Coenzyme Q10, often called CoQ10, is a nutrient that is present in every living cell. It is similar to a vitamin in function, but it is mainly created by the body instead of being gained from the food we eat like other vitamins. The compound CoQ10 exists in multiple chemical forms with slightly different molecular structures.
Most of the CoQ10 inside the body is in the form Ubiquinol, which is the active version of CoQ10.
Ubiquinol is able to link with other molecules. It takes part in energy creation inside cells, primarily as a transporter of oxygen into cells. It is so important to the process of making energy that 95 percent of the cellular energy production that happens in the body uses Ubiquinol.
Ubiquinol’s ability to interact with other molecules also makes it a strong antioxidant. It can combine with harmful free radicals – molecules that lack an electron – and neutralize them to prevent them from stealing electrons from healthy molecules and causing cell damage. Such damage is now thought to be one of the primary causes of aging and age-related diseases.
Although Ubiquinol is the active form of CoQ10, the CoQ10 most people are familiar with is an inactive form called Ubiquinone. Ubiquinone has a more stable chemical structure than Ubiquinol, and it does not react in the same ways with other molecules. The body needs to change Ubiquinone into Ubiquinol in order to make use of it. This process happens automatically in the body, although the body becomes less efficient at making the conversion as it ages. In fact, when Ubiquinol acts as an antioxidant, it becomes transformed into Ubiquinone, which the body converts back into Ubiquinol so it can keep using it in cells.
Because of the stability of Ubiquinone, it was the first form of CoQ10 to be encapsulated and made available in supplements. The CoQ10 supplements that have been available for many years are based on Ubiquinone. These supplements have been proven to be safe and effective. However, because they are based on Ubiquinone, the body needs to convert them into Ubiquinol before it can make use of it. This extra step makes it more difficult for the body to absorb the supplement.
Since 2007, Kaneka Nutrients has been making active Ubiquinol available in supplement form. These newer supplements contain the form of CoQ10 that the body actually uses without having to convert anything. This means these supplements are more easily absorbed, and more of the Ubiquinol contained in them gets into the bloodstream then into cells where it is needed. The new supplements are just as safe as traditional CoQ10 but are more effective.
CoQ10 is actually ubiquinone, the fully oxidized form of CoQ10, which your body must convert to ubiquinol in order to use it. For more information, visit http://ubiquinol.org.