Ubiquinone, also known as CoQ10, is a compound essential to life that is found in nearly all cells. Hence the name ubiquinone, CoQ10 is ubiquitous, defined as present, appearing, or found everywhere.
CoQ10 is widely popular in the supplement industry, though many people tend to take it without really realizing what its benefits are. We all know that it has something to do with the heart, brain, and other organs, but do we know the specific benefits and what its actual role is in the body?
This article explores everything you need to know about CoQ10, including the benefits, what it does in the body, uses, side effects, and a comparison to ubiquinol-QH!
What Does CoQ10 Do in the Body?
CoQ10 is a crucial factor in energy production in every cell of the body. To fully understand CoQ10, we must understand how it relates to ubiquinol.
Our bodies need energy to perform basic cellular functions. In order for the energy to be in the right place at the right time (to be used where it needs to be used), it must be transported to the right place.
CoQ10 is like our body's taxi, picking up energy (people) and dropping it off where it needs to be used. Though, CoQ10 will only pick up “people” if they have money.
So, the CoQ10 taxis will only pick up people with money (energy) to spend, and leave behind the people without money until they can save enough to be picked up next time around.
With this analogy, we have essentially described the problem of oxidation and antioxidation.
CoQ10 is the taxi that picks up people with money. It then drops off these people in the right places so they can spend money (energy) in the right places (where energy is required).
Then, most importantly, after the taxi is emptied, it is no longer CoQ10; it is ubiquinol. Taxis WITH passengers are CoQ10, and taxis WITHOUT passengers are ubiquinol.
So, to summarise, ubiquinol drives around to pick up passengers with money and drops them to the right places where energy is needed, and when the taxi is full, it is ubiquinone (CoQ10).
You can see now that ubiquinol and CoQ10 are essentially the same thing.
CoQ10 basically provides energy in the mitochondria (energy factory) of every single cell in the body. Once these compounds have been used up, ubiquinol travels around to pick up more compounds, thus keeping the energy flow going.
How Much CoQ10 Do We Need?
CoQ10 and ubiquinol are found everywhere, particularly in organs and tissues that create and use energy, such as the brain, liver, heart, lungs, and kidneys. So, it goes without saying that CoQ10 is an absolutely essential compound that we need to ensure we have enough of.
It’s important to understand that CoQ10 is not like a vitamin where it is sourced outside of the body through food and supplements. CoQ10 is made in the body already, so in the majority of cases, we don’t need to consume it.
We can usually create enough CoQ10 to meet our demands, though as we get older, our CoQ10 production diminishes. This means that elderly people would benefit from increasing their CoQ10 intake.
Though there are a few other conditions that also result in a decrease in CoQ10 syntheses, such as:
- Statin drugs
- Congestive heart failure
- Muscle diseases
- Parkinson’s disease
- HIV infection
If you suffer from any of the above, CoQ10 supplementation may be warranted.
So, how would we even know if we are lacking CoQ10?
Well, there is no way to really know. There are no tests to determine our CoQ10 status, especially as CoQ10 is not found in the blood (and if it is, only in small amounts), it is found in our organs. So a biopsy of our organs is the only accurate way to determine if we are deficient in CoQ10.
One of the ways to ensure you are getting enough CoQ10 is to consume a varied, nutritious diet. This brings us to dietary sources of CoQ10!
Dietary Sources of CoQ10
As we have already mentioned, CoQ10 is not a vitamin, so it’s more difficult to obtain it through food as most of the food sources contain such small amounts.
CoQ10 is most rich in organ means from cows and chickens and is less concentrated in animal flesh.
Some of the best sources (which are still very low amounts) of CoQ10 include:
- Beef heart
- Beef muscle
- Chicken thighs
- Red flesh fish
- Soybean oil
- Olive oil
As there are such low amounts found in foods, it’s best to supplement with CoQ10 if you do want to increase your intake.
Supplementing With CoQ10 & Ubiquinol-QH
Just to recap, CoQ10 and ubiquinol are fundamentally the same thing. So, when you take CoQ10, both your ubiquinol and CoQ10 levels will increase.
At any given time, our total amount of CoQ10 and ubiquinol is around 20% CoQ10 (full taxi) and 80% ubiquinol (empty taxi).
Though you may find that many health practitioners will recommend CoQ10 supplements over ubiquinol, this is simply because we know more about CoQ10 as it was developed first, not because it is necessarily better than ubiquinol.
However, ubiquinol appears to be the more bioavailable option over CoQ10. So, if you’re looking for the most absorbable option, ubiquinol may be the better pick.
When choosing a CoQ10 or ubiquinol supplement, it’s important to consider how it was formulated. CoQ10 and ubiquinol are naturally crystalline and are not water-soluble, making them very difficult to absorb.
So, it’s key to look out for bioavailability-enhanced versions of CoQ10, such as MicroActive® Q10, found in Performance Lab Energy.
Studies have shown that this form of CoQ10 outperforms plain CoQ10, absorbing faster and releasing slowly over 24 hours, resulting in sustained cell energy support.
Alongside this form of CoQ10, Performance Lab Energy also contains Pyrroloquinoline Quinone (PQQ), a unique antioxidant that works in concert with CoQ10 to boost, multiply, and protect mitochondria powerhouses in every cell found in the body.
CoQ10 Side Effects & Downsides
Any supplement or product that has a positive effect on the body will also often have a downside or side effect.
Some reported side effects of supplementing with CoQ10 include heartburn, loss of appetite, and gastrointestinal issues, though this is fairly rare!
There also may be some risks associated with combining CoQ10 with other medications, so it’s important to discuss CoQ10 supplementation with your doctor if you are taking anything else.
Though, the biggest downside of CoQ10 is usually the cost. They tend to be very expensive supplements!
Conclusion: The Importance of Ubiquinol-QH & CoQ10
CoQ10 and ubiquinol are essential to all animal and human life. CoQ10 helps with energy formation and expenditure and is a powerful antioxidant.
Organs with the highest energy requirements include the brain, lungs, liver, and heart, which is where you will find the highest concentrations of CoQ10.
Some conditions cause a decrease in CoQ10 synthesis, so supplementation may be the best way to go to ensure you are fully topped up and not at risk of deficiency.
CoQ10 is a supplement you take to optimize your wellness, though is best consumed when it is properly formulated to ensure it is absorbed and used properly in the body.
Our top pick is Performance Lab Energy, containing both MicroActive® Q10 and Pyrroloquinoline Quinone (PQQ), which work together to stimulate fresh mitochondria, convert energy, and offer antioxidant support, thus boosting mental vitality and overall health!