How Ubiquinol Works and Why it Benefits You

Could you be missing a critical antioxidant in your body?

One of the most important antioxidant compounds in our bodies is called coenzyme Q10, yet many people don’t know about it. The active form of coenzyme Q10 in the body is called ubiquinol.

Ubiquinol benefits extend to all parts of our body in so many ways.

In this post, find out who benefits from coenzyme Q10 and ubiquinol, how much is needed, food sources, forms, and how to supplement.

{This post contains affiliate links.  As an affiliate, I make income from qualifying purchases but only suggest products I trust}

What is Ubiquinol?

Ubiquinol is similar to vitamins in our bodies.

Coenzyme Q10 has two forms: ubiquinol and ubiquinone. It is named ubiquinol because it is ubiquitous or “found everywhere” in our body.

There are two forms of coenzyme Q10:

  • Ubiquinone
  • Ubiquinol

Ubiquinol is the antioxidant form of CoQ10 and ubiquinone is the inactive form, often labeled as Coenzyme Q10 in supplements.

The term Ubiquinol literally describes coenzyme Q10’s wide presence in the body. It is everywhere and in every cell of your body except red blood cells. This alone should suggest how important it is.

You can also think of ubiquinol as fragile too, meaning your body’s levels are fragile unless everything is in balance. We don’t usually make enough of it for best health.

Why do we need Ubiquinol?

In a nutshell, ubiquinol helps with the metabolism of fat, carbohydrates, and protein in our bodies. Aptly named, coenzyme Q10 also acts as a coenzyme in our bodies for metabolic processes.

Ubiquinol health benefits are immense because our mitochondria depend on coQ10 to make energy. It reduces oxidative damage in our bodies and prevents free radicals. Yet, many people fall short.

The following people enjoy plenty of ubiquinol in their bodies:

  • Healthy and young people
  • People with good energy
  • Individuals with clean, whole, and well-balanced diets
  • People who don’t smoke or drink
  • Those free of prescriptions and diseases

If all of these conditions are not true for you, you are likely low in coenzyme Q10.

As we age, our body naturally makes less of this important antioxidant as well.

Additionally, medications and certain medical conditions can also make us have low levels of ubiquinol.

 

What Does Ubiquionol Do?

Coenzyme Q10 as ubiquinol has two main functions:

  • Works as an antioxidant during energy production in our cellular powerhouses called the mitochondria
  • Make energy units in the body called ATP.

Simply put, coQ10 as ubiquinol benefits the cells of your body by making energy and reducing cellular toxins.

Helps muscles contract

The cells with the highest coenzyme Q10 amounts are heart cells and liver cells.

You can see why it is important in the heart because of its actions there.  For example, every split second our heart pumps out a beat you need uqiquinol.

Every time our heart beats, we need CoQ10.

Think about how much energy from Coenzyme Q10  that the heart muscle requires every second of your life. It is a lot.

Ubiquinol, in a nutshell, helps prevent fatigue and cellular dysfunction.

Without ubiquinol, your body won’t make enough energy, resulting in fatigue and organ dysfunction.

Interesting tip: low coenzyme Q10 levels also seem to impair fertility.

Coenzyme Q10 food sources

If you don’t know where to find ubiquinol in foods, you are not alone. This is because it is very trace in most foods. The exception is organ meats, where coenzyme Q10 is found in the highest amount of all foods.

Get ready to eat some heart and liver, in other words!

CoQ10 is also present in other meats, while plant sources contain generally less than 1 mg.

A typical diet provides around 3-6 mg per day.

However, it is rather impractical to consider food as the only way to get this substance in your life if you have health conditions.

Your body makes ubiquinol

Most of the ubiquinol your body needs is made within your cells, while a small amount is supplied by the diet for the average person.

Best case scenario:

  • 25% of the coenzyme Q10 available in your body comes from your diet.
  • 75% is made within your body. If you are young and healthy, that is.

Our bodies make coenzyme Q10 through a long and complicated process of 17 nutrient-intensive steps.

Nutrients required to make ubiquinol in your body include:

  • tyrosine
  • vitamin B6
  • vitamin C
  • pantothenic acid (vitamin B5)
  • S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe)
  • selenium

It is more important to focus on an overall balanced diet and healthy lifestyle so that you are providing the building blocks in the body necessary to make coQ10.

Tip: many steps in making ubiquinol amiss because it is a complicated process. You can still get ubiquinol benefits by supplementing if you are missing out on these nutrients.

Ubiquinol benefits include reducing inflammation

Inflammation within the body is a smoking gun, which causes lots of problems for our health.

If we have inflamed tissues, this can be a sign of many chronic illnesses, like arthritis, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and more.

In patients with coronary artery disease, CoQ10 at 300 mg per day reduced inflammation and improved antioxidant enzyme activities.

A review of nine studies also found CoQ10 helpful to reduce inflammatory markers.

Tip: While not all inflammation is linked to low ubiquinol, many types are. It is reasonable to consider adding ubiquinol to your health regimen because it is a very safe supplement to take.

Coenzyme Q10 fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue benefits

Coenzyme Q10 fuels muscles and tissues with energy. As you can imagine, a lack of ubiquinol, then, can contribute to muscle pain and fatigue.

This is applicable if you consider this; fibromyalgia patients have low levels of coQ10.

Here are the clinical research studies we have so far:

  • When fibromyalgia patients receive coQ10 supplements, they have improvements in headaches and other fibromyalgia symptoms according to some research.
  • Similarly, in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome, coQ10 supplements, along with NADH supplementation, improved energy levels.
  • In children with fibromyalgia, supplemental coQ10 improved symptoms of fatigue and also improved cholesterol levels.

Interesting fact: CoQ10 reduces aging processes (sensescence) and increases mitochondria in an animal study.  While more research is needed, ubiquinol is likely helpful in supporting healthy cellular aging and reducing fibromyalgia.

Coenzyme Q10 heart benefits

According to Cleveland Heart Lab, ubiquinol has many heart benefits.

People with different types of heart disease may feel better with ubiquinol supplements and there are numerous studies looking at the positive aspects of ubiquinol for the heart.

Heart surgery benefits

Heart surgeries are very intense and take a lot of recovery time. Could part of the recovery period include ubiquinol? Research suggests it can.

For example, a clinical study showed that CoQ10, given pre-surgery for coronary artery bypass grafting helped many heart health measures compared to placebo. These include:

  • reduced abnormal heart rhythm issues (arrhythmia)
  • reduced transfusion requirements
  • reduced length of hospital stay compared to placebo

Supplemental CoQ10 also reduces oxidative stress and improves energy production and mitochondrial function for heart surgery patients.

However, CoQ10 did not change heart tissue damage markers (troponin and CK-MB) after surgery in this study.

May reduce troponin

Troponin is a blood marker that indicates a heart attack when it is elevated.  Some research points to coenzyme Q10 and other nutrients being helpful in preventing serious heart attacks.  A double-blind clinical trial in people with heart attacks used a combination of metabolic therapy including:

  • coenzyme Q10
  • magnesium
  • selenium
  • omega 3 fats

This combination helped reduce troponin and reduced hospital days and hospital costs in the coQ10 group compared to placebo. While more research is needed, it appears that coQ10 is safe and may help with symptoms of heart attack.

Helps congestive heart failure

As you may recall, the heart muscle requires a lot of coenzyme Q10 to function properly. Several studies in heart failure have found the antioxidant ubiquinol is helpful for this condition.

For example, coenzyme Q10 (100 mg three times daily) proved helpful in people who have congestive heart failure.by improving functional status and reduced chances of further heart issues and mortality.

Patients with heart failure also had improvements in the blood vessel wall function after supplementation of ubiquinol in a small study.

Tip: Ubiquinol benefits patients with heart failure by improving antioxidant levels.

Reduces blood pressure

By reducing oxidative stress, coenzyme Q10 can help reduce blood pressure too.

Researchers found that in 12 studies, coQ10 was able to reduce systolic blood pressure by an average of 17 mmHg and diastolic blood pressure by 10 mmHg with no negative side effects.

Tip: CoQ10 likely reduces blood pressure, but study designs vary quite a bit. This means it is difficult to determine how much it will help you (R) (R).

May improve cholesterol markers

CoQ10 may prevent a damaging form of cholesterol called oxidized LDL in the body.

Ubiquinol may help the body with cholesterol in a unique way too.  This is by helping improve the removal of cholesterol from tissues like the blood vessel wall.

While research is still early in this area, ubiquinol certainly doesn’t hurt cholesterol numbers.

Ubiquinol for diabetes

Diabetes is more than a high blood sugar number. Inflammation and cellular imbalances can cause our bodies to be resistant to insulin, which causes blood sugar levels to be out of control.

Many studies show that antioxidants from foods and supplements are helpful for patients with diabetes.

As a potent antioxidant, ubiquinol helps to dampen down cellular stress and free radicals. This benefit also reduced blood sugar levels in women with diabetes in a recent randomized, placebo-controlled trial.

These women also had less oxidative stress measured by catalase activity.

Tip: while we don’t have a lot of research about how ubiquinol benefits diabetes, it is safe and may help reduce inflammation too.

Do medicines deplete ubiquinol?

Medications sometimes have unfortunate side effects.

Here is a partial list of medicines that contribute to low coq10 levels by either blocking formation of coQ10 or reducing absorption:

 

Tip: These medicines can be a bummer for your mitochondria, but don’t stop taking medicine that your doctor prescribes without first talking with them. You may be able to add in ubiquinol supplements to offset these side effects.

Ubiquinol statin connections

Use of CoQ10 may also reduce muscle pain associated with cholesterol drugs, but not all studies show benefit with supplementation (R).

This is because muscle aches can be from different sources when statin use is considered.

CoQ10 helps improve mitochondrial function in many ways, including:

  • energy production
  • membrane function

By improving mitochondrial function, coenzymeQ10 reduces statin-induced pain, at least in early research.

Tip: Cholesterol drugs deplete the body of coQ10 and coQ10 is essential to heart function. Ubiquinol benefits people who take these medications in many cases.

How does selenium relate to CoQ10 and statins?

A key mineral that works as an antioxidant is called selenium. Selenium helps to make ubiquinol in the body and increases our body’s antioxidant capabilities.

Statins unfortunately also reduce  selenium proteins required to make ubiquinol.

Cholesterol drugs also reduce the ability to make vitamin K2 in the body, which is also an important antioxidant.

Tip: If you take statins, it makes sense to take ubiquinol with selenium and the best vitamin brands.

 Energy at the Cellular Level

Coenzyme Q10 reduces migraine symptoms

Migraines are common and can be debilitating. Several studies show that coQ10 may help.

For example:

  • CoQ10 reduced migraine symptoms and frequency compared to placebo
  • Children with migraines were found to have low levels of coenzyme Q10
    • Supplementation of CoQ10 decreased headache frequency and disability in this kids
  • A combination of coQ10, feverfew, and magnesium reduced migraine symptoms by at least 50% in over 75% of patients receiving the supplements.
  • Another combination of coQ10, riboflavin, and magnesium reduced migraine symptom burden and migraine intensity compared to placebo

Tip: Migraine symptoms can be reduced in some people with use of coQ10.  When combined with other nutrients, it may enhance the effectiveness of coQ10.

Coenzyme Q10 nerve benefits

Neurological conditions are notoriously difficult to treat.  Fortunately, a number of studies have shown that ubiquinol may help these frustrating conditions.

For instance, use of coQ10 may benefit  patients with neurological disorders such as:

Use of coQ10 was associated with reduced progression of Parkinson’s disease.

Coenzyme Q10 deficiency from inherited mitochondrial diseases is rare, and often not diagnosed.  These diseases benefits from ubiquinol supplementation.

Tip: Most of the research has been conducted in Parkinson’s disease, so we can’t form conclusions yet about the other brain conditions like Huntington’s disease.

Coenzyme Q10 for dental health

Dental health is critical to overall health. Research shows that inflammation in the mouth, such as gingivitis, increases risk of many other diseases like heart disease.

Where does coenzyme Q10 come in?

Supplemental coenzyme Q10 reduces inflammation in periodontal disease and gingivitis as shown in a small clinical trial.

Another way ubiquinol benefits  mouth health is by increasing natural saliva production by decreasing oxidative stress.

Tip: Imbalances in mouth bacteria can create excessive oxidative stress, so it is reasonable to think that coQ10 helps reduce dental issues as well.

Suntrex D3™ is a natural vitamin D3 supplement formula that boosts the immune system, assists with calcium absorption, promotes brain health, and more.

Supplementing coenzyme Q10

A few tips will help you maximize your coenzyme q10 supplementation regimen. Here are forms to take, doses, and the best brands for you.

Which form to take?

Ubiquinol is a better choice than ubiquinone for older adults. Ubiquinol is usually labeled as coenzyme Q10 in supplements. This is because we are less able to make activated coenzyme Q10 in our bodies as we age.

When you choose ubiquinol, you also are choosing a supplement that is better absorbed than standard coenzyme Q10.

For example, a recent clinical study found that older men who took ubiquinol supplements had a 1.7 fold increase in blood coQ10 levels over those who took ubiquinone.

Most people benefit from taking ubiquinone too, especially if it is naturally derived from foods, such as from yeast, such as Kaneka Coenzyme Q10.

Keep in mind, most clinical studies have used ubiquinone labeled as coenzyme Q10.

Take with food

Ubiquinol is fat soluble, so it is best to take it with a meal that contains fat according to Healthline.

Good choices are avocado, olive oil, coconut milk, nuts, or seeds.

CoQ10 vs PQQ

Wondering about CoQ10 vs PQQ? They have similar roles in the body, but both are required for best health.

PQQ (Pyrroloquinoline quinone) is another antioxidant found in vegetables and foods like natto.

This antioxidant is also a coenzyme and antioxidant. PQQ may help enhance the effectiveness of coenzymeQ10 in the body, especially the brain. One research study found that PQQ enhanced sleep, improved quality of life, and reduced fatigue in a small group of men.

PQQ may increase the number of mitochondria in the body, which could explain why it helps with energy too.

A PQQ additive benefit includes increasing blood flow in the brain, memory, and even improves hemoglobin concentration in healthy people.

Unlike coQ10 doses, you can take a small amount PQQ for good effect.

Tip: the clue is in the “Q”: taking coQ10 with PQQ can have synergistic health benefits. BioPQQ is a trademarked type of PQQ that is a highly absorbable and active PQQ form.

Take with shilajit

Antioxidants seldom work best if taken in isolation. If you take coQ10 or ubiquinol with shilajit, they may work synergistically to increase cellular energy or ATP.

What is shilajit you might be wondering? Shilajit is a natural substance that grows on rocks in high mountain regions of the Himalayas. It is rich in an antioxidant called fulvic acid.

This Ayurvedic medicine has been used as long as history has been recorded for its healing properties.

Doses

Doses of coQ10 vary widely, depending on the study.

If you take the active form of ubiquinol, you may be able to take less to have the same effects.

  • Typically, ubiquinol 100-400 mg per day are used for cardiovascular health. If you take the active form of ubiquinol, you may be able to take less to have the same effects.
  • Higher doses of coQ10 up to 2000 mg have been used for neurological conditions.

Since our bodies don’t store much coenzyme Q10, it is best to take ubiquinol regularly.

Coenzyme Q10 lab test

Now that you know how important ubiquinol is, how can you know that you have enough in your body?

Many lab tests across the country can test your coenzyme Q10 levels. This is an especially important test if you are getting muscle aches from your medicine or have chronic fatigue and neurological conditions.

Ubiquinol Q10 isn’t a particularly expensive lab test either. For more information, visit Healthlabs.com. Cleveland clinic labs, Quest diagnostics, and Mayo clinic also can test for coenzyme Q10 deficiency.

Side effects and interactions

Supplemental coQ10 is generally made from the fermentation of bacteria or yeast. It is possible to be allergic to CoQ10 supplementation if you are allergic to either of these.

Ubiquinol and coQ10 supplements are safe for most people. Side effects are very rare, with mild stomach discomfort reported in less than 1% of people taking it.

Coenzyme Q10 has little to no drug interaction potential, but always check in with your health provider before adding coQ10 supplements.

Best ubiquinol supplements

Now you know that ubiquinol is healthy, so how do you begin to find a good supplement?

Supplements aren’t regulated by the FDA, so it takes some homework to figure out best ubiquinol brands.

I’ve done the homework for you here. I refer to a company called Labdoor.com. This is a company that tests supplement products for quality and purity and is third-party tested in this regard.

Independent testing like this helps to assure that you are buying the ubiquinol supplement that you intend to buy and feel good about it.

A good ubiquinol supplement and coQ10 supplement will also have good reviews by people who have made a verified purchase.

The best coQ10 supplements include the following:

 

Summary

Coenzyme Q10 has roles throughout the entire body as an antioxidant and is indispensable for our body’s energy production.

It may be wise to consider supplementation with certain medications such as statins, beta blockers, hormone replacement or birth control, sulfonylureas and others.

Supplements also may be beneficial in certain medical conditions, to compensate for a poor diet, and during the aging process.

A healthy and balanced diet helps your own body make the most coenzyme Q10 that it can.

The information on this website is not meant as medical advice and has not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration or any other medical body and is shared for educational purposes only. Consult your doctor or healthcare provider before making changes to your supplement regimen or li

6 Comments
  1. Coenzyme Q10 is a substance that works similar to vitamins. Your body manufactures CoQ10, which it uses to make proteins, contract muscles and provide energy for your cells, and you also get a small amount when you consume seafood and meat.

  2. […] CoenzymeQ10 – CoQ10 carries electrons for oxidative phosphorylation and is a potent antioxidant in almost every cell in the body. CoQ10’s roles in health are so numerous, that you can read my blog about it here. […]

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