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Written by Ron Martin Reviewed by Robert Barry
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.

Ubiquinol

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
  • Up to 70% more bioavailable than conventional CoQ10.9 10 11

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.

Why is Ubiquinol Better Than Conventional CoQ10?

Benefit

Ubiquinol

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

 

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.

Are you taking the right form of CoQ10?

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References

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.

Niklowitz P, Onur S, Fischer A, Laudes M, Palussen M, Menke T, Döring F.  Coenzyme Q10 serum concentration and redox status in European adults: influence of age, sex, and lipoprotein concentration.  J Clin Biochem Nutr.  2016 Jan.  Online publication.

Littarru GP, Tiano L. Bioenergetic and antioxidant properties of coenzyme Q10: recent developments. Mol Biotechnol. 2007 Sep;37(1):31-7.

Frei B, Kim MC, Ames BN. Ubiquinol-10 is an effective lipid-soluble antioxidant at physiological concentrations. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1990 Jun;87(12):4879-83.

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

Langsjoen PH and Langsjoen AM. Supplemental Ubiquinol in congestive heart failure: 3 year experience. 6th International Q10 Conference Brussels, 27–30 May 2010; 29–30.

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.

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.

Miles MV, Horn P, Milesc L, Tanga P, Steele P, DeGrauwa T. Bioequivalence of coenzyme Q10 from over-the-counter supplements. Nutr Res. 2002:22(8):919-929.

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.