There are two forms of Q10 coenzyme: unreduced (ubiquinone) and reduced (ubiquinol). The unreduced form has an important role in the energy generation of cells, or more exactly in that of their mitochondria, i.e. in ATP production, whereas the reduced form acts as an antioxidant.
The food we consume contains both forms roughly in the same amount, but as the unreduced form is rather sensitive to heat, oxygen and acidic pH, and instantly decomposes to the unreduced form when exposed to these effects, by food intake we practically ingest only the unreduced form. Our body, too, synthesizes the unreduced form: the liver is responsible for the job. So, from an evolutionary point of view, direct access to the unreduced form seems to be more natural, whereas the unreduced form is reduced in our body with the help of an enzyme, when and where it is necessary. Whichever form the body takes, the ideal balance between the two forms is reached quickly.
Although the reduced form (ubiquinol) is often referred to as the preferred form, and it is often said that this form is better absorbed or more useful, such statements pretty much distort the truth. To date, there is no independent analysis that would demonstrate any advantage of the reduced form, and even analyses sponsored by manufacturers interested in distributing the reduced form have been unable to identify any significant result, at least not in a fair comparison. In a fairer comparison (where not only the reduced but also the unreduced form was nearly crystal-freely solved), in some cases, the unreduced form performed better, even with respect to absorption.
The advantage of the reduced form demonstrated in the analyses regarding its absorption capability comes from the fact that it is slightly water soluble, whereas the unreduced form is not at all water soluble, it is poorly soluble at room temperature even in fat. Any Q10 that is not consumed in crystal-freely solved form will not be absorbed, mainly because the melting point of the crystals is higher than our body temperature, so it is important that they are solved crystal-freely. In the case of reduced Q10, such full solution is achieved for capsules containing emulsion used in the analyses, but not in the case of unreduced Q10. Besides, as it is slightly water soluble, the reduced form can be absorbed to some extent even if there are some crystals remaining. This means that such comparison would only be fair, if both forms would be ingested in crystal-freely solved condition, i.e. simply solved in more oil in the unreduced form, when the crystals do not precipitate at room temperature. Despite all this, all that could be demonstrated was that with reduced Q10 a slightly higher blood level can be achieved than with the same amount of unreduced Q10. However, no difference was found on the tissue/cellular level, or it was found that there is no difference whatsoever. Moreover, what counts is not the blood serum/blood plasma level, but the level of tissues/cells...
Any kind of advantage of taking reduced Q10 formula is strongly questionable, even in the light of sponsored tests desperately trying to prove the same.
But are there any disadvantages of the reduced formula promoted so extensively? I think that its only essential disadvantage is that it is significantly (3 to 4 times) more expensive and to the same extent less cost-effective it is more expensive, because any Q10 preparation properly and crystal-freely solved is equal to it in terms of absorption + after having been swallowed, reduced Q10 changes back to unreduced anyway during digestion/absorption, so it makes no difference...
There are additional issues, as well:
- The safety and toxicity of the unreduced formula have been tested and proven to be problem-free, whereas analyses certifying the safety of the reduced form have not yet been conducted (it is improbable though that there would be any problem with it, but still worth mentioning).
- Thousands of tests have been performed with the unreduced formula of Q10, whereas only a few with the reduced form.
- All tests certifying the effects of Q10 that can be taken seriously were performed on the unreduced form, including the recent famous Q-Symbio clinical test, where 43 per cent drop in mortality was shown for patients with heart diseases taking the unreduced Q10 + the other major similar test from 2 years earlier, where 54 per cent drop in mortality was recorded for elderly patients taking Q10.
- The reduced form gets easily oxidized also during storage, (i.e. simply changes back to unreduced, which is not a problem, except that it is not what we paid for...)
In our blood, Q10 circulates mainly in its reduced form, as it must function there as an antioxidant, whereas in our cells/tissues, it is present in its unreduced form, as it is energy generation that matters there, and energy is generated via reduction (ATP). According to some opinions, because of this taking the reduced form could be problematic, as the role of the reduced form as an antioxidant is negligible, because we can take a variety of antioxidant foods or supplements that are cheaper than Q10, so it is not worth taking Q10 as an antioxidant, while this is the only advantage of the reduced form compared to the other. On the other hand, the role of the unreduced form in energy generation is indispensable. Taking the reduced form may in turn increase the ratio of the reduced form in certain tissues compared to that of the unreduced form which is more important in energy generation. (This is basically a problem related to excessive antioxidant intake and not to the Q10 forms, so I did not include it in the list. Reduced Q10 form is also an antioxidant at the same time.)
Summary: You may take either form - provided that it is solved crystal-freely - because both are changed to unreduced form after being swallowed, and following absorption, the same blood and tissue/cell ratios would be reached. Unless our antioxidant is completely depleted, and we have a high level of selenium deficiency, (the enzyme performing the transformation needs the selenium) than taking the reduced form has more disadvantages than advantages. The main disadvantage is mainly that it is much less economical.
For the above reasons, we have chosen the unreduced form of Q10 for our product:
I our product we use a simple yet so far not applied by others new solution to eliminate this problem: we created Q10 solution of the highest possible concentration, capable of keeping Q10 in crystal-free dissolved state in a broad temperature range. We solved in MCT oil produced from palm seeds originating from “orangutan-friendly” farming, so that absorption would not be a problem even in case of insufficient bile production. In order to ensure stability and to support adequate reduction of Q10 within the body, we also added our unique antioxidant system consisting among others of so-called supercritical extract of Greek sage leaf, red palm fruit, as well as tocopherols and tocotrienols extracted from vegetable oils.
It is recommended to take 5 ml at a time. It can be repeated multiple times a day. It is best to take it with meals; it is also OK to take it between meals, but in this case, it may be absorbed less efficiently. For some people, larger quantities of MCT oil may at first cause diarrhoea or gripes, so if you have not had MCT oil before, you probably should start with 1 teaspoon, and increase the dosage slowly by the day. So, if you have not taken MCT oil before, it is recommended to start with 1-2 ml on the first day, and increase to 5 ml or above only after a few days.
Based on clinical tests, the potential effects of the Q10 coenzyme are as detailed below:
In the tests, it improved circulation, blood flow, endothelial function, the status of enzymes producing antioxidants, and even the erection function, as well...
In several tests, it improved workout performance, VO2 max, sperm quality and mobility, as well as the overall quality of life.
In the tests, it significantly reduced lipid peroxidation, as well as the symptoms of fibromyalgia, Prader Willi syndrome and peyrone disease.
Orally taken Q10 slightly reduced skin damage caused by UV radiation, fatigue, symptoms of Parkinson disease, muscle injury, risk of preeclampsia and blood pressure.
Made in the EU
KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN. DO NOT EXCEED RECOMMENDED DOSE.
If you are undergoing treatment for a medical condition or if you are pregnant or lactating, please consult your medical practitioner before introducing supplementary foods to your normal routine. The dietary supplement should not be used as a substitute for a varied and balanced diet or a healthy lifestyle. Store tightly closed in a cool and dry place.
Freye, E.Ch.K. The Whole Truth about Coenzyme Q10 You May Not Find Elsewhere. Adv Complement Alt Med. 2(2). ACAM.000531.2018. DOI: 10.31031/ACAM.2018.02.000531
Guillermo Lopez-Lluch , Jesus del Pozo-Cruz , Ana Sanchez-Cuesta , Ana Belen Cortes-Rodrıguez , Placido Navas , Bioavailability of coenzyme Q10 supplements depends on carrier lipids and solubilization, The End-to-end Journal (2018), doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2018.05.020
In-house study (Dr. Sinatra):