Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) plays a very important role in the human body. Present in every cell in the body, it is concentrated in organs that require the most energy – such as the heart, liver, muscles and kidneys. Efficiency of the biosynthesis of CoQ10 progressively decreases with age and supplementation with CoQ10 is thus relevant with older people. Several studies of CoQ10 supplementation showed beneficial effects, particularly in relation to cardiovascular health and aging.

Basic – crystalline CoQ10 is a fat-soluble molecule and will only disperse in oils. The human body, which is mostly made of water, will only absorb a fraction of ingested basic CoQ10. As an answer to this question, Valens developed a highly active water-soluble CoQ10 complex. This form, known as Q10Vital®, has proven to be effective in several clinical studies.

CoQ10 and older adults

The key to effective supplementation is its bioavailability, however most studies of CoQ10 bioavailability were so far conducted on younger population. As beneficial effects of CoQ10 supplementation is more relevant with older population, Valens initiated a new comparative study of three CoQ10 formulations in healthy older adults. The aim was to prove superiority of water-soluble ubiquinone Q10Vital® compared to standard CoQ10 and ubiquinol formulations.

1.Bioavailability of Q10Vital® was 2.4-fold higher compared to standard CoQ10 and 1.5-fold higher compared to ubiquinol. When orally administrated, standard CoQ10 has limited bioavailability. Due to water solubility, bioavailability of Q10Vital® is improved, which has been proven several times before (up to 4-times better bioavailability compared to standard CoQ10). Two formulations with expected improved bioavailability were compared to a standard formulation in this study, and Q10Vital® had been proven to be superior in the terms of bioavailability even in older adults, which are believed to have limited absorption of nutrients in the digestive system.

2. Regardless of ingested formulation, reduced form (ubiquinol) appears in the blood. No significant differences in the redox status of the absorbed CoQ10 had been noted. 90% of all absorbed CoQ10 in the blood was in reduced form. CoQ10 appears in blood almost exclusively as ubiquinol, even when ingested ad ubiquinone. Ubiquinone to ubiquinol conversion is unobstructed even in older adults, although it was previously believed that conversion is limited in those.

3. Ubiquinol formulations are in no way superior to ubiquinone formulations. CoQ10’s function in the body is not affected by the form it is ingested in. The key challenge is the initial CoQ10 absorption, which has been proven to be highly improved in Q10Vital®, compared to both, standard and ubiquinol formulation.

Chart: Supplementation with all three formulations resulted in higher plasma CoQ10 level. Bioavailability of Q10Vital® 1.5-fold higher compared to ubiquinol (but not statistically significant).

*The subjects in the study consumed Quvital® CoQ10 100 mg liquid, however the same results can be expected with other products (with same dosage).