Ubiquinol is the reduced, active antioxidant form of Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10). Produced naturally within the body, ubiquinol is CoQ10 that has been converted into a substance necessary for use in cellular energy production. It is one of the most powerful known lipid-soluble antioxidants available, supporting the body to manage oxidative stress and free radicals.
Ubiquinone vs Ubiquinol
Ubiquinone (CoQ10) has been taken as a supplement by millions of people over the past thirty years. Because of its wide availability and popularity as a supplement, ubiquinone is the form of CoQ10 most recognized by consumers. Because it was not available in nutritional supplements until 2006, ubiquinol is a lesser-known but equally important nutrient.
Both ubiquinol (CoQ10-H2) and ubiquinone (CoQ10) are metabolically active, and are interchangeable in the body according to needs. Each form has unique roles in cells including antioxidant actions, supporting healthy heart functioning and enhancing energy production. Although ubiquinone and ubiquinol are kept at a constant ratio within the body, the majority of the total coenzyme Q10 pool is made up of ubiquinol. In fact, when ubiquinone is taken orally, much of it appears to be rapidly converted into ubiquinol.
Until recently, the only way to increase ubiquinol levels in plasma was to convert it from ubiquinone within the body, which research has shown becomes increasingly difficult with age. Because it was so easily oxidized outside the body, it took scientists and researchers more than a decade to stabilize ubiquinol for use in supplements.
Oral ubiquinol may offer improved bioavailability in individuals who have difficulty achieving high levels of this nutrient, such as aging adults or those concerned with nutrient absorption.