Yellow-orange Coenzyme Q10 crystals

In its raw material form, Coenzyme Q10 consists of crystalline compounds. These crystals must be dissolved to single CoQ10 molecules to permit absorption. Only single CoQ10 molecules can be absorbed. CoQ10 crystals have poor dissolution within the chyme of the intestines because melting point of CoQ10 crystals is 10 degrees centigrade above body temperature. Thus, the absorption of the Coq10 supplement depends upon the manufacturer’s formulation, upon the solubility of the Coenzyme Q10 in the oil matrix.

Coenzyme Q10 is a naturally occurring vitamin-like bio-nutrient that is essential to the cellular process of ATP energy production. It is especially important for the optimal functioning of tissues with high energy requirements such as heart muscle tissues [Mantle 2015].

Beyond its role in cellular energy production, Coenzyme Q10 has the following important biological functions:

Bio-Synthesis of Coenzyme Q10 Declines with Age

The human body’s ability to synthesize Coenzyme Q10 peaks at some time in a person’s 20s and gradually declines thereafter [Kalén 1989]. Consequently, supplementation is necessary. It is not possible to make up the age-related loss of Coenzyme Q10 by eating more carefully.

Furthermore, certain drugs — statin medications in particular — are known to inhibit the body’s synthesis of Coenzyme Q10 [Okuyama 2015].

Absorption and Bio-Availability of the CoQ10 Supplement

There is considerable variability in the absorption and bio-availability of CoQ10 supplements. The CoQ10 raw material is a dry crystalline powder. The human digestive system cannot absorb CoQ10 crystals. To make absorption possible, the Coq10 supplement manufacturer must use a process that dissociates the CoQ10 crystals into single CoQ10 molecules.

Professor Guillermo Lopez-Lluch

In a double-blind crossover study, Professor G. Lopez-Lluch and a team of Spanish university researchers have shown that the formulation of the Coenzyme Q10 supplement is more important to Coenzyme Q10 bio-availability than the form of the Coenzyme Q10 is. In the study, a well-formulated ubiquinone CoQ10 supplement was significantly better absorbed than a ubiquinol supplement was.

Heart Health Benefits of CoQ10 Supplements

In randomized controlled studies enrolling 400+ study participants, researchers reported significant reductions in death from heart disease associated with the CoQ10 treatment of chronic heart failure patients [Mortensen 2014] and senior citizens [Alehagen 2013].

Safety of Coenzyme Q10 Supplements

The safety of CoQ10 supplementation has been verified in some 200 clinical studies. Coenzyme Q10 is well-tolerated, it has no toxic or geno-toxic effects, and it cannot be over-dosed. Very rarely, an individual taking CoQ10 supplements may experience mild gastrointestinal discomfort [Mantle 2015].

CoQ10 Supplementation for Prevention and Treatment of Heart Disease

Read our key article about CoQ10 and cardiovascular health in elderly people

Read our key article on CoQ10 as adjuvant therapy for heart failure



Alehagen, U., Johansson, P., Björnstedt, M., Rosén, A., & Dahlström, U. (2013). Cardiovascular mortality and N-terminal-proBNP reduced after combined selenium and Coenzyme Q10 supplementation: a 5-year prospective randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial among elderly Swedish citizens. International Journal of Cardiology, 167(5), 1860-1866. [PubMed]

Alehagen, U., Aaseth, J., Alexander, J., & Johansson, P. (2018). Still reduced cardiovascular mortality 12 years after supplementation with selenium and coenzyme Q10 for four years: A validation of previous 10-year follow-up results of a prospective randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial in elderly. Plos One, 13(4), e0193120. [PubMed]

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N.B. The information presented in this review article is not intended as medical advice and should not be construed as such.