Which Form of CoQ10 Is Best, Ubiquinol or Ubiquinone?

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Coenzyme Q10 is the “spark” that fuels energy production inside every single cell—including your heart, which is the biggest energy user in your body. But as we age, our bodies’ natural production of CoQ10 declines. Plus, cholesterol-lowering statin drugs can deplete your body’s supply of CoQ10 even further.

So, I feel very strongly that everyone should take a coenzyme Q10 supplement every day. CoQ10 supplements come in two forms—ubiquinol and ubiquinone.

Ubiquinol and Ubiquinone: What’s the Difference?

Most heart-vitamin manufacturers promote the ubiquinol form, telling consumers it's the best coenzyme Q10 supplement because it’s what your body makes naturally. 

What’s more, the biggest claim about ubiquinol’s benefits is that it can be absorbed up to eight times better than other forms of CoQ10. Yet, I haven’t seen solid evidence to back up that claim. Plus, inside your body coenzyme Q10 is naturally converted from ubiquinol to ubiquinone—and back again—as it does its job of sparking energy production.

So, whether you take ubiquinone or ubiquinol doesn’t make a difference. What matters is how much coenzyme Q10 your body absorbs from whatever supplement you take.

What Is the Best Form of CoQ10?

I, too, was curious to find the answer, so I performed an informal 12-person study. Half of the participants took 200 mg of ubiquinol and the other half took 200 mg of ubiquinone for the first month. In the second month, I had them take nothing. In the third month, the participants switched to the other form of CoQ10.

I checked the participants’ CoQ10 blood levels each month and found that both groups achieved excellent results, with ubiquinol resulting in only slightly higher blood levels of CoQ10—making it not worth the higher cost. Plus, for one participant, ubiquinol resulted in a significantly lower coenzyme Q10 blood level when compared to ubiquinone.

More importantly, I was disturbed by feedback from one volunteer who complained of fatigue when she took ubiquinol. She said she felt considerable fatigue after starting ubiquinol—something I’ve never heard from anyone taking ubiquinone. I also heard similar complaints of fatigue from two respected colleagues who are nutrition experts.

By contrast, the usual feedback I hear from people taking ubiquinone is that they feel they have more energy, not less.

So, which is better, ubiquinol or ubiquinone?

Based on this feedback, and the fact that all my study participants had approximately equal blood levels of coenzyme Q10, I prefer hydrosoluble ubiquinone.

CoQ10 Dosing and Timing

  • Healthy people under age 60 should take 50 to 100 mg
  • If you’re over 60 or on a statin drug, I recommend 100 to 200 mg
  • If you had recent heart surgery, a heart attack, or congestive heart failure, I recommend 200 to 300 mg

A general rule of thumb is the sicker the individual, the more CoQ10 is required. One of the mysteries, and highly beneficial qualities of this nutrient, is that it will help to “rescue” any tissue in need.

I recommend dividing the dosages, taking half of your daily CoQ10 in the morning and the rest in the afternoon. That’s because when it is taken twice a day, as opposed to once, the blood levels remain higher throughout the day.

When your CoQ10 levels are where they should be, not only does your heart, brain, and entire body benefit—you’ll also feel it in your energy level. In fact, I’ve had patients tell me that the “energy shortage” they chalked up to aging disappeared once they increased their coenzyme Q10 intake. Amongst all the heart vitamins, the benefits of coenzyme Q10 are the most noticeable!

Dr. Stephen Sinatra

Meet Dr. Stephen Sinatra

A true pioneer, Dr. Sinatra spent more than 40 years in clinical practice, including serving as an attending physician and chief of cardiology at Manchester Memorial Hospital, then going on to formulate his advanced line of heart health supplements. His integrative approach to heart health has changed the lives of hundreds of thousands.

More About Dr. Stephen Sinatra