The supplement ubiquinol was recently on the Dr. Oz show as one of the most powerful antioxidants. There has been some confusion regarding CoQ10 vs. ubiquinol, so I thought I’d write about both here.
Ubiquinol is the active form of CoQ10, also known as ubiquinone. CoQ10 is produced in the body, though the amount produced decreases with age, and is further reduced by some prescription medications, specifically statins like Lipitor. CoQ10 as ubiquinone is the more commonly known form, and is also less expensive. Ubiquinol is much better absorbing, but more expensive as well.
CoQ10 and ubiquinol are wonderful antioxidants, and work to give the body cellular energy, specifically in the mitochondria or “power houses” of the cells. CoQ10 is also important for heart health and has been researched with positive effects for preventing heart attacks (especially second heart attacks) and helping with congestive heart failure. Part of the reason it’s so beneficial for heart health is that the greatest concentration of mitochondria in the body is in the heart muscle, so very literally, CoQ10 gives the heart the energy to keep beating.
Everyone would benefit from supplementation with CoQ10 or ubiquinol, especially people with heart problems or a family history of heart disease. Persons taking statins and even the natural “statin-like” red yeast rice, should take at least 100mg of CoQ10 daily to prevent side effects like muscle pain and weakness caused in part by depleted CoQ10 in the body, since statins (and CoQ10 to a lesser extent) diminish the production of CoQ10 in the body.
For healthy people taking CoQ10 as a general preventative, the common ubiquinone form is usually sufficient, though if you’re over 65, have compromised absorption, or have any sort of heart problems, you may want to consider switching to the active, ubiquinol form of CoQ10 since it’s easier absorbed and utilized by the body.