CoQ10: Does Form Matter?

by Dr. Stephen Sinatra
Filed Under: Heart Health, Nutrients and Additives
Last Reviewed 02/06/2014

We frequently receive questions about the difference between two forms of CoQ10: ubiquinol and ubiquinone.

Most supplement manufacturers push the ubiquinol form of CoQ10 telling consumers it's better because it’s what your body makes naturally. But quite frankly, the marketing claims surrounding ubiquinol aren’t very compelling.

Ubiquinol has become commercially available in the past few years, and some distributors are calling it a “major improvement” in CoQ10 supplementation. That’s because it’s identical to the CoQ10 your body makes naturally, so they feel it’s faster and easier for your body to use.

The biggest claim is that ubiquinol can be absorbed up to eight times better than other forms of CoQ10. However, we haven’t seen solid evidence to back up that claim.

While there have been some absorption problems with the ubiquinone form of CoQ10, (primarily when taken as a powder-filled capsule), the type of ubiquinone used in Dr. Sinatra’s products is a high-quality hydrosoluble form with proven absorption.

Still, we wanted to test the effect of the two forms ourselves so Dr. Sinatra did an informal study of 12 volunteers. Half of the participants took either 200 mg of ubiquinol or 200 mg of ubiquinone for the first month. In the second month, they didn’t take anything. In the third month, the participants switched to the other form of CoQ10.

Their CoQ10 blood levels were checked each month and we found that both groups achieved excellent results, with ubiquinol resulting in only slightly higher levels in most people—making it not worth the higher cost. Plus, in one person, ubiquinol actually resulted in a significantly lower CoQ10 blood level when compared to ubiquinone.

Based on the fact that all of my study participants had approximately equal blood levels of CoQ10—not to mention the fact that ubiquinone costs less than ubiquinol—we saw no reason to switch and decided to stick with the hydrosoluble ubiquinone in Dr. Sinatra’s CoQ10 supplements.

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