The benefits of Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), particularly for heart health, have been recognised and extensively studied since its discovery in the late 1950s.
Now fast forward to 2007, when Ubiquinol – the more active form of CoQ10 – became commercially available as a supplement. This more easily absorbed form has taken the heart health benefits of CoQ10 to the next level.
Although more expensive to produce and purchase, research shows it offers improved health benefits over standard CoQ10 due to its greater bioavailability.
What’s the Difference between CoQ10 (Ubiquinone) and Ubiquinol?
- Ubiquinone is the oxidised, inactive form of CoQ10. It has been recognised for its benefits to general health and wellness as well as cardiovascular health.
- Ubiquinol is the reduced, active form of CoQ10. It’s the major form of CoQ10 that naturally occurs in the body, and the form in which CoQ10 exerts it’s antioxidant effects. More than 95% of the total CoQ10 in a young, healthy body is in the Ubiquinol form.[i]
As we age, it becomes more difficult for our body to convert CoQ10 to the active and more absorbable form, Ubiquinol. [ii] So if you take the standard form of CoQ10 as a supplement, you may not be getting the most effective dose for your health.
Ubiquinol may ultimately give you the biggest bang for your buck as it has superior bioavailability[iii],[iv] to standard CoQ10, meaning it is more readily absorbed in the intestinal tract.
The amount your body absorbs will vary based on your age and overall health, but studies have consistently shown Ubiquinol to be the form of CoQ10 that’s easier for the body to use and hosts the most benefits.
Ubiquinol Heart Health Benefits
Once absorbed, Ubiquinol has several benefits for cardiovascular health:
- Helps to maintain a healthy heart and vascular system[v],[vi]
- May help to maintain healthy LDL cholesterol levels in the body.[vii]
- Reduces muscle pain associated with Statin use for cholesterol lowering.[viii],[ix]
There are many Ubiquinol supplements available from leading healthcare brands. Ask your health practitioner or local pharmacist which product is right for you.
Always read the label. Use only as directed. If symptoms persist, consult your healthcare practitioner.
[i] Bhagavan HN, Chopra RK. Plasma coenzyme Q10 response to oral ingestion of coenzyme Q10 formulations. Mitochondrion 2007;S7:S78-88.
[ii] Ernster L, Dallner G. Biochemical, physiological and medical aspects of ubiquinone function. Biochim Biophys Acta. 1995;1271(1):195-204.
[iii] 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(1):65-73
[iv] Langsjoen, P. H. and Langsjoen, A. M. (2014), Comparison study of plasma coenzyme Q10 levels in healthy subjects supplemented with ubiquinol versus ubiquinone. Clinical Pharmacology in Drug Development, 3:13–17.
[v] Onur S, Niklowitz P, Jacobs G, et al. Ubiquinol reduces gamma glutamyltransferase as a marker of oxidative stress in humans. BMC Research Notes. 2014;7:427.
[vi] Fischer, A, et al. Coenzyme Q10 redox state predicts the concentration of c-reactive protein in a large caucasian cohort. Biofactors 2016; 42(3):268-76.
[vii] Schmelzer, C., Niklowitz, P., Okun, J. G., Haas, D., Menke, T. and Döring, F. (2011), Ubiquinol-induced gene expression signatures are translated into altered parameters of erythropoiesis and reduced low density lipoprotein cholesterol levels in humans. IUBMB Life, 63: 42–48.
[viii] Skarlovnik A, Janic M, Lunder M, Turk M, Sabovic M. Coenzyme Q10 Supplementation Decreases Statin-Relted Mild-to-Moderate Muscle Symptoms: A Randomized Clinical Study. Med Sci Monit, 2014; 20:2183-2188.
[ix] Zlatohlavek, L, et al. The effect of coenzyme Q10 in statin myopathy. Neuroendocrinol Letters, 2012; 33: 98-101