Ubiquinol Levels Lower in Disease States
As humans age, there is a sharp reduction in coenzyme Q10 synthesis, with a corresponding reduction in blood ubiquinol levels.
In examining humans suffering from various pathological conditions, blood ubiquinol levels are uniformly lower.53-73 In those with diabetes, ubiquinol levels have been shown to be 74% lower than in control subjects.76 Ubiquinol decreases of 6.5% to 12.5% have been observed in those with hepatitis, liver cancer, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's disease).59-61,69
Ubiquinol's Effect on Mitochondrial Function
In healthy human blood, more than 90% of coenzyme Q10 exists in its reduced ubiquinol form. An analysis of published research indicates that ubiquinol is the form of CoQ10 that most effectively suppresses free radicals and increases mitochondrial energy output.54,57,77-81
Only ubiquinol effectively scavenges lipid peroxyl radicals and prevents chain-reaction-causing oxidative damage to polyunsaturatedfatty acids of biological membranes. Ubiquinol forms an important first line of antioxidant defense in atherogenic lipoproteins such as low-density lipoprotein (LDL), and is capable of regenerating alpha-tocopherol vitamin E.54,78,79
Supplementation with the ubiquinol form of CoQ10 not only elevates blood levels of ubiquinol, but also increases the ratio of ubiquinol to total CoQ10 concentration. For example, when ubiquinol is supplemented, the ubiquinol to total CoQ10 ratio increases to 96-98.5%, compared to approximately 80-85% when ubiquinone is supplemented. Moreover, the ratio remained unchanged during administration of ubiquinone.80,81
An increase in the ratio of ubiquinol in blood, by even small percentages, may indeed have profound implications. With enzymes, a boost of as little as 3-5% can translate into powerful biological effects. Ubiquinol supplementation results in an impressive 12% increase in the ubiquinol to total CoQ10 ratio.
The term "hydrophilic" means readily absorbable or dissolvable in water. Ubiquinol is the more hydrophilic form of CoQ10, which has been shown to be more stable in lipid bilayers of the cell and therefore could be very well dispersed in the mitochondria.82
Ubiquinol's greater hydrophilic properties probably enable it to be taken up better by cells, which might result in specifically targeting the mitochondria within cells.83 In other words, since ubiquinol is more hydrophilic (that is, less capable of dissolving in fats), it would theoretically tend to be less retained in cell membranes, while achieving more significant intracellular concentrations.84 This may offer a plausible mechanism whereby ubiquinol might accumulate more effectively within mitochondria than exogenous ubiquinone, thereby exerting a greater contribution to mitochondrial energy production.
Scientists are still seeking to identify the exact mechanisms by which ubiquinol so effectively enhances mitochondrial function. The ability of ubiquinol to remain at constantly higher levels in the bloodstream is one likely reason why it has demonstrated such remarkable anti-aging effects compared to ubiquinone.
What is the Optimal Human Dose of Ubiquinol?
Healthy people seeking to maintain more youthful coenzyme Q10 blood levels usually supplement with around 100 mg of conventional CoQ10 (ubiquinone) daily. Based on side-by-side comparative research, if these individuals were to switch to 100 mg of ubiquinol instead, they would enjoy a significant increase of CoQ10 in the blood. This alone makes ubiquinol the logical choice.
Those seeking to replicate the incredible anti-aging findings of the study performed on senescence-accelerated mice should consider supplementing with 200-300 mg of ubiquinol a day. These higher doses have produced the most remarkable benefits of ubiquinol CoQ10 compared to ubiquinone CoQ10. In other words, at a dose of 100 mg per day, the benefit of ubiquinol over ubiquinone is only about 1.5-fold, whereas at higher doses, bioavailability increases up to a remarkable 8-fold.
The reason for this phenomenon is that once one exceeds 100 mg using conventional ubiquinone, the linear increase in CoQ10 blood levels slows. This is probably due to absorption saturation limitations inherent to this form of CoQ10. When doses of 150-300 mg of ubiquinol are ingested, there is an exponential increase in blood CoQ10 levels. Not only is there a greater initial spike, but there is also a greater sustained level of blood CoQ10 over an eight-hour period.
Based on the totality of published research about coenzyme Q10, it would appear desirable for adults over the age of 30 to seek a minimum sustained blood level of more than 3 mcg/mL of blood. This level could be achieved by supplementing with two to three 50-mg ubiquinol capsules daily, depending on one's age, daily calorie intake, and body weight. Ideally, one would take ubiquinol in two divided doses to achieve consistent blood levels throughout the day.
Therefore, for those seeking CoQ10's classic documented benefits, supplementing with 100-150 mg a day of ubiquinol would appear to be appropriate. Those who want to emulate the successful anti-senescence mouse study should consider a dose of 200-300 mg a day of ubiquinol. Since the anti-senescence study dose was based on food intake, those who restrict their calorie intake to around one kilo (2.2 pounds) a day would need only about 200 mg of ubiquinol, while those who consumed more calories would need to take 250-300 mg of ubiquinol.
Reducing one's food intake (without inducing malnutrition) is the single best-documented anti-aging therapy.85-91 In the case of ubiquinol requirements, those who eat sensibly would require less of this supplemental nutrient.Summary
The lay public recognizes CoQ10 as a nutrient that protects heart health, yet provocative research indicates that CoQ10 may have a wide range of benefits that include preventing skin cancer and skin aging,33,58 guarding against prostate and breast cancers,29,36,64,92 supporting healthy blood sugar levels in diabetics,4,5 and averting endothelial dysfunction.93
Scientists also report additional novel uses of CoQ10, such as helping to slow the progression of Parkinson's disease,47,94,95 preventing crippling migraine headaches,96,97 supporting immune health,98-100 guarding against periodontal disease,34,38 preserving healthy vision,28,101 and boosting male fertility.102
In what may be one of the most dramatic anti-aging discoveries to date, scientists have demonstrated that the ubiquinol form of CoQ10 provides anti-aging effects that are far superior to those associated with the conventional ubiquinone form used by millions of Americans each day.
For the first time, ubiquinol is available as a stabilized dietary supplement that provides more activated coenzyme Q10 to the body--at a lower cost--than any other form of CoQ10.What You Need to Know
References . . .
- Coenzyme Q10 may protect against many age-related disorders, including cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and various neurological disorders.
- Nutritional scientists have recently developed a method to deliver the highest concentrations of the biologically active (ubiquinol) form of CoQ10 into the bloodstream.
- Ubiquinol is absorbed up to eight times better than standard CoQ10 formulations, which contain only ubiquinone. Additionally, ubiquinol maintains higher CoQ10 blood levels longer than ubiquinone.
- Higher blood levels of active (ubiquinol) CoQ10 provide superior health benefits.
- Large amounts of ubiquinone must be ingested to achieve high blood levels of CoQ10. By consuming CoQ10 in its active (ubiquinol) form, one can achieve higher blood CoQ10 levels using far lower doses.
- Senescence-accelerated mice that consumed ubiquinol displayed slower rates of aging, degenerative decline, energy depletion, and physical decay compared to animals that consumed ubiquinone or placebo.
- People seeking to protect their whole-body health should consider supplementing with 100-150 mg of ubiquinol daily. Those seeking to capture the documented anti-aging benefits of ubiquinol should consider consuming 200-300 mg daily.