What is Bioavailability and why is it important for Ubiquinol?
You may already be familiar with Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) – a nutrient found naturally in our bodies, which is essential for efficient energy production in the mitochondria (the ‘power producer’) of our cells. It is considered a powerful antioxidant that helps protect against and soak up oxidative stress and free radicals, which increase as we age and may be worsened by factors such as environmental toxins, a poor diet, and excessive amounts of stress.
When CoQ10, also known as Ubiquinone, is used by the body, it is reduced to a more active form known as Ubiquinol. In this form, it is more bioavailable, which means it is able to be used faster and more easily by the body.
Outside of the body, Ubiquinol in itself is not a stable substance. It quickly converts to ubiquinone when exposed to light or oxygen, which is why most supplements containing CoQ10/Ubiquinone provide it in this form rather than as Ubiquinol.
In 2006, however, after more than ten years of research and process development, Kaneka developed a patented technology that prevents Ubiquinol from oxidising, allowing it to be used in supplements whilst still remaining stable. Research has shown that Ubiquinol is more than four times better absorbed by the body than Ubiquinone*, and may, therefore, be beneficial for people whose ability to metabolise CoQ10 is reduced.
As we age, the concentration of CoQ10 in the body decreases, and the efficient conversion of CoQ10 to Ubiquinol becomes impaired. Insufficient levels of CoQ10 in the body may cause us to slow down and have less energy. For people over 40 years of age and who are less able to metabolise CoQ10, as well as those using medicines that affect CoQ10 levels (most notably, cholesterol-lowering statins), it may be more beneficial to take Ubiquinol rather than CoQ10 supplements as it is ready for immediate use by the body.
Ubiquinol is available worldwide in leading supplement brands. A number of Australian health supplement brands have included Ubiquinol in their products.
Speak to your health practitioner before adding a supplement to your diet.
* Malkanthi, E, 2009. A randomized, double-blind trial on the bioavailability of two CoQ10 formulations. Journal of Functional Foods, [Online]. Volume 1, Issue 1, 65-73. Available at: https://integratedhealth.com/downloads/CoQ10Study.pdf [Accessed 7 November 2016].