CoQ10 – Ubiquinol or Ubiquinone – What is the difference?
There are different forms of CoQ10 and many people ask: Which one is the best for me? This article will help simplify the decision of which one to use!
Coenzyme Q10 aka CoQ10
Coenzyme Q10 is abbreviated as CoQ10 and commonly known as Ubiquinone. This oil-soluble is a vitamin-like substance found in every cell in the body. It is converted into a potent antioxidant and is vital to energy production. Available in supplement form for 30 years, ubiquinone has been taken by millions worldwide to increase energy, and improve cardiac and cognitive health. Ubiquinone protects cells from free radicals, regenerates other antioxidants and enables cells to generate the energy to fuel vital organs such as the heart, brain and kidneys.
Ubiquinol is the active antioxidant form of ubiquinone, and is directly responsible for the powerful benefits long associated with CoQ10. It is pre-converted, so it is easily assimilated and utilized by the body. Ubiquinol is simply the reduced form of CoQ10 that serves as an antioxidant. Both are organic vitamin-like substances. Ubiquinol, unlike CoQ10, does not require vitamin E to function as an antioxidant. In a way, Ubiquinol can be thought as an active version of CoQ10. That is not to suggest that CoQ10 will be inactive and totally ineffective if you swallow it without a vitamin E rich food or dietary supplement. Vitamin E is a fat soluble nutrient that should be readily available in your body if you consume your recommended daily allowance.
CoQ10 vs Ubiquinol
For the purposes of explaining the general function of CoQ10 and ubiquinol, you can assume the two compounds to be interchangeable. These compounds are extremely powerful antioxidants and are present in every cell and serve as a key contributor in generating energy within the cell. Much as your body must convert food into energy, ubiquinone – whether produced naturally within the body or ingested as food or a supplement – must be converted into ubiquinol in order to generate cellular energy. Without proper conversion and optimal levels of both forms, the body will not be able to meet the constant and demanding energy needs of vital organs. As an antioxidant, these compounds scavenge free radicals, which are undesirable compounds that damage and destroy healthy cells and can lead to premature aging, heart disease and cancer. CoQ10 can neutralize free radicals and prevent damage to your cells.
The body’s natural production of CoQ10 diminishes with age, as does the ability to convert the nutrient into ubiquinol. While everyone is different, research indicates CoQ10 production may begin to decline as early as age 20. For some, CoQ10 levels within the heart and kidneys have dropped more than 25 percent by age 40. A growing body of research associates maintaining healthy CoQ10 levels with optimal heart, neurological and immune health. It is also associated with high levels of energy. As we age, maintaining the heart and nerves becomes increasingly important. Additionally, cholesterol-lowering drugs such as statins can reduce CoQ10 levels, which can impact the quality of life for many. Ubiquinone supplements restore CoQ10 plasma levels to some degree in most, but its effectiveness generally begins to wane in those over 40 due to the diminished ability to convert the nutrient into ubiquinol. These diminished CoQ10 levels may have subtle effects initially that can become more pronounced over time.
The ubiquinone form of CoQ10, especially highly bioavailable forms have volumes of solid data backing its efficacy. The majority of clinical and experimental investigations have been done using ubiquinone, demonstrating its positive nutritional support in the fight against aging including angina pectoris, congestive heart failure, hypertension, and many other conditions. Also we can’t forget that ubiquinone is an essential cofactor for the synthesis of ATP energy production. Both forms of CoQ10 (ubiquinone and ubiquinol) must be present for efficient ATP production. Healthy people under age 40 can meet their needs with the Ubiquinone CoQ10 supplements that have been used effectively and safely for 30 years. Those over 40 or who are suffering from oxidative stress should consider using ubiquinol, the pre-converted, active antioxidant form. Dosage for everyone will be different and you should always consult your healthcare provider about individual needs.