Types of CoQ10

- what you need to know



Coenzyme Q10 has received renewed attention after the publication of new scientific studies using Q10 on healthy older persons and also on heart patients, both with amazing success that has been echoed in the media worldwide.

On this occasion, many want to know what kind of Q10 has been used in these studies? Some believe that it was the new form of Q10, called ubiquinol that was used, but this is not the case. The answer is that it was ubiquinone dissolved in vegetable oil in soft gelatin capsules, and the daily dosage was distributed throughout the day. In fact, ubiquinone has been used in almost all scientific studies with Q10 to date.

This raises the question: who in particular will benefit from this newer and more expensive ubiquinol form of Q10? The short answer is: only a very few people!


Question: Who needs Ubiquinol?

Answer: Practically no one

Ubiquinone from food and supplements will be activated (chemical term: will be reduced) as it passes the intestinal wall, and then the active Q10 will be enclosed in lipid particles from the food, and the Q10 will be absorbed and will pass into the lymphatic system and will head out into the blood.


Question: What about reduced intestinal uptake?

Answer: Use Q10 dissolved in oil

The rule is that, if you can absorb fat, you can also absorb Q10 dissolved in fat.

Some people might have diminished uptake because of liver disease, pancreatic disease (diabetes), irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis and other disorders that impair digestion; moreover, patients who have undergone surgery in the digestive tract may experience a diminished fat absorption from the gut. However, we lack knowledge about the absorption of ubiquinol as only a little research has been done on the absorption of ubiquinol.  The ubiquinol research is definitely not of the same magnitude as the research with ubiquinone.


Question: What about older people having diminished uptake?

Answer: Age in itself is not a problem

People in their seventies experience no problem absorbing ubiquinone.


Question: What about older people having diminished conversion ability of ubiquinone to ubiquinol?

Answer: No problem, just add selenium

Supplementation with selenium can solve a problem, if one exists, caused by the diminished conversion of ubiquinone to ubiquinol because a special selenoprotein, thioredoxin reductase, converts ubiquinone to ubiquinol in the body.


Question: How can we trust that ubiquinone works?

A man with pain in the heart regionAnswer: Most of the good Q10 research has been done with ubiquinone

For many years, there has been only one form of Q10 on the market, and that form of Q10 has been ubiquinone, the oxidized form of Q10. All the scientific research results from this period are based on ubiquinone. The amount and quality of ubiquinol research is still insufficient.

Moreover, a comparative head-to-head bio-availability test done in Sevilla, Spain, in 2018 showed that the ubiquinone product used in the Q-Symbio study and the KiSel-10 study has a significantly better absorption and bio-availability than a well-formulated competing ubiquinol product.  (López-Lluch G. et al. Nutrition 2019: 57, 133–40.)


Question: Are there any areas in which ubiquinol would be preferable over ubiquinone?

Answer: No, well, maybe just one: therapeutic mega dosages

Health professionals using ubiquinol in their work can gain an advantage when they need to use extraordinarily high Q10 dosages. This is because the blood levels of ubiquinol will continue to rise with increasing dosages in contrast to using ubiquinone in which the blood levels of Q10 will eventually begin to flatten out with increasing dosage. However, ubiquinone has also been used successfully in therapeutic dosages. You just need to split the daily dosage over the course of the day and take the ubiquinone at breakfast, at lunch, and at dinner.