If you’re no stranger to the vitamin and supplement aisles in pharmacies or health stores, you’re sure to have stumbled upon Coenzyme Q10. Recently, we’ve noticed many consumers being confused about the different forms of Coenzyme Q10 namely ubiquinol and ubiquinone. The ubiquinol vs. ubiquinone debate has sparked the interest of many.
Now that various brands are aggressively advertising ubiquinol, we’ve come across a lot of inconsistent and misleading information regarding this topic. Some people have begun describing ubiquinone as inferior to ubiquinol. – This is as far from the truth as it could possibly be! We hope to shed some light on this debate.
What is Coenzyme Q10?
Coenzyme Q10 is a natural antioxidant that is produced by the body. Although our bodies produce this powerful antioxidant, it can be found in various foods and is also available as a health supplement. Coenzyme Q10 is found in two forms:
- Ubiquinol: The active antioxidant form.
- Ubiquinone: The oxidized form.
In general, enzymes receive the necessary support from coenzymes in order to carry out their various biochemical functions. Coenzyme Q10 is a vital contributor to generating energy within cells. Thus, it is found in every cell of the body. However, Coenzyme Q10 exists in higher concentrations in organs that require the most energy such as the kidneys, muscles, liver, and heart.
Ubiquinol vs. Ubiquinone
In our bodies, Coenzyme Q10 exists either in its oxidized form, ubiquinone, or in its reduced form, ubiquinol. Coenzyme Q10 shifts back and forth between its ubiquinone and its ubiquinol form in a continuous cycle inside the body depending on the body’s need. In the blood and lymph, Coenzyme Q10 primarily serves as an antioxidant. While in the mitochondria, it supports the energy metabolism by switching between the two forms back and forth many times per second. This is all part of Coenzyme Q10’s role in biology.
When you take a Coenzyme Q10 supplement in the form of ubiquinol, it changes to ubiquinone and vice versa.
When ubiquinone (the oxidized form) is used by the body, it transforms and becomes ubiquinol. Likewise, ubiquinol (the reduced form) becomes ubiquinone when it carries out its role in the body. So, when you take a Coenzyme Q10 supplement in the form of ubiquinol, it changes to ubiquinone and vice versa depending on the body’s need for either. This indicates that the one form, when encapsulated is by no means more superior to the other.
To better understand how this works, we’ll look at Coenzyme Q10 and cellular-energy production.
Every cell in the body has its own powerhouse, the mitochondria. Here, energy production occurs and this is where Coenzyme Q10 is found. In the process of energy production, electrons are exchanged between electron acceptors and donors.
Coenzyme Q10 acts as an electron acceptor or donor in the chain of reactions that lead to energy production. When oxidized Coenzyme Q10 (ubiquinone) accepts an electron from another molecule in the chain, it becomes reduced (ubiquinol). When reduced Coenzyme Q10 (ubiquinol) donates an electron, it becomes oxidized (ubiquinone). Maintaining this balance is how your body most benefits from CoQ10.
Where the Confusion Started
The confusion over the debate topic, ubiquinol vs. ubiquinone, all began a few years ago. Various brands who introduced into the market, Coenzyme Q10 in the form of ubiquinol have had massive marketing campaigns in order to increase sales. These campaigns caused confusion and left many people in the dark about which form of Coenzyme Q10 to trust.
“Advertising Coenzyme Q10 Ubiquinol as the superior form, has only generated more confusion.”
In a groundbreaking article, a group of leading experts William V. Judy Ph.D., Willis W. Stogsdill, M.D., Daniel S. Judy, M.D., and Janet S. Judy, R.N. CRC clearly point out the misconceptions. They call the campaigns “false” and “misleading” and say that advertising CoenzymeQ10 Ubiquinol as the superior form, has only generated more confusion.
Interestingly, the experts also make a point of mentioning that, since the different forms of Coenzyme Q10 can easily be converted from one form to the other, it makes sense to stick with a form that is more affordable. Ubiquinone is less expensive to process and manufacture, therefore remains cost-effective.
Another thing that may be worth mentioning is that ubiquinol is more unstable and tends to convert back into ubiquinone in the capsule. Ubiquinol has a milky white appearance whereas ubiquinone is yellowish. You can test if the content in a ubiquinol capsule is really what it claims to be by piercing the capsule and squeezing out the content. If it is yellowish, there is a risk that oxidization has occurred while inside the capsule and has turned into ubiquinone. In that case, you have not received what you paid for.
The Best Form of Coenzyme Q10
To sum up this ubiquinol vs. ubiquinone debate, it is safe to say that it makes no difference in which form of Coenzyme Q10 you take. This is because the body is able to convert the consumed form to the other form as needed. This conversion takes place to maintain a state of equilibrium between reduced CoQ10 (ubiquinol) and oxidized CoQ10 (ubiquinone). Coenzyme Q10, regardless of its form, is absorbed through the intestinal membrane. Once it is inside the body, it shifts back and forth between the two forms.
In the end, it all comes down to the price and quality of the product. Which we can assure you is absolute best here at Biolife Nutrition. Biolife Nutrition boasts 100mg of high-quality Coenzyme Q10 in the form of ubiquinone.
Remember… your body is extremely intelligent and it is capable of turning one form of Coenzyme Q10 into the other as needed.