Supplement: CoQ10 (Ubiquinol)

What:                 

CoQ10 is an antioxidant that is naturally produced within the body, which declines with age, certain medical conditions and with taking medication.  CoQ10 is related to energy production and may help with heart problems, high blood pressure and migraines along with a few other health concerns.  CoQ10 can help to increase general energy and vitality.  One of the medications that are known to lessen the amount of CoQ10 the body is able to produce is cholesterol medication; therefore, supplementation of CoQ10 is wise to look into with the help of your doctor to help prevent some of the side effects that taking the medication can pose.  There are possible interactions when taking CoQ10 with blood thinners and diabetes medication.  So as with mixing any supplement with medication, speak with your doctor first.

How:

After speaking with your doctor to find out if supplementing with CoQ10 is right for you, then you may be posed with the task of finding a quality supplement- since there are hundreds of different versions currently out on the market.  The best way to choose a quality supplement is to take note of a few different factors affecting the quality of the supplement as listed below:

  • CoQ10 in its active form is called ‘ubiquinol’ (also referred to as CoQH-10 or CoQH2-10 or Q10) which is the form the body needs it to be in to be able to absorb it.   If the supplement is not already in this form (regular CoQ10), it is said that there will be a marked decrease in the absorption rate.  (If you are under the age of 25, however, the regular form of CoQ10 would be recommended instead since the body at that point is found to absorb the regular CoQ10 just fine.)  When the supplement is already in this readily absorbable form of ubiquinol, most science states that absorption into the body is more efficient.  This makes sense, however, the ‘ubiquinol’ form is more unstable than the regular form of CoQ10.  Therefore, if taking a CoQ10 in the ‘ubiquinol’ form, you’d need to make sure that it is stabilized, which is found in brand by Dr. Mercola.
  • CoQ10 is found to be best absorbed into the body if it is ‘solubilized’ such as brands known to contain ‘Q-Gel’.  However, most CoQ10 that is solubilized uses polysorbate 80, an additive that has conflicting views regarding safety.  To be on the safe side, it may be best to just avoid this substance.  If it is not solubilized using polysorbate 80, it may be formulated as water soluble beadlets, which is found to be just as effective as polysorbate 80 and without the health concerns.  A water soluble form of CoQ10 is ‘cyclodextrin complex’, which is sold as ‘Chew-Q’ or Hydro-Q-Sorb’.
  •  A CoQ10 supplement containing a type of oil will also do the job of enhancing the absorption of CoQ10 but just not as much as solubilizing it does. Oils such as rice bran oil, sunflower oil, vitamin E, chia seed oil and medium chain triglycerides may be added into the supplement.  The forms of soy in dietary supplements, are thought to not be health-promoting so therefore, avoiding soy oil may be best.  Medium chain Triglycerides (MCT’s) usually come from palm oil or coconut oil, which would likely be a good option since these in comparison are the more stable oils.  The remaining oils- rice bran, sunflower and vitamin E oils tend to be more unstable and more easily ‘turn bad’ as compared to a saturated fat such as the MCT’s.  One supplement company: ‘Garden of Life’ also uses cold-pressed chia seed oil, which would seem to be a good choice since this company has higher standards as compared to some other supplement companies.

Price

The price range of approved products varies greatly per serving, with product price per serving costing mere cents to whole dollars.  This variation in price range depicts all of the different varieties that CoQ10 supplements can come in, as listed under the ‘How’ category.  All of the products listed below have been tested for contaminants by consumer labs and came up clear.

The products listed in the ‘okay’ and ‘better than okay’ columns are either there because they are not in the most absorbable form that CoQ10 supplementation can come in, or they have additives that have not been agreed upon to be safe.  I also put products in this category if they contain soy since soy oil is usually very processed and can work against thyroid health.  When searching for a product, always read the ingredients and if there are too many words you’ve never heard of before, continue with caution.  When thinking of purchasing a product with too many additives in it, it is a matter of deciding whether the benefits of the CoQ10 in the supplement will outweigh the potential negative effects of the additives.  For further questions regarding this break-down of supplements, ask our staff Dietitian.

[Cost break-down is listed per 100mg serving of CoQ10]

Okay Products Better than Okay Best Products
Healthy Origins Ubiquinol  $0.53 Life extension super              $0.78 Dr. Mercola                             $0.31
The Vitamin Shoppe            $0.58 Dr. Sears Private Label          $3.96 Garden of Life                        $0.29
Pure Encapsulations            $0.58 Jarrow Formulas                     $0.33 Nutrifii BioproQ                    $2.14
NOW                                       $0.13 Nutrifii Omega Q                    $3.83 Source Naturals                     $0.45
Nature’s Way                          $0.55 Dr. Sinatra Omega Q Plus    $1.80
Metagenics                              $.078
Natural Factors                       $0.23

 

Additional Points and Points to Remember:

  • Remember: there are possible interactions when taking CoQ10 with blood thinning medication and diabetes medication.
  • CoQ10 may lower blood pressure. Caution with use of antihypertensive drugs.  It should be discontinued at least 2 weeks prior to surgery due to possibly interfering with blood pressure control
  • Water soluble formulas should be taken with water but do not have to be taken with fats or oils to increase absorption. It does help though when CoQ10 (regardless of the form) is taken with food since food slows the digestion process, which allows for better absorption of the nutrient.
  • It is best to take CoQ10 with fatty meals to enhance absorption
  • CoQ10 may interfere with sleep if taken before bed
  • CoQ10 may contribute to some stomach upset if taken in large amounts, so for amounts over 100mg, divided dosing may be best by taking 2-3 smaller, equally divided doses instead of one large dose
  • CoQ10 supplements with a quality oil in them will absorb inside the body better than without oil
  • The type of oil used in supplements matter- quality oil is best, such as MCT oil which comes from coconut or palm oil. Cold pressed chia seed oil may also be good such as in the ‘Garden of Life’ brand
  • Although ‘solubilizing’ supplements with the substance ‘polysorbate 80’ does increase absorption, polysorbate 80 is an additive that may have adverse effects on health- so it is safer to avoid supplements containing it
  • CoQ10 supplementation needs to be clear of the contaminant ‘idebenone’, which can be found in products not thoroughly tested for safety (ones listed above have all been tested by consumer labs)

‘Take Away’ Points for: CoQ10 (ubiquinone)

  • CoQ10 is an antioxidant that is naturally produced within the body, which declines with age, certain medical conditions and with taking medication
  • CoQ10 is related to energy production and may help with heart problems, high blood pressure and migraines along with a few other health concerns
  • CoQ10 should help to increase general daily energy and possibly vitality
  • One of the medications that is known to lessen the amount of CoQ10 the body is able to produce is cholesterol medication, therefore, supplementation of CoQ10 is wise to look into with the help of your doctor to help prevent some of the side effects that taking the medication can pose
  • Remember: there are possible interactions when taking CoQ10 with blood thinning medication and diabetes medication- so as with mixing any supplement with medication, speak with your doctor first.
  • CoQ10 may lower blood pressure. Caution with use of antihypertensive drugs.  CoQ10 should be discontinued at least 2 weeks prior to surgery due to possibly interfering with blood pressure control
  • Water soluble formulas should be taken with water but do not have to be taken with fats or oils to increase absorption. It does help though when CoQ10 (regardless of the form) is taken with food since food slows the digestion process, which allows for better absorption of the nutrient.
  • CoQ10 may interfere with sleep if taken before bed
  • CoQ10 may contribute to some stomach upset if taken in large amounts, so for amounts over 100mg, divided dosing may be best- by taking 2-3 smaller, equally divided doses instead of one large dose
  • It is best to take CoQ10 with fatty meals to enhance absorption
  • CoQ10 supplements with a quality oil in them will absorb inside the body better than without oil
  • The type of oil used in supplements matter- quality oil is best, such as MCT oil which comes from coconut or palm oil. Cold pressed chia seed oil may also be good such as in the ‘Garden of Life’ brand
  • Although ‘solubilizing’ supplements with the substance ‘polysorbate 80’ does increase absorption, polysorbate 80 is an additive that may have adverse effects on health so it is safer to avoid supplements containing it
  • CoQ10 supplementation needs to be clear of the contaminant ‘idebenone’, which can be found in products not thoroughly tested for safety (ones listed above have all been tested by consumer labs)

*Information found on consumer lab reports

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s