CoQ10 uptake improves by 50% with grapefruit juice

October 29, 2010

in Health News,Studies

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By Aaron Melius

CoQ10 was first identified in 1957 and was named “ubiquinone” because it is found everywhere in the body.  It is found in the highest amounts in the heart, liver, kidneys, and pancreas and in lowest amounts in the lungs.  One issue with CoQ10 supplementation is its low bioavailability, meaning it is poorly absorbed into the body by the intestines.  This has caused many CoQ10 supplements to be combined with oils to help increase bio-availability.  Now a new lab study  has found that grapefruit juice may enhance CoQ10 absorption.

“We have demonstrated that a higher cellular uptake of CoQ10 was achieved in the presence of grapefruit juice,” wrote the Japanese researchers, led by Ken Iseki from Hokkaido University.

We have demonstrated that a higher cellular uptake of CoQ10 was achieved in the presence of grapefruit juice

The formulation of the CoQ10 is known to play a key role in its bioavailability. Since the coenzyme is lipophilic (fat-loving) its absorption is enhanced in the presence of lipids. Therefore, when taken as a supplement apart from meals, the absorption of some formulations is lower.

“It is possible that co-administration of CoQ10 with grapefruit juice constitutes an easily accessible way to improve the intestinal absorption of CoQ10,” added Iseki and his co-workers.

Is CoQ10 Like a Vitamin?

CoQ10 has properties similar to vitamins, but since it is naturally synthesized in the body it is not classed as such. Our ability to synthesise the compound peaks at the age of 20 and amounts in our body decrease rapidly after we pass the age of 40.
With chemical structure 2,3-dimethoxy-5-methyl-6-decaprenyl-1,4-benzoquinone, it is also known as ubiquinone because of its ‘ubiquitous’ distribution throughout the human body.

The coenzyme is concentrated in the mitochondria – the ‘power plants’ of the cell – and plays a vital role in the production of chemical energy by participating in the production of adenosince triphosphate (ATP), the body’s co-called ‘energy currency’.

There is an ever-growing body of scientific data that shows substantial health benefits of CoQ10 supplementation for people suffering from angina, heart attack and hypertension. The nutrient is also recommended to people on statins to off-set the CoQ-depleting effects of the medication. Other studies have reported that CoQ10 may play a role in the prevention or benefit people already suffering from neurodegenerative diseases.


“Grapefruit juice enhance the uptake of coenzyme Q10 in the human intestinal cell-line Caco-2” in the May 15, 2010 issue of Food Chemistry. Posted February 24, 2010.

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