioxidant is a substance that protects cells from free radicals [highly reactive chemicals containing oxygen atoms capable of damaging cellular components like DNA & lipids]. In addition, the level of coenzyme Q10 in plasma is used in studies as a measure of oxidative stress.
Coenzyme Q10 and Cancer
In cancer patients, coenzyme Q10 has been shown to do the following:
Protect the heart from anthracycline-induced cardiotoxicity [anthracyclines are a family of chemotherapy drugs, including doxorubicin, that have the potential to Damage the heart]. and
Stimulate the immune system.
Stimulation of the immune system has also been observed in animal studies and humans without cancer. Due to the immunostimulatory potential, coenzyme Q10 has been used as adjuvant therapy in patients with various types of cancer.
The coenzyme Q10 may show indirect anticancer activity through its effect(s) on the immune system; evidence suggests that analogues of this compound can suppress cancer growth directly. Analogues of coenzyme Q10 have been shown to inhibit the proliferation of cancer cells in vitro and the development of cancer cells transplanted into rats and mice. Given these findings, it has been proposed that analogues of coenzyme Q10 may function as antimetabolites to disarray normal biochemical reactions that are required for cell growth and survival and, thus, that they may be helpful as chemotherapeutic agents.
Coenzyme Q10 significantly compensated defects in the antioxidant defense mechanisms, suppressed lipid peroxidation, decreased the elevations of tumour necrosis factor-alpha, nitric oxide, and platinum ion concentration, and constricted the reductions of selenium and zinc ions in renal tissue due to cisplatin [chemotherapeutic drug/ cancer drug] use for cancer therapy. Also, Histopathological renal tissue damage caused by cisplatin was ameliorated by coenzyme Q10 treatment, concluding that coenzyme Q10 is a potential therapeutic option to protect against acute cisplatin nephrotoxicity clinical practice.
Other therapeutic benefits of Coenzyme Q10
In Alzheimer’s disease (AD), oxidative stress and accumulation of amyloid-beta (Aβ) induce neuroinflammation, disturbing the insulin [essential for brain function and neuronal survival signaling pathway. The biochemical deviations and histological changes were attenuated by the concomitant treatment with biotin and, to a greater extent, with CoQ10 and the combination.
L-dopa [Precursor of dopamine, a medication for treating Parkinson’s disease] is viewed as replacement therapy in parkinsonism, in addition to coenzyme Q10 in a high dose in early Parkinson’s disease proved disease-modifying role on several levels of the proposed mechanisms, including improvement of respiratory chain activity and intervention with neuronal apoptosis.
CoQ10 activates mitophagy [selective degradation of mitochondria by autophagy] to protect against APAP-induced liver injury [Excess dose of Acetaminophen]. Therefore, CoQ10 can serve as a novel therapeutic option for preventing and treating a drug-induced liver injury.
- The typical side effects reported in humans are related to the gastrointestinal tract.
- Irritation, rashes.
- Feeling weak, not able to fall asleep.
Cancer Patients with specific medication like blood thinners should be cautious as the coenzyme Q10 changes how some medication reacts with the body.
As stated in the product label, the diet supplements as a part of the diet for cancer patients containing ubidecarenone indicates the individuals with cardiovascular problems, including congestive heart failure and systolic hypertension. In the product, ubidecarenone increases cardiac input and prevents several other diseases like Parkinson’s, fibromyalgia, migraine, periodontal disease, and diabetes, based on preclinical studies for coping with cancer.