Author: BioCeuticals - Editor
The reduced form of CoQ10, ubiquinol, has equally important health benefits and has recently been approved for therapeutic use in Australia.
Ubiquinone, the conventional supplemental form of coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), has been prescribed by practitioners worldwide for many years. Until now, ubiquinone was the form of CoQ10 most readily recognised by practitioners and consumers alike.
How is Ubiquinol different to Ubiquinone?
In addition to its well-established function in the mitochondrial ATP production, CoQ10 has in recent years attracted increased attention with regard to its function in the reduced form - ubiquinol - as a potent lipid-soluble antitoxidant. Featuring two more electrons than ubiquinone (an electron acceptor), ubiquinol ol is an electron donor, making it the form of CoQ10 that protects against oxidative reactions in the body.
Both ubiquinone and ubiquinol are present in all cellular membranes as well as in the blood serum and in serum lipoproteins, where ubiquinol efficiently protects against lipid peroxidation.1 Research also shows a protective effect on mitochondrial membrane proteins and DNA from free-radical induced oxidative damage.2
The effects of ubiquinol are independant of those of other exogenous antioxidants, such as vitamin E, although ubiquinol can also potentiate the effect of the vitamin E by regenerating it from its oxidised form.1,2
The chemical difference between ubiquinone and ubiquinol is that the latter compound contains two hydroxyl groups, thus enabling it to be more "hydrophilic" and consequently more bioavailble then ubiquinone.3 This is highly significant as exogenous CoQ10 is generally not readily absorbed by many individuals.
Benefits of Ubiquinol Supplementation
Ubiquinone and ubiquinol, being redox pairs, are easily converted from one to the other in the body as required - ubiquinone is converted to ubiquinol for absorption and circulation via lymph and blood where the potent antioxidant action of ubiquinal is important; whole ubiquinol is oxidised to ubiquinone in cell mitochondria where energy production is key. Ubiquinol may be the preferred supplement from of CoQ10 for individuals with higher requirements, reduced absorption rates or those experiencing increased oxidative stress.
Because ubiquinol provides excellent protection against LDL lipid oxidation,5 individuals with heart disease, or family history of heart disease, would particularly benefit from taking this nutrient.
Ubiquinol supplementation may also be of particular benefit for middle-aged to eldery people to help combat oxidation associated with normal healthy advancing age.6
1.Ernster L, Dallner G. Biochemical, physiological and medical aspects of ubiquinone function. Biochim Biophys Acta 1995 May;1271(1):195-204.
2.Pobezhimova TP, Voinikov VK. Biochemical and physiological aspects of ubiquinone function. Membr Cell Biol 2000;13(5):595-602.
3.Faloon W. Report: Has your CoQ10 become obsolete? Life Extension Magazine, January 2007. www.lef.org/ magazine/mag2007/jan2007_report_coq10_02.htm
4.Bhagavan HN, Chopra RK. Plasma coenzyme Q10 response to oral ingestion of coenzyme Q10 formulations. Mitochondrian 2007;S7:S78-S88.
5.Stocker R, Bowry VW, Frei B. Ubiquinol-10 protects human low density lipoprotein more efficiently against lipid peroxidation than does alpha-tocopherol. Proc Natl Acad Sci 1991;88(5):1646-1650.
6.Wada H, Goto H, Hagiwara S, et al. Redox status of coenzyme Q10 is associated with chronological age. J Am Geriatr Soc 2007;55(7):1141-1142.