The Bioavailability of Ubiquinol in Older Adults

The Bioavailability of Ubiquinol in Older Adults

Jan 2021
Recent Article

Ubiquinol, the active form of coq10, is a fat-soluble antioxidant and essential nutrient found naturally in our bodies. It helps support many important bodily functions, including heart health, energy production and male fertility.

However, did you know that as you age your body’s natural ability to convert coq-10 into Ubiquinol starts to decline?

Why does coq10 become less bioavailable as we get older?
Bioavailability, simply put, is the ability for a substance to be absorbed by your body and enter your circulation, thereby being able to have an active effect on your body.

Unfortunately, as part of the natural ageing process, our body’s levels of coq10 decrease and so to do our levels of the active form of co10, Ubiquinol. Our natural Ubiquinol levels peak at age 21, and by age 80 they may decrease by up to 65%.[1]

However, it is still unknown as to whether falling coq10 levels play a role in accelerating the aging process, or whether they are a cellular response to other changes in the body.

Research suggests that age-related declining coq10 levels may contribute to inflammation, as well as cardiovascular issues and feelings of fatigue.[2] 

How can Ubiquinol help?
At a chemical level, the difference between coq10 and Ubiquinol is that Ubiquinol contains two hydroxyl groups, making it more “hydrophilic.”[3] In other words, the two hydroxyl groups give Ubiquinol higher absorption levels and increased bioavailability in comparison to conventional coq10.

In a randomised, double-blind crossover study comparing Ubiquinol and coq10 bioavailability, 72 hours post-intake it was found that the absorption rate of Ubiquinol was 4.3 times higher than the regular coq10.[4]

In a longer study, the effects of the supplementation of Ubiquinol and coq10 over a four week period were compared. When analysing the final plasma concentration of the participants, it was found that Ubiquinol was absorbed 70% better than the regular coq10.[5]

The amount of absorption will vary based on a personal age and general state of health.


[1] Barcelos, I. P., & Haas, R. H. (2019). CoQ10 and Aging. Biology8(2), 28. https://doi.org/10.3390/biology8020028

[2] Barcelos, I. P., & Haas, R. H. (2019). CoQ10 and Aging. Biology8(2), 28. https://doi.org/10.3390/biology8020028

[3] Mantle, D., & Dybring, A. (2020). Bioavailability of Coenzyme Q10: An Overview of the Absorption Process and Subsequent Metabolism. Antioxidants (Basel, Switzerland)9(5), 386. https://doi.org/10.3390/antiox9050386.

[4] 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.

[5] Langsjoen PH and Langsjoen AM. Comparison study of plasma coenzyme Q10 levels in healthy subjects supplemented with ubiquinol versus ubiquinone. Clinical Pharmacol Drug Dev. 2014;3(1):13-17.

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