Ubiquinol vs. CoQ10: What's The Difference?

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Written by Risa Schulman
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4 mins

Millions of Americans take a CoQ10 supplement to support heart health, but many are surprised to learn that Coenzyme Q10 actually exists in two main forms with important differences.

Conventional CoQ10

This is the oxidized version of the nutrient.  We get some of this nutrient from the food we eat, but most of our supply is made naturally inside our bodies.


This is the antioxidant form of CoQ10 and its role in creating cellular energy helps fuel your heart and other organs.

  • Our bodies have to convert this form of CoQ10 into Ubiquinol before it can be used to create cellular energy.
  • The ability to convert Ubiquinone into Ubiquinol decreases as we age.1 2
  • Unconverted, conventional CoQ10 can’t contribute to cellular energy production.
  • The preferred supplement form of CoQ10 because it’s better absorbed by the body than conventional CoQ10.
  • Only known fat-soluble antioxidant made naturally in the body.3 4 5
  • Predominant form of CoQ10 in a healthy young adult.6 7 8
  • Superior bioavailability: 2-4x better absorbed than conventional CoQ10.6

Turning Conventional CoQ10 into Ubiquinol

To create the cellular energy your organs need to function optimally, your body must transform conventional CoQ10 into Ubiquinol. Young, healthy people can easily turn conventional CoQ10 into Ubiquinol, but starting around age 40, this process becomes harder and less efficient. This can impact the amount of cellular energy available for our organs to use.  Watch the video below to learn more about transforming CoQ10 into Ubiquinol.

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


Why is Ubiquinol Better Than Conventional CoQ10?

Although the chemical difference between Ubiquinol and Ubiquinone is just a single electron, that one electron has a huge impact.

Compared to Ubiquinone, Ubiquinol has multiple health benefits: 



Conventional CoQ10

Required for 95% of your cellular energy production8 11 12 13 14 15

Green Check

Blue Check

Superior bioavailability 9 10 11

Green Check  
Optimally replenishes Ubiquinol in your body to help protect against oxidative stress and provide cellular energy4 8 9 10 11 Green Check  
Predominant form of CoQ10 in a healthy body6 7 8 Green Check  

However, as we age, this transformation from Ubiquinone to Ubiquinol becomes less efficient. That means that even if you have the right levels of Ubiquinone, your body may not be able to convert it as easily into Ubiquinol.

That’s why adults over forty are encouraged to take a Ubiquinol supplement. Taking this form of CoQ10 means your body doesn’t need to rely on its ability to transform Ubiquinone to Ubiquinol to create cellular energy.


Who Should Take Ubiquinol Supplements?

Many of the people who take a CoQ10 supplement are taking it in its conventional form. That form is fine if you’re a healthy 20 or 30-something because your body can easily convert it into the active Ubiquinol form.

However, as we age, our body’s ability to convert CoQ10 into Ubiquinol diminishes. So,  if you’re over 40 and you take CoQ10, you may not be receiving the same benefit as you would from taking a Ubiquinol supplement. If you’re in this age range and are taking CoQ10 to support your health, be sure to take it in the advanced Ubiquinol form so your body can enjoy the maximum benefit.


What’s The Difference Between The Kaneka Ubiquinol Brand And Other Ubiquinol Brands?

Kaneka is the only company in the world that makes Ubiquinol, the advanced form of CoQ10. Kaneka then provides the Ubiquinol ingredient to hundreds of brands. This means the biggest difference between Kaneka’s brand and other manufacturers is the other ingredients used to create the softgel.

Kaneka’s brand of Ubiquinol is dairy free, gluten free, and wheat free. Other manufacturers may use ingredients that cater to other dietary needs, like using soy-free or nut-free ingredients.

When deciding what brand to purchase, first look for the Kaneka Quality Seal, which ensures the product was made with Kaneka Ubiquinol. Then, learn more about the added ingredients to find the brand that meets your specific dietary needs. To learn more about purchasing Ubiquinol, reference the Buyer’s Guide on Ubiquinol.org.

Written by:

Risa Schulman


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. 


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10 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.

11 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.

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