When it comes to CoQ10, you may have heard the terms ubiquinone and ubiquinol. They have the same sound, but are they the same? The distinctions between the two will be discussed in this post, as well as if one is better than the other.
Coenzyme Q10, often known as CoQ10, is a popular antioxidant used to treat a range of ailments, including infertility, heart disease, and migraines. CoQ10 isn't a vitamin, in case you didn't know. It's a nutrient found in practically all of the human body's cells. In your body, CoQ10 alternates between two states: ubiquinone and ubiquinol, in a continuous cycle. One of these two kinds of CoQ10 supplements will be available on the market.
Is there a distinction between ubiquinol and ubiquinone?
Ubiquinol and ubiquinone are both genuine forms of CoQ10, and the words are frequently interchanged. Ubiquinol is the reduced form of CoQ10, whereas ubiquinone is the oxidised form, according to chemistry.
Remember that CoQ10 occurs naturally in the body, where it cycles between its ubiquinone and ubiquinol forms. Your body transforms ubiquinone to ubiquinol and back when you take a ubiquinone supplement. So, whichever type of CoQ10 you consume, your body will convert it to the other as needed.
Until 2007, when the developer of the patented process for generating the active form of CoQ10 commercialised (and trademarked) ubiquinol, ubiquinone was the only version of CoQ10 on the market. Ubiquinol is more expensive as a result of this. Some individuals believe that if something is more expensive, it must be better. However, there is no strong evidence to back this up.
There is no evidence that one form of CoQ10 is superior to the other, and given that the body converts between the two forms naturally, there is unlikely to be a significant difference.
It's worth noting that ubiquinone has been around longer and has been used in the great majority of CoQ10 clinical research (including those studying the benefits of CoQ10 for fertility).
Both ubiquinol and ubiquinone variants of CoQ10 are regarded safe, with little adverse effects.
Which CoQ10 type is the most bioavailable?
The proportion of a supplement that reaches systemic circulation and may be used by the body is called bioavailability. The bioavailability of ubiquinone and ubiquinol is high.
According to one study, there were no significant differences in the absorption of different CoQ10 formulations, and CoQ10 emerged in the blood as ubiquinol even when eaten as ubiquinone. Another study of seven different supplement formulations indicated significant differences in bioavailability, with soft-gel capsules containing either ubiquinone or ubiquinol being the most absorbable.
CoQ10 can help with fertility.
Fertility in men
In addition to taking prenatal vitamins, men should consider taking CoQ10 to help with male fertility, specifically by boosting sperm motility. Sperm motility refers to the ability of sperm to swim properly and hence reach the egg. Oxidative stress makes sperm very vulnerable, which can lead to sperm destruction. Oxidative stress is combated by antioxidants. CoQ10, a powerful antioxidant, has been found to increase male reproductive markers like sperm motility in clinical trials.
Researchers concluded that supplementing with CoQ10 increased sperm motility, sperm concentrations, and sperm count in a meta-analysis published in 2018.
Fertility in women
After the age of 35, female fertility begins to drop. This decrease is mostly due to an age-related drop in egg quality that many women experience. The concentration of CoQ10 in several regions of the body (including female eggs) decreases as we age. As a result, some fertility experts advise women over 35 to take CoQ10 supplements to compensate for the natural reduction that can lead to poor egg quality.
CoQ10 research is still in its early stages, and no randomised double-blind clinical trials concentrating on female fertility have yet been conducted. So far, studies have shown that supplementation with CoQ10 can increase egg quality, embryo quality, and pregnancy outcomes in women over 35. Another study published in 2017 found that a high amount of CoQ10 in follicular fluid (the fluid that surrounds the ovum in the ovary) is linked to a higher rate of pregnancy.
- CoQ10 is a natural antioxidant, and both ubiquinol and ubiquinone versions of CoQ10 are regarded safe with little negative effects.
- Ubiquinone has been the subject of more clinical trials than ubiquinol.
- Inside the body, ubiquinone and ubiquinol switch between forms.
- Any supplement regimen should be addressed with your doctor, who will be able to provide additional advice on what is best for you.
The significant increase in plasma CoQ10 status observed after the 2-week supplementation suggested that ubiquinol appeared to be a better supplemental form to enhance the CoQ10 status than ubiquinone in older men. Neither ubiquinol nor ubiquinone supplement affected the measured biomarkers of oxidative stress.