Since the discovery and arrival of ubiquinol on the global market, consumers as well as scientists have been baffled. Somewhat falsifying marketing imposed a belief that ubiquinol is in fact the best form of CoQ10 and caused the questioning of the traditional form – ubiquinone. But is there really a difference or is the alleged superiority of ubiquinol just a construct of aggressive marketing strategies?
Coenzyme Q10 is an important vitamin-like substance, ubiquitous in humans and animals. Its discovery in 1957 was followed by extensive research with this important nutrient which plays a fundamental role in energy production and is a powerful free-radical-scavenging antioxidant.
In the human body coenzyme Q10 has three forms, based on their redox states: ubiquinone (fully oxidized), semiquinone and ubiquinol (reduced state). Its ability to switch between these forms is crucial to its role in the human body. Depending on its location in the body, CoQ10 shifts to the form that is needed in the particular situation.
In its raw form CoQ10 is a crystalline, fat-soluble molecule in oxidized state (ubiquinone). It is well known to have limited bioavailability, indicating necessity of modulating its formula and improving its solubility.
Since its initial discovery, several other forms of ubiquinone with improved bioavailability have emerged, among them Q10Vital®, water-dispersible form of CoQ10 with 4-times better bioavailability compared to basic, crystalline CoQ10.
Ubiquinol – superior form?
In 2006 a new type of CoQ10, called ubiquinol, surfaced commercially. Although little scientific facts support these claims, intense marketing activities fabricated ubiquinol as number one CoQ10 form, based on:
- improved bioavailability;
- cellular redox activity – due to its reduced state, it has the ability to scavenge free-radicals;
- belief that ubiquinone to ubiquinol conversion is limited in older adults.
Scientific and basic facts to clarify its true value:
- While ubiquinol’s bioavailability is in fact improved, its absorption is comparable to that of Q10Vital®, water soluble ubiquinone.
- Majority of clinical trials and research has been conducted with ubiquinone, including Q-Symbio.
- CoQ10 function is not affected by the form it is ingested in, even with older adults. Regardless of ingested formulation, reduced form (ubiquinol) appears in the blood.
- Ubiquinol is susceptible to oxidation and therefore less stable. It is more expensive to produce and cost more.
- Ubiquinone is a yellow powder, while ubiquinol is milky white.
So… DOES it matter?
No. In terms of absorption and efficacy there is no distinct difference between ubiquinol and ubiquinone. The key challenge to CoQ10 supplementation is its limited bioavailability, which have been significantly improved in several formulations, including Q10Vital®