As we age our CoQ10 levels decrease, and finding a bioavailable supplement can be challenging since this nutrient has certain specific requirements for proper assimilation.
Benefits of CoQ10
In those mitochondrial cells, CoQ10 “participates in aerobic cellular respiration, which generates energy in the form of ATP. Ninety-five percent of the human body’s energy is generated this way. Organs with the highest energy requirements—such as the heart, liver, and kidney—have the highest CoQ10 concentrations”. (Source)
The presence of CoQ10 in mitochondrial cells (and in other cellular membranes, and in blood plasma), along with its powerful antioxidant properties, explains why clinical studies have verified its necessity for preventing a host of diseases.
For example, “diabetes, cancer, fibromyalgia, muscular and cardiovascular diseases have been associated with low CoQ10 levels”. More recently, studies have discovered that CoQ10 also “affects expression of genes involved in human cell signaling, metabolism and transport”.
If all that weren’t enough, studies are continually finding new applications for this cellular powerhouse.
– “Twelve weeks treatment with ubiquinone improves clinical outcomes and nerve conduction parameters of diabetic polyneuropathy.” (Source)(Polyneuropathy is the simultaneous malfunction of many peripheral nerves throughout the body.)
– “Alterations of CoQ10 content were also shown in conditions associated with male infertility…and the administration of CoQ10 may result in improvement in sperm function.” (Source)
– “CoQ10 and its analogue, idebenone, have been widely used in the treatment of neurodegenerative and neuromuscular disorders. These compounds could potentially play a role in the treatment of mitochondrial disorders, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Friedreich’s ataxia, and other conditions which have been linked to mitochondrial dysfunction.” (Source)
As mentioned above, our CoQ10 levels decline with age, but levels can also be reduced to the point where they are implicated in disease states by genetic malfunctions, cancer, mitochondrial diseases, and states of extreme oxidative stress. (And as a byproduct of using cholesterol-reducing statin drugs.)
Ubiquinone vs Ubiquinol
Many consumers have been confused by the recent entrance into the marketplace of a new form of CoQ10, known as ubiquinol. However, ubiquinol is not new to your body. It is in fact a downstream biochemical aspect of ubiquinone. “Ubiquinone is reduced to ubiquinol and redistributed into lipoproteins, possibly to protect them from oxidation.”
These two forms of CoQ10 interconvert into one another in the body depending on their needed function, and ultimately their physical properties are very similar. The price however, is not.
Those marketing ubiquinol maintain that as we age we lose the ability to convert ubiquinone into ubiquinol, and thus we should pay the extra for the ubiquinol form if we are over 40 years old. But, does this have any basis in science?
The human body converts CoQ10 between these two forms readily, and in fact “ubiquinol instantaneously turns into ubiquinone once it enters the stomach and is absorbed as such. Once absorbed across the intestine, ubiquinone is immediately converted to ubiquinol in the blood in order to act as an antioxidant. However, when CoQ10 is being used to produce energy in the mitochondria, ubiquinone is the form in demand.” (Source)
Also keep in mind, over decades there have been thousands of clinical trials conducted with ubiquinone, compared to very few done with ubiquinol. Indeed, those who maintain that ubiquinol is more bioavailable, have limited research to back up that claim. There is one study of older men, done in 2018, in which two-week supplementation with ubiquinol resulted in enhanced CoQ10 activity when compared to ubiquinone supplementation. However, that research is countered by more than one study which found the opposite.
For example, a 2020 study found that “there is no statistically significant difference in bioavailability between ubiquinol and ubiquinone. Even when consumed as ubiquinone, CoQ10 appeared in the blood almost exclusively as ubiquinol, indicating that the body is capable of converting the coenzyme into its most effective form”. (Source)
“And another study from 2019 suggested that the type of supplement actually matters more than the form of CoQ10 for bioavailability. After testing seven different supplements, researchers found that soft-gel capsules containing either ubiquinone or ubiquinol were most effective.” (Source)
Taking these studies into account, there is no strong evidence to suggest ubiquinol is superior to ubiquinone, when taken in supplement form. Indeed, as the above study points out, absorption is dependent on CoQ10 being solubilized, and properly processed in the body, regardless of its form.
We have known for some time now that CoQ10 is best absorbed when it is in an oil base, in a softgel capsule, as opposed to in a tablet, or powder in a capsule form. This is because the human body cannot absorb CoQ10 in a crystalline form (powder/tablet) as it has a melting temperature of 10 degrees C above body temperature (thus, plain powder absorbs at a rate of 1%).
But, what is even better than taking a liquid form of CoQ10, would be the ultimate fat-based delivery system: liposomal. In the case of liposomal CoQ10, not only is the nutrient in a liquid fat-based medium, it is also protected against damage from stomach acid, and what is even better, it is carried directly into the cells. Exactly where CoQ10 belongs.
NutriStart Liposomal CoQ10
Creating liposomes is an expensive and time consuming process, which is why such products cost more than simple encapsulated drugs or nutrients, and why few companies produce true liposomal products. NutriStart’s Liposomal CoQ10 product is manufactured by liposomal experts, using their proprietary Cold Structure TechnologyTM. This means that the product was never exposed to high temperatures or pressure, which could damage delicate nutrients.
NutriStart’s Liposomal CoQ10 is a hypoallergenic product tested and proven free of gluten, soy and GMOs. Furthermore, the natural flavors are fruit and berry extracts and contain no MSG.
Ingredients (Per Serving): Coenzyme Q10 200mg; Liposome proprietary blend: phosphatidylcholine (from non-GMO sunflower oil) – glycerin complex, non-GMO oleic acid.
Other ingredients: Purified water, natural flavors, tapioca starch, xanthan gum, gum arabic, potassium sorbate.
Serving size 6 milliliters, 30 servings per bottle. Recommended dose: (Adults 18 and over): Take 6 ml (just over 1 teaspoon) daily, or as directed by a health professional. For optimal absorption, hold under the tongue for at least one minute, or mix into one ounce of juice and sip slowly. Gently shake and refrigerate after opening. Use within 45 days of opening.
Recommended use or purpose: (Provides) an antioxidant; helps to maintain and/or support cardiovascular health; helps to reduce the frequency of migraine headaches and associated nausea and vomiting when taken as a prophylactic/ preventative. (Use for at least 3 months to see beneficial effects in migraine prophylaxis/prevention.)
Cautions and Warnings: Consult a health care practitioner: if migraine frequency increases and associated nausea/vomiting persist/worsen; prior to use if you are pregnant or breastfeeding; prior to use if you are taking blood pressure medica tion; prior to use if you are taking blood thinners.