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8 Things to Know About Ubiquinone

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Key Points About Ubiquinone

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  • Ubiquinone is another name for CoQ10
  • CoQ10 is a powerful antioxidant with a number of health benefits. 
  • Taking a ubiquinone supplement can improve heart and brain health. 
  • Research has found positive benefits of ubiquinone on cancer development, migraine headaches, inflammation and diabetes. 
  • Ubiquinol is a special patented type of ubiquinone that’s more easily absorbed and used by the body. 

Ubiquinone might be one of the most important supplemental products you haven’t heard of. You might, however, have heard it referred to as ubiquinol or CoQ10. Below we explore the eight most important things to know about ubiquinone and how it might benefit your health.

1.) The Basics

First, what is ubiquinone, and why haven’t you heard of it?

You probably have, just not by the name ubiquinone.

Ubiquinone is also known as Coenzyme Q10 or CoQ10. It’s a supplement frequently used to help with heart health, including improving symptoms of heart failure. Some use it to help with high blood pressure, and it’s also used to help with symptoms of migraines and diabetes.

Ubiquinone or Co10 is a nutrient that is naturally found in our bodies, and it’s also in some of the foods we eat.

It is an antioxidant that protects your cells from damage, and it’s part of your metabolic function.  

2.) Ubiquinol vs. Ubiquinone—What’s the Difference?

Ubiquinone and ubiquinol are often used to refer to CoQ10, but there are some differences. If you choose a CoQ10 supplement, it will either be ubiquinone or ubiquinol because these are the two different forms.

Ubiquinol is the reduced form of CoQ10, and ubiquinone is the oxidized form.

If you get a CoQ10 supplement that’s ubiquinone, your body converts it to ubiquinol and then back again. The natural CoQ10 that occurs in the body also shifts between ubiquinone and ubiquinol continuously.

Until 2007, the only commercial type of CoQ10 that was available was ubiquinone. Then, a company created a patented form of CoQ10 that was known as ubiquinol. Ubiquinol is thought to be more effective at improving CoQ10 status.

Both forms of CoQ10 are considered bioavailable, but a lot of people feel that ubiquinol is more effective than ubiquinone. Ubiquinol is slightly more bioavailable. That can be especially important if you really need a lot of the supplement because you’re older or have a specific health condition.

Many doctors recommend ubiquinol as compared to ubiquinone because, along with being more absorbable, you can take a smaller dose and get the same effects.

For example, there’s some research that ubiquinol has about two times the bioavailability of ubiquinone, which means it can increase your blood CoQ10 levels by around four times more. If you theoretically, following that logic, take 50 mg of ubiquinol to get the same effects as 100 mg of ubiquinone.

The company that originally developed ubiquinol is called Kaneka. They have invested a lot of research into their product to show that it’s superior to ubiquinone. At the end of the day, though, both ubiquinol and ubiquinone are likely to have some important benefits for health.

Research has found that along with your body’s production of CoQ10 declining naturally as you age, conditions including diabetes, cancer, and heart disease have been linked with lower CoQ10 levels. We don’t really know if that’s the cause of the diseases or if it’s a result.

3.) Ubiquinone May Help Treat Heart Failure

Heart failure is often a result of other health conditions such as high blood pressure. Certain conditions can cause inflammation and oxidative damage to the veins and arteries, contributing to heart failure.

Many types of treatments for heart failure also have adverse side effects.

Studies have consistently shown that taking a CoQ10 supplement such as ubiquinone or ubiquinol could improve symptoms of heart failure and reduce the risk of death from heart-related problems.

Something else to note about ubiquinone and heart health is the fact that many people with cancer don’t ultimately die of the cancer itself. They die because of heart-related side effects that stem from cancer treatments like chemotherapy.

Taking a ubiquinone supplement could reduce this risk if you get the go-ahead from your doctor.

In general, researchers do seem to think that taking CoQ10, whether as ubiquinone or ubiquinol, could help improve energy production, reduce inflammation and oxidative damage and improve the function of the heart.

The heart muscle has a constant, massive need for energy. Because of that, it has a large number of mitochondria.

Ubiquinol or ubiquinone is a lipid-soluble antioxidant that’s in the mitochondria. That means ubiquinone or ubiquinol have an important role to play in helping dampen free radicals produced in the mitochondrial membrane. Ubiquinone and ubiquinol protect the mitochondrial membrane from damage, which is one reason it has significant heart benefits.

4.) Ubiquinone Has Cancer-Related Benefits

CoQ10 in test-tube studies has been shown to kill cancer cells. There was also a study in mice where researchers took a topical form of CoQ10 and applied it to mice with melanoma for 30 days. That particular study found a 55% reduction in tumor mass and a disruption of the spread of the cancerous cells.

Other clinical studies have found that taking ubiquinone or CoQ10 can reduce inflammatory marketers in patients with breast cancer. Chronic inflammation is linked to the development of cancer and tumor growth. The theory here is that if you can lower inflammatory markers, perhaps there is reduced cancer spread.

Along with reducing inflammatory markers, ubiquinone has been found to improve quality of life in breast cancer patients.

In a study from Denmark, supplementation with CoQ10 helped improve survival in patients with end-stage cancer. The study found the median survival ended up being over 40% longer than the median predicted survival.

A trial of 20 children treated for acute leukemia or non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma found that using a CoQ10 supplement helped reduce the harmful side effects of the cancer drug doxorubicin.

These are just a few examples of the studies that have found direct and indirect benefits of using a CoQ10 supplement for cancer, and larger trials are ongoing.

5.) CoQ10 (Ubiquinone) Could Help Brain Health

CoQ10 preclinical studies have found that the supplement could improve cognitive abilities and mental skills.

As you age, your CoQ10 levels naturally decline. That means mitochondrial function likely declines too. When you have lower levels of CoQ10, it leads to increases in free radicals in your brain. Those free radicals contribute to oxidative stress.

Taking a ubiquinone supplement may reduce the free radicals in the brain and protect brain cells from oxidative damage.

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6.) CoQ10 Can Promote Lung Health

Ubiquinone in the form of CoQ10, or ubiquinol, can have many benefits for lung health. Your lungs have the most oxygen contact compared to all the other organs in your body, meaning they’re most at risk for oxidative damage.

Oxidative damage in the lungs and low levels of CoQ10 can contribute to lung conditions like COPD and asthma.

There have been studies that have shown people with these lung conditions also have lower CoQ10 levels.

Studies have indicated that using a CoQ10 or ubiquinone supplement can reduce inflammation in conditions such as asthma and may lower the need for steroid treatment. There have also been studies that have found improved exercise performance in people with COPD who took a CoQ10 supplement.

7.) There Are Many Other Ubiquinone Benefits

Above are just some of the many potential benefits of taking a ubiquinone or CoQ10 supplement.

There are so many others as well.

  • For example, it’s thought that ubiquinone could have benefits if you have diabetes or you’re at risk. In studies, CoQ10 has been shown to regulate blood sugar levels and boost insulin sensitivity.
  • Additionally, oxidative stress can cause damage to the cells. Damaged cells lead to metabolic disease, which is what diabetes is.
  • In one study, people with type 2 diabetes were given a CoQ10 supplement for 12 weeks. That group had reduced fasting blood sugar levels and significantly lower hemoglobin A1C.
  • Ubiquinone might also stimulate fat breakdown and reduce the accumulation of fat cells that contributes to type 2 diabetes and obesity.
  • One thing that I’ve personally found incredibly helpful with ubiquinone is that it can help with headaches including migraines. I’ve dealt with migraines for years, and since I started taking a daily ubiquinone supplement in the form of ubiquinol, I’ve had fewer migraines and when I do get them, they are significantly less severe. The underlying theory as to why CoQ10 works for migraines is because it might decrease inflammation and improve mitochondrial function. There’s also been CoQ10 deficiency observed in some people who have migraines. CoQ10 may help prevent and treat migraines.
  • Ubiquinone, ubiquinol or CoQ10 can help with fertility. As you age, your production of CoQ10 slows down. That makes your body less effective at protecting the eggs you do have from oxidative damage. It appears that supplement with ubiquinone can help reverse this decline and help improve egg quantity and quality.
  • Male sperm is also affected by oxidative damage, which can lead to infertility. Taking a CoQ10 supplement may improve sperm quality and activity by boosting antioxidant protection.
  • Taking a ubiquinone supplement can even help your skin look more radiant. You can take it orally or apply it topically to reduce wrinkles and oxidative damage.

8.) Ubiquinone Has Few If Any Side Effects

What makes ubiquinone as well as ubiquinol such important supplements, aside from the many benefits, is that there are few if any side effects.

Most studies have found it’s very well-tolerated with low toxicity up to daily doses of 1,200 milligrams for more than 16 months.

With that being said, if you really want to see the most benefits, as was mentioned, you should try to find a ubiquinol version of ubiquinone.

Also, it’s fat-soluble, so try to take your CoQ10 or ubiquinol supplement with food because you’ll absorb it faster and more thoroughly. Your body doesn’t store ubiquinone, so you should use it regularly to see the most benefits.

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