Even if they are made from the same raw material, the CoQ10 products on the US retail market are very diverse in terms of their absorption and in terms of their health effects.
We, as consumers, need to see documentation, preferably in peer-reviewed scientific journals, for the absorption and efficacy of the CoQ10 product we buy.
The form of the retail Coenzyme Q10 product can be different (either the ubiquinone form or the ubiquinol form), and the formulation can be different (different carrier oils and different heating and cooling processes).
In the previous article on this site, we discussed substances that can counteract or inhibit the bio-synthesis or absorption or efficacy of Coenzyme Q10. Today we want to look at substances that might actually boost the bio-synthesis or absorption or efficacy of Coenzyme Q10.
Among the substances we want to consider are the following nutritional supplements:
seleniumSelenium (symbol Se, atomic number 34) is a trace element that is an essential nutrient and an essential component of some of the most important antioxidants in the body, in particular the selenoproteins glutathione peroxidase, thioredoxin reductase, and selenoprotein P. Selenium is involved in the optimal functioning of the immune system. Professor Alehagen has pointed out that there exists a... Read more about this term
Human adults’ bio-synthesis of the essential bio-nutrient Coenzyme Q10 declines with increasing age [Kalén]. That is unfortunate.
We humans need sufficient quantities of Coenzyme Q10 for various biological functions:
cellular production of ATPATP (adenosine triphosphate) molecules are the high-energy molecules with easily broken phosphate bonds that release energy to the energy-requiring processes in the cells. Coenzyme Q10 is essential to the process of ATP production.... Read more about this term energy
antioxidantAntioxidants are substances that protect the cells and lipoproteins against the harmful effects of free radicals. They are substances that prevent the oxidation of other molecules and compounds. There are two broad categories of antioxidants: enzymatic and non-enzymatic. Non-enzymatic antioxidants are substances like Coenzyme Q10, vitamin C, vitamin E, glutathione, and various carotenoids. Prominent enzymatic antioxidants include catalase, glutathione peroxidase,... Read more about this term protection of the cells against oxidative damage
maintenance of endothelial function in blood vessels
Absorption of the Coenzyme Q10 in commercial nutritional supplements varies considerably. The dissolution of the CoQ10 crystals and the absorption of the Coenzyme Q10 molecules depend upon the composition of the oil matrix and the formulation of the CoQ10 nutritional supplement. The manufacturer of a CoQ10 supplement must deal with raw material that is very difficult to work with.
Coenzyme Q10 Soluble in Lipids at Higher Temperatures
Coenzyme Q10 is practically insoluble in water but is soluble in lipids; however, no individual lipids have been found in which 100 milligrams of Coenzyme Q10 can be dissolved so that the dissolved Coenzyme Q10 molecules inside the nutritional supplement capsules will not re-crystallize at normal storage temperatures: typically, between 60 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
The active substance in the best Coenzyme Q10 nutritional supplements is a natural substance extracted from a yeast fermentation process; it is not a synthetic substance.
The CoQ10 molecules in the best nutritional supplements are the same molecules as the CoQ10 molecules synthesized inside the mitochondriaThe mitochondria are the bean-shaped organelles in the cells. They are the key organelles with responsibility for the production of ATP energy molecules.... Read more about this term in human cells.
Absorption and Bio-availability of Coenzyme Q10
Similar to vitamin EVitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin that plays an important role as an antioxidant in the body. Vitamin E neutralizes harmful free radicals. Coenzyme Q10 regenerates Vitamin E after the vitamin E has neutralized free radicals.... Read more about this term, Coenzyme Q10 in food and in nutritional supplements has a low absorption and bio-availability. In the case of Coenzyme Q10, the difficult absorption is attributed to the relatively large size and the lipid soluble nature of the CoQ10 molecules.
In the February and March 2019 issues of WholeFoods Magazine, Dr. Richard Passwater has published part 1 and part 2 of his interview with Dr. William Judy. These interviews are must reading [Passwater 2019].
The Main Coenzyme Q10 Points in the Dr. Passwater – Dr. Judy Interviews
Dr. Passwater’s interviews with Dr. Judy focus on current issues in CoQ10 research. These issues are of interest to all of us who want to maintain good heart health.
Coenzyme Q10 Molecules are Redox Molecules With Oxidized and Reduced Forms
Coenzyme Q10 molecules are redox molecules with an oxidized form of Coenzyme Q10 called ubiquinoneUbiquinone, the oxidized form of Coenzyme Q10, expressed as Q10 or CoQ10, is absolutely essential for the mitochondrial ATP energy production process. Ubiquinone is the form of Coenzyme Q10 that the body synthesizes, and ubiquinone is the form of Coenzyme Q10 that has been extensively tested for safety, absorption, and efficacy in clinical trials.... Read more about this term, an intermediate partially reduced form called ubisemiquinonesee redox molecule., and a reduced form called ubiquinol. The ubiquinone and ubiquinol forms are both used in Coenzyme Q10 supplements. Both forms are active and important forms.
Coenzyme Q10 supplements are not all the same. Some give a much better absorption than others. To get real value for the money we spend on CoQ10 supplements, we need to seek out and buy a product with documented good absorption.
Dissolving Coenzyme Q10 crystals to single molecules
The Coenzyme Q10 raw material is a crystalline powder. These crystals cannot diffuse into the intestinal absorption cells. The crystals will pass right through the intestinal tract and will be eliminated in the feces.
The first-ever head-to-head comparative bio-availability study has shown that a patented ubiquinone Coenzyme Q10 preparation gives a significantly better absorption and bio-availability than a patented ubiquinol product.
That is what happened in the double-blind, cross-over study conducted by researchers at the Pablo de Olavide University in Sevilla, Spain, in 2018 [Lopez-Lluch 2019].
This is important for several reasons:
Until this study in 2018, there had never been a head-to-head comparison studyof the bio-availability of a ubiquinone CoQ10 supplement and a ubiquinol supplement [Judy 2018].
A well-formulated ubiquinoneCoenzyme Q10Coenzyme Q10 molecules are fat-soluble molecules that are both bsynthesized in the body and ingested in the diet and in supplements. Coenzyme Q10 is synthesized in the body in the same biological pathway as cholesterol. Bio-synthesis of Coenzyme Q10 begins to decline once humans reach their adult years. The reduced production of Coenzyme Q10 cannot be compensated in any practical... Read more about this term supplement was absorbed significantly better than a well-formulated ubiquinol supplement. This is one of the take-home messages from a recent carefully designed Spanish university study [Lopez-Lluch 2018].
Remember: Ubiquinol supplements are notoriously difficult to work with. As an antioxidant posed to give up its two extra electrons, ubiquinol is by its very nature unstable. Often, the ubiquinol is oxidized (gives up its electrons) while still in the soft-gel capsule.
Arguably, the most exciting Coenzyme Q10 research results of 2018 are the results of a comparative bio-availability study done at the Pablo de Olavide University in Sevilla, Spain. The researchers’ carefully designed study demonstrates that the uptake of Coenzyme Q10 from oral supplements depends primarily on two factors [López-Lluch 2018]:
***The composition and formulation of the supplement, especially the types of substances used to dissolve the Coenzyme Q10 raw material in the supplement capsules