Ubiquinone is vital for energy production. Ubiquinol is a strong antioxidant. The third form is called ubisemiquinone and is vital for gene expression, protein turnover and activation, hormones, growth factor and a host of other factors which are essential to body function.
Ubiquinone is the oxidized form of CoQ10 and is the more common form of commercially available CoQ10. It has been around for ages, and if you’ve ever bought one of the cheaper CoQ10 supplements, it has most likely been in the oxidized form. If the label doesn’t specifically mention which form of CoQ10 the product contains, it’s very probably ubiquinone.
Ubiquinone (Coenzyme Q10) has been taken as a supplement by millions of people over the past thirty years. Because of its wide availability and popularity as a supplement, ubiquinone is the form of CoQ10 most recognized by consumers. Because it was not available in nutritional supplements until 2006, ubiquinol is a lesser-known but equally important nutrient.
Ubiquinone also functions as a powerful antioxidant, protecting the body’s cells from free radical damage. In fact, most sources agree that it is a more powerful antioxidant than Vitamin E (Carper, 1993). As such, it helps to slow the aging process and to decrease the risk of degenerative diseases. It is also found in high concentrations in LDL cholesterol particles, serving as a detoxifying agent (Carper, 1993). In addition, it has a membrane stabilizing activity.
Ubiquinone and ubidecarenone are two of the scientific or medical names for CoQ10. Ubiquinol is an activated or reduced form of CoQ10. In tablets or capsules that contain this form of CoQ10, you can expect that your body will have more available CoQ10 than you would from formulations that use standard CoQ10, or ubiquinone. Because CoQ10 is a fat-soluble enzyme, supplement manufacturers often suspend it in vegetable oils to help your body absorb the enzyme more easily.
Ubiquinone, one of the most powerful known lipid-soluble antioxidants, is produced naturally within the body. Its importance in cellular energy production is well established. Ubiquinol is the reduced, active antioxidant form of CoQ10. It also plays an essential but different role in the cellular energy production process.
Ubiquinone has been used in congestive heart failure, gum disease, and type 2 diabetes. It has also been used to replace low levels of ubiquinone caused by taking certain cholesterol medications.
Ubiquinone may have applications in heart disease, especially CHF, although there is a lack of consensus. Studies in neurological disorders are less promising. Limited clinical trials have been conducted to support its widespread use for other conditions.
Ubiquinone will continue to be an important supplement for those who want to maintain good health in their 20s and 30s. Ubiquinol, however, will be of particular importance for those 40 and older, or with hindered ability to convert CoQ10.