Originally published April 26 2009
Ubiquinol: Boost Energy Levels and Overall Health with Best Form of Co Q 10
by Barbara L. Minton
(NaturalNews) Still wondering what form of Coenzyme Q 10 to take? New research findings may help with the decision. Scientists have found that the ubiquinol, the reduced form of Co Q 10, dramatically improves absorption of Co Q 10 in patients with severe heart failure compared to supplements of ubiquinone, the unreduced form of Co Q 10. In other findings, the high antioxidant status of ubiquinol has allowed it to significantly inhibit inflammation. And to top it off, prices for the more effective ubiquinol have come down to levels commensurate with those of the unreduced Co Q 10 supplements in the ubiquinone form.
Heart patients show dramatic increase in Co Q 10 levels with the ubiquinol form
Scientists at East Texas Medical Center and Trinity Mother Francis Hospital in Texas noted that patients with chronic heart failure often fail to achieve adequate plasma levels of unreduced Co Q 10 even at doses as high as 900 mg per day. As a result of this, they show limited clinical improvement in their condition. For their study, these scientists identified seven patients in advanced chronic heart failure with sub-therapeutic plasma Co Q 10 levels at a mean of 1.6 microg/ml on an average dose of unreduced Co Q 10 of 450 mg per day. All seven of these patients were changed to an average dose of 580 mg per day of ubiquinol.
Mean plasma Co Q 10 levels increased to an average of 6.5 microg/ml. Measurement with echocardiogram showed mean improvement from 22% to 39%. Clinical status was remarkably improved from a mean of class IV to a mean of class II. The researchers concluded that the ubiquinol form of Co Q 10 dramatically improved absorption in patients with severe heart failure, and the improvement in plasma Co Q 10 levels is correlated with clinical improvement and improvement in measurement of left ventricular function. This study is from the 2008 journal Biofactors.
Ubiquinol is more compatible with the needs of the body
Ubiquinol is the new, reduced from of the Co Q 10 supplement that has been on the market for many years. The substance Co Q 10 is a critical component of human metabolism and a dynamic nutrient that moves between two states, the oxidized ubiquinone, and the reduced ubiquinol. While in the ubiquinol state, its ability to be assimilated into the human body is increased, and it develops the additional feature of being a first class antioxidant.
Due to its critical role in metabolism, the body is able to make Co Q 10 on its own, although some Co Q 10 is also obtainable from the diet. Although it is naturally in all cells, Co Q 10 is particularly concentrated in tissues having high energy requirements like the heart, liver, lungs, and muscles of the skeleton. Smaller amounts are centered in the brain, kidneys, and intestines, and the rest is in general circulation for use as needed. A normal adult has Co Q 10 amounts in the range of 0.5 and 1.5 grams. Within each cell, at least half the amount is centered in the mitochondra, the furnace of the cells where food is turned into energy, and this is where the final stages of its synthesis occur.
The cycling action of Co Q 10 helps it achieve its metabolic goals. Ubiquinone (unreduced Co Q 10) picks up electrons and becomes ubiquinol. Ubiquinol releases electrons and becomes ubiquinone, and the cycle repeats. According to scientist Kevin Connolly Ph.D., the ability of Co Q 10 to move electrons around is a "fundamental step in the production of energy, in the regeneration of antioxidants in cell membranes, and in the construction of other important biological molecules."
The electrons moved about by Co Q 10 aid in the chemical reactions that allow broken down sugars, fats and amino acids from food to be burned as fuel in the mitochondria and to produce adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the actual chemical energy that powers cellular workings. Without adequate amounts of Co Q 10, cellular workings grind to a halt. It is clear that both ubiquinone and ubiquinol are essential to the process.
Co Q 10 as ubinquinol also has a role as a membrane and lipid antioxidant. It works with vitamin E, lycopene and beta-carotene to prevent LDL oxidation by giving up electrons to other oxidized molecules in order to regenerate them. This process results in the conversion of ubiquinol back into ubiquinone, which must then be re-engaged. Since ubiquinol is a form of Co Q 10 that can convert into ubiquinone, all the benefits of Co Q 10 as ubiquinone are available in ubiquinol supplements with the additional benefits that are provided only by ubiquinol including its ease of assimilation into the body and super antioxidant status.
Ubiquinol recently found to have strong anti-inflammatory properties
Numerous investigations of Co Q 10 have been conducted since its discovery in 1957. Most have centered on its applications for cardiovascular health. In addition to those dealing with chronic heart failure, Co Q 10 has been studied for its role against exercise-induced angina, hypertension, and recovery from heart attack. Deficiencies of Co Q 10 have been implicated in cellular energy dysfunctions and neurological degeneration.
A study done at the University of Kiel in Germany and reported in January investigated the potential of Co Q 10 as an anti-inflammatory. Scientists studied the influence of the ubiquinol form on lipopolysaccharide (LPS) induced pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines in a monocytic cell line. They found LPS induced responses were significantly decreased by pre-incubation of cells with ubiquinol. This study is from the Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition. It highlights the super antioxidant benefits of ubiquinol, benefits that are not available from the unbiquinone form of Co Q 10.
Dietary benefits of Co Q 10 are quite limited
Food sources of Co Q 10 are meat (particularly organ meats such as liver and heart), poultry, fish, nuts and seeds. Vegetables, eggs, and dairy products contain small amounts. Co Q 10 is also found in soybean and canola oils, however soybeans should be fermented before eating, and canola probably should not be consumed at all. Here are the milligram amounts of Co Q 10 found in food:
Beef, fried 3 ounces 2.6
Herring, marinated 3 ounces 2.3
Chicken, fried 3 ounces 1.4
Rainbow Trout, steamed 3 ounces 0.9
Peanuts, roasted 1 ounce 0.8
Sesame seeds, roasted 1 ounce 0.7
Pistachio nuts, roasted 0.9
Broccoli, boiled 4 ounces chopped 0.5
Orange, 1 medium 0.3
Strawberries, 4 ounces 0.1
Egg, 1 medium boiled 0.1
As these numbers reveal, people were meant to manufacture Co Q 10 in the body rather than obtain it from the diet. On top of dietary amounts being minuscule, Co Q 10 from the diet is poorly absorbed by the body. For people seeking to boost sagging energy levels and support their hearts, supplements of the ubiquinol form of Co Q 10 are clearly the most effective option.
Ubiquinol is ready for absorption into the lymphatic system
Studies have measured absorption of supplemental Co Q 10 in the ubiquinone form at levels as low as two to three percent of the total amount ingested. The recent development of a stabilized dose of ubiquinol in supplement form is viewed by scientists as an exciting development because of its ease of absorption. Co Q 10 as ubiquinone must be reduced to ubiquinol before it can be released into the lymphatic system. Supplements of ubiquinol being already reduced are ready for absorption into the lymphatic system, and this may be why ubiquinol based Co Q 10 supplements exhibit enhanced bioavailability over those that are ubquinone based.
Supplementing with ubiquinol becomes more important as people age
Declines in ubiquinol result in less cellular energy and diminished protection against oxidative stress. This stress produces free radicals that can damage proteins, fats and DNA, allowing degenerative diseases to get started. Studies have reported dramatic decreases in Co Q 10 levels and increased oxidative stress associated with the aging process and with many age-related conditions. Healthy people in their 20s readily produce all the Co Q 10 they can use and efficiently convert it into ubiquinol. This ability becomes hindered as years go by through metabolic demands and oxidative stress. The decline in endogenous production of Co Q 10 and the ability to convert it into ubiquinol is apparent in 40 year olds.
For people age 40 and older, supplementing with ubiquinol is important for supporting and maintaining cardiovascular, neurological and liver health. Supplements of ubiquinol may restore healthy levels of Co Q 10 in plasma and organs for more efficient energy production, resulting in increased energy and stamina as well as better overall health. And because it is a powerful antioxidant, ubiquinol offers defense against oxidative stress and age-related conditions. Restoring this vital nutrient to optimal levels can result in people experiencing the energy levels they had when much younger.
Ubiquinol found safe in initial study
Ubiquinol as a supplement has been on the market only since 2006. The safety and bioavailability of ubiquinol were evaluated for the first time in February, 2007. Healthy subjects were administered a single oral dose of 150 or 300 mg, and additional oral administration of 90, 150, and 300 mg doses for four weeks. No clinically relevant negative changes were observed in laboratory tests, physical examinations, vital signs, or ECG. Significant absorption from the gastrointestinal tract was observed. This study was reported in Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology and shows that initial testing found ubiquinol safe and highly bioavailable to the body.
There is currently only one manufacturer of ubiquinol. This means that whether you pay a lot or a little, you are getting the same ubiquinol compound when you buy ubiquinol supplements. The only variation is in the milligram amount in the capsules.
Co Q 10 is a lipophilic, meaning it dissolves in fat, so supplements of Co Q 10 as ubiquinol should always be taken with some type of dietary fat.
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About the authorBarbara is a school psychologist, a published author in the area of personal finance, a breast cancer survivor using "alternative" treatments, a born existentialist, and a student of nature and all things natural.
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