Ubiquinone vs. Ubiquinol | Discover the CoQ10 That’s Best For You!

Last Updated:
Medically reviewed by Dr. Saad Ansar

Key Information

CoQ10 is a vital nutrient for cells

CoQ10 is a vitamin-like substance that helps produce cellular energy and acts as an antioxidant.

CoQ10 has two forms: ubiquinone and ubiquinol

Ubiquinone is the oxidized form and ubiquinol is the reduced form. Both can be converted by the body as needed.

CoQ10 has many health benefits

CoQ10 may improve fertility, heart health, cognitive function, blood sugar, and liver health.

CoQ10 supplements vary in bioavailability

CoQ10 supplements come in different formulations and dosages. Soft-gel capsules tend to be better absorbed than tablets.

Affiliate Disclosure: Holistic Nootropics may earn affiliate commissions if you purchase through the links on this page. Here's how it works.

Ubiquinone vs Ubiquinol

CoQ10 is one of the essential nutrients your body needs to work optimally due to its direct impact on the mitochondria.

This is why supplementing with CoQ10 is so crucial, as many people don’t get enough from their diet alone.

For those looking to supplement, you’ll quickly notice the 2 types most commonly sold, Ubiquinol and Ubiquinone.

Deciding which form to use can be confusing, even for the most seasoned biohacker.

The following article breaks down the differences between the two supplemental forms of CoQ10, Ubiquinone vs Ubiquinol, to help you better decide which is best for you!

Biohack Your Brainpower

Stay ahead with our newsletter: cutting-edge biohacking tips and the latest in nootropics, all in one place.

What Is Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)

Coenzyme Q10 is a molecule produced naturally in the human body.

It is an essential vitamin-like substance for working numerous organs and chemical processes by supplying cells with energy.

We consume it in foods like cold-water fish and meats.

It is primarily available in two proper forms, ubiquinone and ubiquinol. Both have their characteristics making their suitability different from one individual to another.

The various types of this coenzyme can be distinguished by their number of isoprenoid side chains.

Although they are essential to the body, most healthy individuals already have plenty in their bodies.

However, some evidence suggests that supplementing with an extra amount may be advantageous.

Levels of this substance decline with advancing age and several medical disorders.

These conditions include HIV infection, heart failure, high blood pressure, gum disease, Parkinson’s disease, blood infections, and some muscle illnesses.

However, it’s unclear whether adding it will impact these circumstances.

CoQ10 Supplement Benefits

Supplementation of CoQ10 in either form of ubiquinone or ubiquinol has been shown to have many benefits.

It might improve cardiac performance and fertility, stop migraines and promote good skin.

It is also found to lessen fatigue, act as an antidepressant, is a potent antioxidant in cells, reduces inflammation, and treats infertility in both men and women.

Below are some of the benefits of supplementing with ubiquinol and ubiquinone:

CoQ10 and Male Fertility

The inability of a man to make a woman pregnant is called male infertility. It is commonly associated with poor sperm motility. Sperm health is somehow dependent on the antioxidant activity of ubiquinol and ubiquinone for protection.1Ahmed T Alahmar, The impact of two doses of coenzyme Q10 on semen parameters and antioxidant status in men with idiopathic oligoasthenoteratozoospermiaClin Exp Reprod Med. 2019

This is shown by evidence that male fertility, sperm health, and sperm motility improve by taking this enzyme supplement. 2Rahul Vishvkarma et al, Coenzyme Q10 effect on semen parameters: Profound or meagre?Andrologia. 2020

A 2020 study that combined information from three clinical trials discovered that supplementation significantly impacted sperm motility and the ability of the sperm to fertilize over three to six months in older men.3Rahul Vishvkarma et al, Coenzyme Q10 effect on semen parameters: Profound or meagre?Andrologia. 20204Süleyman Akarsu et al, The association between coenzyme Q10 concentrations in follicular fluid with embryo morphokinetics and pregnancy rate in assisted reproductive techniquesJ Assist Reprod Genet. 2017

CoQ10 and Female Fertility

It has also been shown to influence female fertility.

Ubiquinol does not necessarily increase the rate of successful pregnancies or reduce miscarriage but increases fertile tendencies.5Yangying Xu et al, Pretreatment with coenzyme Q10 improves ovarian response and embryo quality in low-prognosis young women with decreased ovarian reserve: a randomized controlled trialReprod Biol Endocrinol. 2018

Some clinical trials have also shown that it can improve fertility and women’s ability to conceive.6Zhe Xu et al, Coenzyme Q10 Improves Lipid Metabolism and Ameliorates Obesity by Regulating CaMKII-Mediated PDE4 InhibitionSci Rep. 2017

CoQ10 and Metabolism

CoQ10 supplementation has beneficial effects on lipid metabolism through the oxidation of fatty acids.7Hoda Zahedi et al, Effects of CoQ10 Supplementation on Lipid Profiles and Glycemic Control in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes: a randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled trialJ Diabetes Metab Disord. 2014

Consuming supplements for 24 weeks can also improve glucose and insulin serum levels.8Ke Chen et al, Coenzyme Q10 attenuates high-fat diet-induced non-alcoholic fatty liver disease through activation of the AMPK pathwayFood Funct. 2019

There is evidence that the supplements can benefit the status of patients with type II diabetes, chronic kidney disease, and liver disease.

It also has beneficial effects associated with Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).

NAFLD is associated with central obesity, insulin resistance, and disturbance in lipid levels. Thus NAFLD can be corrected partly by the supplement routine.9Leila Jahangard et al, Influence of adjuvant Coenzyme Q10 on inflammatory and oxidative stress biomarkers in patients with bipolar disorders during the depressive episodeMol Biol Rep. 2019

CoQ10 and Cognitive Health

The Best Nootropic Stack For Ultimate Brain Performance

CoQ10 consumption has been shown to improve the cognitive health of individuals.

Since it has antioxidant activity, it works synergistically with other antioxidants to reduce mitochondrial- function retardation and thus increase the cognitive process.

Research has shown that using ubiquinone supplements has improved the symptoms of depression in people with bipolar disorder.10Tareq Al Saadi et al, Coenzyme Q10 for heart failureCochrane Database Syst Rev. 2021

Coq10 and Cardiovascular Support

According to some research, consuming ubiquinone may help lessen some heart failure symptoms and thus benefit heart health.

Additionally, it may reduce the likelihood of heart failure-related hospitalization or mortality.11Vladlena I Zozina et al, Coenzyme Q10 in Cardiovascular and Metabolic Diseases: Current State of the ProblemCurr Cardiol Rev. 2018

It also appears to reduce the risk of heart-related events, including another heart attack, when taken for a year after starting within 72 hours of a heart attack.12David Mantle et al, Coenzyme Q10 and Immune Function: An OverviewAntioxidants (Basel).2021

CoQ10 and Immunity

The antioxidant performs several crucial functions in the body cells for the immune system to function at its best.

Included are its crucial function as an electron carrier in the mitochondria enabling ATP production and its potential to act as a fat-soluble antioxidant.

Antioxidants neutralize harmful natural byproducts of reactions in almost every body cell.

As mitochondria are a part of every cell, the two forms also support heart health and the body’s overall health.

Its capacity to suppress the production of inflammatory genes has also been linked to an active anti-inflammatory function.

As a component of peroxisomal membranes, it may contribute to preserving organelle integrity by shielding the membranes from oxidative damage brought on by free radicals, which are volatile molecules.13David Mantle , Alex Dybring, Bioavailability of Coenzyme Q 10: An Overview of the Absorption Process and Subsequent MetabolismAntioxidants (Basel). 2020

Benefits Of Ubiquinol vs Ubiquinone Form of Coq10

In a continual cycle, the antioxidant in your body alternates between the two states of ubiquinone and ubiquinol.

Your body transforms the ubiquinone you consume as supplements into ubiquinol and back again. One of these two variants will be present in pills on the market.

Regarding the specific chemistry, ubiquinol is the reduced version, whereas ubiquinone is the oxidized version.

Therefore, you can take it in any form, and your body will change it into the other form as needed.

Ubiquinol vs Ubiquinone | Which form of the Coq10 supplement is more bioavailable?

Bioavailability is the amount of a supplement that enters systemic circulation and can be utilized by the body.

The bioavailability of both ubiquinone and ubiquinol is high.

One study discovered no significant difference in how its forms were absorbed and that even when eaten as ubiquinone, showed up in the blood as ubiquinol.14Guillermo López-Lluch et al, Bioavailability of coenzyme Q10 supplements depends on carrier lipids and solubilizationNutrition. 2019

Another study comparing the bioavailability of seven different supplement formulations discovered significant variations, with soft-gel capsules containing either ubiquinone supplementation or ubiquinol being the most well-absorbed formulations.15Isabella Peixoto de Barcelos , Richard H Haas, CoQ10 and AgingBiology (Basel). 2019

The absorption rate of one form against another is virtually the same, and according to all available evidence, consumption is considered safe.

Which Form Delivers The Highest Energy Production

Coq10 and Cellular Energy Production

Your body must convert the regular coenzyme into the antioxidant form ubiquinol to supply the cellular energy your organs require to operate at peak performance.

The difference between young and old people is that normal CoQ10 can be easily converted into ubiquinol in young, healthy individuals. Still, after 40, this conversion process becomes more difficult and ineffective. This may affect cellular energy levels. 16Juan Garrido-Maraver, Coenzyme q10 therapyMol Syndromol. 2014

Oxidized Form vs. Reduced Form of coq10

Both ubiquinol and ubiquinone forms of Coq10 have key differences in chemistry. The body must convert ubiquinone, the oxidized form, into the reduced form called ubiquinol.

Oxidized CoQ10

Before it may carry out its duties, ubiquinone must be changed inside the body into the active form ubiquinol (add a hydrogen bond).

Ubiquinone is useful in several emulsions and topical formulations since it is significantly more stable in specific formats due to its oxidized state.

Since ubiquinone is fat-soluble and not very bioavailable on its own, several businesses add an emulsifier to increase absorption.

Reduced CoQ10

Ubiquinol supplement is the active water-soluble form of CoQ10. It is formed by the addition of a hydrogen bond to the compound.

Suggested Dosage For Each

Based on most research, it is advised to take 90–200 mg of the coenzyme daily, requirements can change based on the patient and the ailment being treated. 17Clifford W Shults et al, Effects of coenzyme Q10 in early Parkinson disease: evidence of slowing of the functional declineArch Neurol. 2002

Even when used at extremely high quantities of 1,000 mg daily or more, it is typically well tolerated. 18Meredith Spindler et al, Coenzyme Q10 effects in neurodegenerative diseaseNeuropsychiatr Dis Treat. 2009

However, specific individuals sensitive to the substance may experience negative effects like diarrhea, headaches, nausea, and rashes on their skin.19Rajiv Saini, Coenzyme Q10: The essential nutrientJ Pharm Bioallied Sci. 2011

Before using a supplement, speak with your doctor. There is a difference in the dosage of the various forms of coenzyme.

Dosage of Ubiquinone form of coq10

The usual adult dosage to keep blood levels in a good range for a ubiquinone supplement is 50 to 200 mg/day.

Dosage of the Ubiquinol form of coq10

In the form of dietary supplements, ubiquinol intake should be of 100-300 mg/day. Ubiquinol is often sold in a liquid or gel-based capsule.

Side Effects For Each

When both forms are compared, it is found that they have similar side effects. The side effects of ubiquinone include gastrointestinal discomfort, nausea, vomiting, decreased appetite, diarrhea, skin rash, or reduced blood pressure. The side effects of ubiquinol are more or less the same as ubiquinone. Ubiquinol can also cause anxiety, cholesterol changes, dizziness, and fatigue.20Rajiv Saini, Coenzyme Q10: The essential nutrientJ Pharm Bioallied Sci. 2011


Whether you use the advanced ubiquinol form or ubiquinone form as a daily supplement, read all their advantages and understand the intended use and side effects before introducing supplements into your diet.


Biohack Your Brainpower

Stay ahead with our newsletter: cutting-edge biohacking tips and the latest in nootropics, all in one place.
Photo of author


Erik Abramowitz is a certified Nutritional Therapy Practitioner (NTP), Naturopathic Doctoral student, health coach, and father. He is the primary content creator for HolisticNootropics.com and the host of the Holistic Nootropics Podcast.

Leave a Comment