Our post about Tocotrienols revolved around a discussion of apoptosis, the normal cellular process that gets rid of damaged cells before they cause harm. This post about CoQ10-Riboflavin-Niacin relates to the same issue, but on a more esoteric level: the PARP protein.
PARP stands for Poly-ADP Ribose-Polymerase. It’s a protein with crucial roles in DNA repair, apoptosis, and maintaining the stability of your genome.1 When your DNA sustains damage, PARP is literally the “first responder”: it binds quickly to any broken strands of DNA. If PARP does its job, mutations in your DNA are either repaired, or the signal is sent to activate the self destruct button: apoptosis. Needless to say, keeping PARP in action is highly desirable.
CoQ10, Riboflavin and Niacin have complementary roles in assisting PARP, and have therefore been used by researchers as a combination therapy, sometimes referred to by the acronym “CoRN.”
CoQ10 plays a crucial role in generating the energy molecules (ATP) that power our cells. Coenzyme Q10 has been found to enhance PARP activity2, and also has been shown to increase the DNA repair rate by protecting the cells against further oxidative
What is Ubiquinol?
CoQ10 has two forms, both in our bodies and in supplements: Ubiquinone and Ubiquinol. Ubiquinol is the active form—it’s CoQ10 that has been activated by the addition of two electrons, and it then serves as an electron transporter to generate ATP. In young, healthy people, Ubiquinol is the predominant form in all cells. When we are young, we can easily convert Ubiquinone into Ubiquinol as needed. But after age 25, our ability to do this diminishes slowly, so supplementing with Ubiquinol is preferred.
You can get ubiquinol from food… but it isn’t easy. To get the amount that is in Curos (100mg per day), you’d have to eat 33 pounds of sardines every day… or 20 six-ounce steaks… or 50 cups of spinach. Sometimes it’s just easier to take a pill.
Riboflavin helps in two ways: it assists CoQ10 in energy production (by converting to FAD in the Krebs Cycle). It also helps maintain the stability of our genome by capturing reactive metabolites before they can damage DNA.4,5,6,7
Niacin gets converted in your body to NAD+, which is the actual substrate for PARP: without NAD, PARP can’t function at all. Once PARP binds to damaged DNA, it transforms NAD into “PAR”: Poly-ADP Ribose, which regulates cell survival vs apoptosis.8,9,10
So, you can understand why researchers have felt that the combination of CoQ10, Riboflavin and Niacin might increase the efficacy of PARP, supporting normal cellular DNA repair and apoptosis.
Those studies used a particular brand of Ubiquinol called Kaneka QH– and so that is the brand that we use in CUROS Essential. Kaneka also has the distinction of having human bioavailability studies11 proving that it is well-absorbed.