Today, millions of adults take CoQ10 for heart health. In fact, all of us have CoQ10 present in nearly every cell of our body. That’s why the two different forms of CoQ10 are called “Ubiquinone” and “Ubiquinol”- two names derived from ubiquitous, meaning “found everywhere.”
But many of us still have a lot to learn about this special nutrient. In fact, learning there are two forms of it can be a surprise itself. Here are five surprising facts that you may not know about CoQ10.
1. CoQ10 exists in two different forms
Ubiquinone is the first type. Sometimes called Conventional CoQ10, this form is found naturally in our food, and our bodies also make it. However, before our bodies can start using Ubiquinone to generate cellular energy, we have to convert it into its advanced form, Ubiquinol.
2. Only the Ubiquinol form is a powerful antioxidant
Ubiquinol protects your cells from damage. As explained in this 1990 study, Ubiquinol prevents oxidation damage to your cells by protecting against free radicals, which can contribute to cell death. Ubiquinone does not possess the same antioxidant power.
3. Experts encourage older adults to take Ubiquinol over Ubiquinone
Starting around age 40 — and even as early as age 30 — our bodies start to have a harder time converting Conventional CoQ10 (ubiquinone) into Ubiquinol. This, in turn, can affect the cellular energy our organs use to function at optimal levels. For this reason, some doctors may suggest adults over the age of 40 begin to take an oral Ubiquinol supplement. Other age-related factors, such as taking a cholesterol-lowering statin such as Lipitor, could increase the consideration of a taking a Ubiquinol supplement.
4. Studies consistently show Ubiquinol is the form that’s easier for the body to use
If Ubiquinol is the refined gasoline that powers our cells, think of Ubiquinone as crude oil. One 2014 study found adults were able to get more cellular energy out of Ubiquinol than adults who had consumed Ubiquinone. Another study suggests Ubiquinol is better absorbed in the blood than is Ubiquinone.
5. Ubiquinol is better for heart health than Ubiquinone
Studies have suggested that Ubiquinol may have a more significant effect on your heart’s “ejection fraction” than Ubiquinone. Ejection fraction is the amount of blood your heart pumps with each beat. A 2008 study demonstrated improved ejection fraction with Ubiquinol. The same study found Ubiquinone had no such effect.
Are you interested in learning why Ubiquinol is so different from Ubiquinone? Read this article explaining how two electrons and two hydrogens completely transform Ubiquinone into its more advanced form, Ubiquinol.