Ubiquinol is the active form of this nutrient but isn’t the only form available. CoQ10 is an important nutrient and essential antioxidant needed by all cells in your body. It is responsible for providing energy known as ATP in the mitochondria of your cells and also provides antioxidant properties to protect against aging, including heart disease, gum disease and cognitive decline.
Foods that contain CoQ10 include meat, fatty fish, nuts and legumes. However, they generally only contain small amounts of the nutrient and it’s often destroyed in the cooking process.
As mentioned, CoQ10 comes in two different forms, ubiquinol and ubiquinone. Supplements can be found in both varieties in many formats, potencies and absorption rates. Continue reading to learn more about the difference between the two and which may be best for your needs.
What Is Ubiquinol?
Ubiquinol is the active form of coenzyme q10, meaning it doesn’t need further conversion to be absorbed. That’s why it’s more bioavailable (absorbable) and often yields more favourable results at a lower dose and potency in comparison to ubiquinone.
Ubiquinol Vs Ubiquinone:
Unlike ubiquinol, ubiquinone is the standard form of CoQ10. In order for it to be absorbed, the body must first convert it to the active ubiquinol form. The conversion process can lead to less absorption therefore, providing fewer benefits. While most people don’t have an issue converting ubiquinone, those with underlying health concerns, absorptions issues or those above the age of 40 can have a more difficult time and may prefer ubiquinol to bypass the conversion step altogether.
What Does Ubiquinol Do?
While it’s the active form, ubiquinol is also considered the therapeutic form of CoQ10 and is preferred by practitioners. This form also offers more potent antioxidant properties, which help combat free-radical damage to cells, lipids and proteins. It also helps sustain adequate levels of energy production to help keep cells healthy and thriving.
Ubiquinol is also recommended if you have low antioxidants levels, have symptoms of or are predisposed to heart disease, suffer from migraines or you’re looking to regulate blood sugar.
But don’t just take our word for it, research also shows favourable results for ubiquinol. Two studies that randomly assigned volunteers to two separate groups gave each group either form of CoQ10. The first study went on for 2 weeks and found a statistically significant increase on plasma CoQ10 levels in the group that received ubiqunol. The other study went on for four weeks and concluded that ubiquinol provided greater absorption in comparison to ubiquinone.
Who Needs Ubiquinol?
Your health care practitioner may recommend ubiquinol if you are looking to lower blood pressure, you have a family history or associated symptoms of heart disease, are concerned with cognitive decline, want to lower cholesterol or you are on certain cholesterol-lowering medications.
How Much CoQ10 to Take?
Ubiquinol vs Ubiquinone Potency & Formats
Because of its higher absorption status, ubiquinol is sold in lower doses than ubiquinone. Initial dosing recommendations typically start at 100mg and can go up to 400mg. It’s important to note when taking ubiquinol, you would take half as much as you would of ubiquinone. For example, if you’re prescribed 400mg of CoQ10 (ubiquinone) and you decide to take the active ubiquinol form, you would only need 200mg. Another difference between these two forms is price. Ubiqunone is the more affordable option, so if you are considered healthy and are only looking to maintain CoQ10 levels you may find ubiquinone sufficient.
Ubiquinone can be found in a range of potencies from 60-400mg and ubiquinol supplements from 50 to 500mg. Your specific dose will differ depending on your health status, history, medications you’re taking, and reasons for taking this supplement.
Ubiquinol and Ubiquinone Formats
Due to CoQ10’s popularity, both forms of this supplement are available in many formats, including capsules and vegetable capsules, tablets, softgels, chewable tablets, gummies, liquids and wafers. Choosing which format to take is dependent on your personal preference and whether or not you have trouble swallowing supplements. While capsules and tablets may be convenient for some, bcaa powder is a popular choice among fitness enthusiasts as it can be easily mixed into a drink or shake.
Vegetable capsules and capsules are often favoured over tablets because they are convenient to take and carry with you without breaking apart. They’re also made to bypass stomach acid, offering better absorption. No matter the form, CoQ10 is better absorbed when taken with a healthy fat source because it’s a fat-soluble nutrient. That’s why many prefer softgels because they’re encapsulated with oil from a healthy fat source so they don’t need to be taken with food.
For those that prefer chewable supplements, chew tabs, wafers or liquids would be a better option over gummies because gummies often don’t carry a high potency, they aren’t absorbed well and are often made with added sugar. Of these formats, liquid may offer better absorption, especially when held under the tongue.
No matter the form, CoQ10 supplements generally don’t have many side effects but may have contraindications with some medications like beta-blockers, chemotherapy drugs and antidepressants. If you are taking any medication, you should speak to your health care practitioner before starting this supplement. CoQ10 has also been known to work like statin medications for cholesterol support. Therefore, you must also speak to your doctor before taking this nutrient if on this medication.
Which Ubiquinol is Best?
There are an abundance of Ubiquinol supplements on the market. Most popular is Natural Factors, a trusted Canadian brand offering both ubiquinol and ubiquinone forms of CoQ10. Natural factors Coenzyme Q10 offers the ubiquinone form and is available in potencies ranging from 30-400mg. Those looking for the therapeutic dose can take Natural Factors Ubiquinol which is sourced from Kaneka QH ubiquinol, the most researched CoQ10, and is offered in 100-200mg potencies. Both are clean and natural formulas offering excellent absorption.
Disclaimer: The information in this article is intended for educational and informational purposes only and should not be considered as a substitute for medical advice. Please consult your practitioner prior to taking herbs or nutritional supplements.