CoQ10 is the commonly used abbreviation for Coenzyme Q10, a natural enzyme and powerful antioxidant essential to the operation of mitochondria. Mitochondria are the microscopic power plants that are found inside of human cells and are responsible for generation of about 95% of the biochemical energy supply used by the body. CoQ10 is particularly important for the function of energy-intensive organs such as the heart, brain, kidneys, and liver.
This following video is an interview with a patient suffering heart problems who benefited from taking the ubiquinol form of CoQ10.
In a generic sense, CoQ10 is often used to refer to several similar versions and preparations of the compound. If a product label simply reads “CoQ10” then probably the compound in the product is ubiquinone, the fat-soluble oxidized version of CoQ10 that is the least effective of all.
Ubiquinone and ubiquinol are two natural variants of CoQ10. Ubiquinone is the inactive form of CoQ10 that must be converted to the biologically active form ubiquinol. Research shows that the ubiquinol form is more bioavailable and potent than ubiquinone. Estimates are that ubiquinol is about three to eight times more bioavailable than ubiquinone. This is believe to be both because ubiquinol is better absorbed by the body and because it is ready-to-use, unlike ubiquinone that must first be converted to ubiquinol before the mitochondria can benefit from it.
Most CoQ10 variants are soluble in fats only with little to no ability to dissolve in water. Tishcon Corporation and a few others have developed water-soluble variants of CoQ10 compounds that aid in the body’s absorption and distribution of the supplement.
Tishcon Q-Gel is a modified and patented version of ubiquinone that is water-soluble making it about three times more bioavailable than regular ubiquinone. Tishcon sells Q-Gel to many supplement suppliers who use the compound in making products for consumers.
Idebenone is a synthetic variant of CoQ10 that is superior in function in several ways. Unlike CoQ10, it can cross the blood-brain barrier and so may be of help to those people who suffer from low CoQ10 levels causing poor brain function. Idebenone also operates better under low oxygen conditions because it does not cause the formation of large quantities of damaging free radicals as natural CoQ10 does.
When selecting a CoQ10 type of supplement, consider that the least expensive ubiquinone form supplements will probably necessitate taking two to eight times the dosage of the more expensive ubiquinol, Q-Gel, and idebenone forms. As a result, ubiquinone is often not the best form of CoQ10 to be using for many people. This is particularly true for older people who may have difficulty managing a complicated regimen of many supplements spread throughout the day.
We’d recommend that you do some research and pricing comparisons on products before simply buying the least expensive CoQ10 product you see. Also keep in mind that it is possible to mix CoQ10 type supplements. For instance, a person may take ubiquinol, water-soluble ubiquinone (such as Q-Gel), and idebenone supplements at the same time to get the somewhat different effects of each.
To be sure that your CoQ10 supplementation is helping, consider getting a periodic CoQ10 (Coenzyme Q10) Blood Test. These typically cost around $100 to $200 depending upon the test lab. For people who need to take several hundred milligrams or more of CoQ10 supplements per day to get their CoQ10 levels up to normal range, the cost of CoQ10 supplementation can easily surpass $100 per month. So it may be wise to adjust your dosage based upon test results to help avoid wasting your money maintaining much higher than reference range levels of CoQ10.
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