Written by Risa Schulman
clock-line icon
4 mins

Ubiquinol CoQ10: The Powerful Antioxidant Your Body Needs

Ubiquinol is the active form of CoQ10 and plays a key role in producing the cellular energy your organs need for healthy  functioning - for example, cellular energy is what makes your heart pump.  A lamp is powered by electricity. A car is powered by gas. Your heart and other organs are powered by cellular energy.

CoQ10, or Coenzyme Q10, is among America’s most recognized supplements. Although millions of us buy the supplement to support heart health, most people don’t know there are two forms of this nutrient: Ubiquinone and Ubiquinol. Each exists naturally in the body and plays an essential role, but functions differently.

Whereas Ubiquinone, or conventional CoQ10, is the oxidized version of the nutrient, Ubiquinol is the antioxidant form. When Ubiquinone, or conventional CoQ10 is consumed, our bodies naturally convert it to Ubiquinol to produce cellular energy, which becomes less efficient by age 40. That’s where Ubiquinol supplements come in.  When Ubiquinol is consumed, it is readily available to help support the body's ability to create the cellular energy your organs need to function optimally. 

 

Ubiquinol Animated

Ubiquinol vs. CoQ10

It’s important to understand the difference between Ubiquinol and CoQ10, so you can decide which supplement is best for you. Healthy young adults can easily convert a conventional CoQ10 supplement into Ubiquinol, because their body’s ability to do so has yet to be naturally affected by age. However, as this ability diminishes after the age of 40, taking the advanced Ubiquinol form of CoQ10 is key to best supporting your heart health.

Ubiquinol Benefits

CoQ10 has interested researchers for many years, but the Ubiquinol form of CoQ10 has been commercially available in America since 2005. In that short time, more than 60 peer-reviewed clinical and research studies have been performed and over 1,800 scientific papers have been published regarding Ubiquinol, and its mechanism of action, safety and health benefits.

Supports Optimal Heart Health

Critical in the production of antioxidant adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the body’s primary fuel, Ubiquinol supports optimal heart health 1,2,3 by helping to provide the cellular energy needed to power the heart. ATP is used for three critical heart functions - contraction, relaxation, and molecular synthesis - with each function requiring significant amounts of cellular energy to best support heart health. 

Supports the body’s Cellular Energy Production

Found in every cell of your body, Ubiquinol is required for 95% of your cellular energy production8 , providing your heart, lungs, and other organs with the energy they need to function at optimal levels. 

Ubiquinol supports overall preconception health

Emerging research shows Ubiquinol can support reproductive health. In women, Ubiquinol helps provide the cellular energy essential for supporting a healthy egg. In men, Ubiquinol enhances sperm health, quality, density, and motility.

Helps prevent damage in the body caused by oxidative stress

Ubiquinol is a powerful antioxidant which helps to protect cells against the damaging effects of oxidative stress8,13.  Ubiquinol has been shown to protect ATPase enzyme from  oxidation, which is critical for the production of ATP that fuels cells and creates energy5.  

Replenishes CoQ10 Blood Levels depleted by statin cholesterol medicines

Statin medicines inhibit the body's cholesterol production, which can lead to reduced levels of both conventional CoQ10 and Ubiquinol, as they are formed via the same pathway. Supplementing with Ubiquinol helps replenish reduced CoQ10 levels associated with statin use, and its superior absorbability makes it the preferred form for statin drug users.6,7

Ubiquinol as an Antioxidant

Ubiquinol is a vitamin-like substance that’s naturally made in our bodies and plays a critical role in the creation of cellular energy. We make less of the heart-healthy nutrient starting around age 40

Unlike conventional CoQ10, Ubiquinol is also a very powerful antioxidant thanks to its extra electrons. Those electrons hold the key to neutralizing substances called free radicals. This protection is crucial as excessive oxygen molecules, commonly known as free radicals or reactive oxygen species, disrupt healthy cells in the body and, if unchecked, can lead to cellular damage and ultimately cell death. In short, Ubiquinol helps neutralize and protect the body from these potentially harmful molecules.

Free Radicals: The Unwanted Guests in Your Body

Free radicals are harmful because they are constantly looking to steal electrons wherever they may be found, including DNA, proteins and lipids. Removing an electron oxidizes the molecule (known as oxidative stress) and can cause damage that impacts our health.

The Ubiquinol form of CoQ10 doesn’t mind giving up an electron to neutralize a free radical that might have otherwise caused cellular damage or oxidative stress.

A Multitasking Antioxidant: Ubiquinol's Reach in the Body

What’s more, Ubiquinol is one of the few antioxidants that work both in the fatty parts of our body (such as cell membranes and LDL cholesterol) and also in the mitochondria where energy is manufactured. Like car engines produce exhaust, the mitochondria have their own form of exhaust filled with free radicals.

Ubiquinol is the form of CoQ10 capable of protecting the mitochondria and their lipid membranes from free radical attack.  Ubiquinol plays an important role in supporting healthy mitochondrial function.  


Learn more about the benefits of Ubiquinol in the video below:

Side Effects of Ubiquinol

You can take your daily dose of Ubiquinol either in the morning or at night, depending on your preference, but be mindful that some individuals have reported differences in sleep quality when taking it at night. When starting a daily Ubiquinol supplement, monitor your sleep and overall well-being, and discuss any changes with your doctor to ensure optimal results.

Read Now: 11 Facts about CoQ10 & Ubiquinol: Dosages & Benefits

Before it can do many of the wonderful things people associate with this nutrient, our bodies need to convert the conventional form of CoQ10 into Ubiquinol.

Ubiquinol Dosage: How to take

For determining the appropriate dosage of Ubiquinol, consult your doctor or healthcare provider, taking into account factors such as age, health conditions, lifestyle, and other relevant considerations. Depending on these factors, you might require an amount higher than the standard, typically recommended amount on supplement labels which is 100 mg per day, especially if you are new to taking Ubiquinol or have been on statins. Your doctor may suggest starting with a higher daily dosage and then adjusting it as needed over time.

Ubiquinol in Food

Although Ubiquinol can be obtained from certain foods like chicken, oily fish, whole grains, peanuts, spinach, avocados, and olive oil, the amount found in these foods is relatively small. Additionally, cooking can convert Ubiquinol back to ubiquinone, a less easily absorbed form, necessitating conversion back to Ubiquinol in the body for cellular energy production. For these reasons, it’s not possible to get the same amount of Ubiquinol from foods as you can get with your daily dose of Ubiquinol in supplement form. 

How to Choose a Quality Ubiquinol Supplement

Make sure to look for the Kaneka Quality Seal when selecting a Ubiquinol supplement, so you can buy with confidence knowing your supplement is made with high-quality Ubiquinol. Additionally, take a good look at the supplement’s label. If “Ubiquinol” isn’t on the front label and listed as an ingredient inside the “Supplement Facts” box, you’re probably looking at a conventional CoQ10 supplement. 

Get More Tips: Ubiquinol Buyer’s Guide

Unlock the Benefits of CoQ10 with Ubiquinol - Your Body’s Preferred Form

When comparing Ubiquinol to conventional CoQ10, published studies to date indicate that Ubiquinol is better absorbed by the body. 14 The amount your body absorbs will vary based on your age and overall health, but studies have shown Ubiquinol to be the preferred form of CoQ10 for enhanced absorption and use by the body.

Turning conventional CoQ10 into Ubiquinol becomes harder and less efficient as we age, which is why “older” adults who take a CoQ10 supplement would be wise to choose Ubiquinol. 

Interested in taking Ubiquinol? Shop for Kaneka Ubiquinol and other Ubiquinol products at NewQ.com.

**All of our Kaneka Ubiquinol is made  in the USA at our facility  in Pasadena, TX**
 

Written by:

Risa Schulman

Ph.D

Risa Schulman, Ph.D. took her lifelong love of science, people and the fulfillment of potential to create a multifaceted career in R&D, business, health and wellness, and empowering individuals. 

Learn more about Risa Schulman
Fact Checked by:

Sid Shastri M.Sc.

Kaneka Nutrients’ Director of Research

Sid Shastri, M.Sc., a recognized expert in Ubiquinol, probiotics, and health sciences, currently holds the position of Director of Research at Kaneka Nutrients.

Learn more about Sid Shastri M.Sc.

About Our Team Here

Ubiquinol is proud to have 9 PH.d’s on our advisory board, all of whom are active members of numerous professional associations such as the The American Chemical Society and The American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Fact Checking

Separating fact from fiction, we rigorously examine claims and provide verified information about Ubiquinol and CoQ10. 

Up-to-Date Content

Our content is up-to-date with the latest fact-checked insights and research.

References

1  Forsmark-Andrée P, Lee CP, Dallner G, Ernster L. Lipid peroxidation and changes in the ubiquinone content and the respiratory chain enzymes of submitochondrial particles. Free Radic Biol Med. 1997;22(3):391-400.

2  Langsjoen PH, Langsjoen AM. Supplemental ubiquinol in patients with advanced congestive heart failure. Biofactors. 2008;32(1-4):119-28. 

3 Mohr D, Bowry VW, Stocker R. Dietary supplementation with coenzyme Q10 results in increased levels of ubiquinol-10 within circulating lipoproteins and increased resistance of human low-density lipoprotein to the initiation of lipid peroxidation. Biochim Biophys Acta. 1992 Jun 26;1126(3):247-54.

4 Becker WM and Deamer DW. Energy from Chemical Bonds: The aerobic mode. In: The World of the Cell, 2nd Ed., The Benjamin Cummings Publishing Company, Inc, Redwood City , CA., pps. 275-313.

5 Ernster L, Forsmark-Andrée P. Ubiquinol: an endogenous antioxidant in aerobic organisms. Clin Investig. 1993;71(8 Suppl):S60-5.

6 Zlatohlavek L, Vrablik M, Grauova B, Motykova E, Ceska R. The effect of coenzyme Q10 in statin myopathy. Neuro Endocrinol Lett. 2012;33 Suppl 2:98-101.

7 Fedacko J, Pella D, Fedackova P, Hänninen O, Tuomainen P, Jarcuska P, Lopuchovsky T, Jedlickova L, Merkovska L, Littarru GP. Coenzyme Q(10) and selenium in statin-associated myopathy treatment. Can J Physiol Pharmacol.

2013 Feb;91(2):165-70.

8 Tomasetti M, Alleva R, Borghi B, Collins AR. In vivo supplementation with coenzyme Q10 enhances the recovery of human lymphocytes from oxidative DNA damage. FASEB J. 2001 Jun;15(8):1425-7.

9 Wada H, Goto H, Hagiwara S, Yamamoto Y. Redox status of coenzyme Q10 is associated with chronological age. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2007 Jul;55(7):1141-2.

10 Tang PH, Miles MV, DeGrauw A, Hershey A, Pesce A. HPLC analysis of reduced and oxidized coenzyme Q(10) in human plasma. Clin Chem. 2001 Feb;47(2):256-65.

11 Yamashita S, Yamamoto Y. Simultaneous detection of ubiquinol and ubiquinone in human plasma as a marker of oxidative stress. Anal Biochem. 1997 Jul 15;250(1):66-73.

12 Aberg F, Appelkvist EL, Dallner G, Ernster L. Distribution and redox state of ubiquinones in rat and human tissues. Arch Biochem Biophys. 1992 Jun;295(2):230-4.

13 Hosoe K, Kitano M, Kishida H, Kubo H, Fujii K, Kitahara M. Study on safety and bioavailability of ubiquinol (Kaneka QH) after single and 4-week multiple oral administration to healthy volunteers. Regul Toxicol Pharmacol. 2007 Feb;47(1):19-28.

14 Evans M, Baisley J, Barss S, Guthrie N. A randomized, double-blind trial on the bioavailability of two CoQ10 formulations. Journal of Functional Foods. 2009. 1: 65-73.

15 Failla ML, Chitchumroonchokchai C, Aoki F. Increased bioavailability of ubiquinol compared to that of ubiquinone is due to more efficient micellarization during digestion and greater GSH-dependent uptake and basolateral secretion by Caco-2 cells. J Agric Food Chem. 2014 Jul 23;62(29):7174-82.

16 Langsjoen PH and Langsjoen AM. Comparison study of plasma CoQ10 levels in healthy subjects supplemented with ubiquinol versus ubiquinone. Clinical Pharmacol Drug Dev. 2014;3(1):13-17.

17 Zhang Y, Liu J, Chen X-Q, Chen CYO. Ubiquinol is superior to ubiquinone to enhance Coenzyme Q10 status in older men. Food Funct. 2018;9:5653-5659.

18 Martini FH. Muscle tissue. In: Fundamentals of Anatomy and Physiology, Prentice Hall, Inc, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey, 2000.

 

As seen in:

  • ABC Logo
  • The Dr. OZ Show Logo
  • Fox Logo
  • Whole Foods Magazine Logo
  • CBS Logo