Ubiquinol or CoQ10? Which Is Better?

Dec 9 08:46 2011 Virginia Butters Print This Article

If you're already taking a CoQ10 supplement, you may have heard about ubiquinol. Some tout it as a more effective form of CoQ10, and worth the extra cost. Here's the lowdown on CoQ10 and ubiquinol to help you decide if it's worth spending more on ubiquinol.

If you’re considering or are already taking a coenzyme Q10 supplement,Guest Posting you may be curious about ubiquinol benefits and find yourself wondering if supplementing with ubiquinol is the wiser choice. Here’s the lowdown on ubiquinol benefits and how it stacks up against the more widely available and less expensive coenzyme Q10 supplements.

So what’s the relationship between ubiquinol and coenzyme Q10? Coenzyme Q10, or ubiquinone, is a vitamin-like substance found in every cell of the body. It produces energy our bodies need for cellular growth and maintenance. The actual “work” it does takes place in a part of every cell called the mitochondria, and its job is to help transform fats and sugars into energy.

When coenzyme Q10 isn’t in use in our cellular mitochondria, it can be found at work within the cell membrane, acting as an antioxidant and helping us recycle antioxidant vitamins like E and C. When coenzyme Q10 is acting as an antioxidant within the cell membrane rather than an energy producer within the cellular mitochondria, it’s called ubiquinol. Our bodies automatically regulate how the coenzyme Q10 we produce or supplement with is used, leaving some in the ubiquinone form for energy production, and converting some to ubiquinol to act as an antioxidant.

That’s essentially the difference: ubiquinol is a reduced form of coenzyme Q10 which acts primarily as an antioxidant. Ubiquinol is currently more expensive to manufacture than ubiquinone, but fortunately, our bodies are usually readily able to convert ubiquinone into ubiquinol as needed. This leaves us asking the questions, “What are ubiquinol benefits? Why would I supplement with the higher-priced version?”

Although no significant studies have been done comparing ubiquinone and ubiquinol benefits, it can be theorized that people who need a great deal of antioxidant support – advanced congestive heart failure patients and those with type II diabetes, for example – may benefit from taking coenzyme Q10 in the form of ubiquinol. There is also some informal evidence from people who’ve tried both that ubiquinol “feels” somewhat more effective than ubiquinone, and that a higher dose of ubiquinone may be needed to mirror ubiquinol benefits.

So what does all this mean? If you’re reasonably healthy, ubiquinol benefits may not be worth the extra cost. Ubiquinol typically sells for 3-4 times the cost of standard ubiquinone – if cost is not an issue, or you have serious medical issues which cause you to need intense antioxidant support, ubiquinol’s benefits may warrant the extra money you’ll be spending. But if you’re in good health and don’t have the extra cash to spend on a refined version of a proven-effective supplement, regular coenzyme Q10 should work just fine for you.

It’s a good idea to consult your doctor before taking coenzyme Q10 in either form. It’s generally very well tolerated, and starting with a 100 mg dose and adding more over time if needed is common.

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Virginia Butters
Virginia Butters

If you enjoyed this healthy living article, check out my posts on coQ10 supplements and the coq10 skin connection.

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