Choosing a CoQ10 Supplement: Ubiquinol or Ubiquinone?

Filed Under: Heart Health, Nutrients and Additives

Patients dealing with cardiovascular problems often ask me if the newer form of CoQ10 supplement, ubiquinol, is better than the form used in most supplements, ubiquinone.

I first applaud them for asking about CoQ10 and for knowing of its proven ability to reduce heart risk factors. I then go on to explain the difference between ubiquinol and ubiquinone… 

Ubiquinone is the oxidized form of CoQ10. Once ingested, enzymes “reduce” ubiquinone to ubiquinol, the “active” antioxidant form that makes up practically all of the circulating CoQ10 in the body. Ubiquinol was developed as a commercial supplement a couple of years ago, and one small study suggested that it had excellent absorption properties when compared with the powdered form of CoQ10.

Ubiquinol is promoted as a major improvement in CoQ10 supplementation. Some say that ubiquinol can be absorbed up to eight times better than other forms of CoQ10, but I haven’t seen any evidence to truly support that claim.

Secondly, I tell my patients about my own informal three-month study I conducted with 12 volunteers. I had half of them take either 200 mg of ubiquinol or ubiquinone for the first month. In the second month, I had them take nothing. In the third month, the participants switched to the other form of CoQ10.

I checked their CoQ10 blood levels each month and found that both achieved excellent results, with ubiquinol resulting in only slightly higher levels in most people. In one person, ubiquinol actually resulted in a significantly lower CoQ10 blood level when compared to ubiquinone.

More importantly, though, I was disturbed by feedback from several volunteers who complained of fatigue when they took ubiquinol. I also heard about complaints of fatigue from two respected colleagues who are nutrition experts. On the contrary, the usual feedback from ubiquinone takers is that they feel they have more energy, not less.

Based on these comments and approximately equal CoQ10 blood levels—not to mention the fact that ubiquinone costs less than ubiquinol—I see no reason to switch. I’m sticking with hydrosoluble ubiquinone as the best kind of CoQ10 supplement to supplement your cardiovascular nutrition program.

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DISCLAIMER: The content of is offered on an informational basis only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the guidance of a qualified health provider before making any adjustment to a medication or treatment you are currently using, and/or starting any new medication or treatment. All recommendations are "generally informational" and not specifically applicable to any individual's medical problems, concerns and/or needs.

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