Kaneka’s Ubiquinol® is an innovative, research-backed nutrient demonstrated to be superior to generic CoQ10 supplements.
- Patented. Ubiquinol is made through an innovative, patented process that extracts CoQ10 from microorganisms and maintains its stability.
- Clinically Researched. Ubiquinol has been the subject of intense research, with dozens of human studies highlighting its efficacy and benefits.
- Easy absorption. Ubiquinol is effectively absorbed by the body, whereas generic CoQ10 has low bioavailability.
- Antioxidation. Ubiquinol has immediate antioxidant activity and does not need to be converted in the body.
Ubiquinol is a patented version of Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) made by Japanese biotech company Kaneka. CoQ10 is a natural, vitamin-like compound found throughout the human body that helps produce energy and acts as an antioxidant. It has three forms – ubiquinone, ubisemiquinone, and ubiquinol, which is considered its active, antioxidant form.
Most CoQ10 supplements contain ubiquinone because ubiquinol is unstable and easily converts back into ubiquinone when exposed to air. It wasn’t until 2007 – after more than a decade of research by Kaneka Corporation – that ubiquinol first became available as a supplement ingredient.
Similar to standard CoQ10 supplements, Ubiquinol is used to:
- Support cellular energy production
- Raise the body’s CoQ10 levels, especially when they are depleted by statin drugs
- Protect the body from oxidative stress
- Support heart health
- Improve male fertility
- Improve exercise performance
Kaneka’s Ubuiqinol stands out from generic ubiquinone supplements because it is easier to absorb, does not need to be converted by the body, has antioxidant activity, and is backed by a large volume of human research.
In addition, CoQ10 levels tend to decrease as we age, and it has been suggested that the body’s ability to turn ubiquinone into ubiquinol is reduced after 40. As such, supplementing ubiquinol can be particularly helpful for middle-aged and older adults.
- Scientists first obtain safe microbial cells (yeast, bacteria, or fungi) that naturally produce CoQ10 in both of its forms
- The microbes are cultured to obtain high reduced CoQ10 (ubiquinol) ratios
- The ubiquinol is extracted from microbial cells using a solvent
- The ubiquinol is kept stable to prevent it from converting back into ubiquinone through various methods, such as coating it with soybean lecithin (US patent 20040126367)
The resulting ubiquinol can also be converted into ubiquinone and vice versa.
Kaneka has also patented the use of Ubiquinol as a weight loss ingredient, because early research has indicated that CoQ10 may help fight obesity (WO patent 2009041449).
This patent describes the use of ubiquinol for increasing antioxidant activity in the blood, particularly in older adults as they have reduced CoQ10 levels (US patent 20080254016). By comparison, generic ubiquinone CoQ10 does not work well as an antioxidant because it lacks the two extra hydrogen atoms that ubiquinol can use to neutralize reactive oxygen species (ROS). 1
Ubiquinol Nutritional Supplement Uses
Because of CoQ10’s involvement in such basic biological processes as energy production and antioxidant protection, this nutrient has a wide range of uses in supplements.
Sufficient CoQ10 is required to generate some 95% of the body’s energy in the form of ATP. Because of this, Ubiquinol products are widely used to improve both mental & physical energy. However, it should be noted that the effectiveness of CoQ10 supplements for boosting energy seems to be tied to your individual CoQ10 levels. If they are normal you’re not likely to see much benefit, whereas if your CoQ10 is low due to aging or an energy metabolism disorder such as chronic fatigue syndrome, you may very well experience an improvement.
Read more: CoQ10 for energy
Heart Health Supplements
CoQ10 is particularly important for generating energy in the heart, and low levels have been implicated in heart failure. As such, Ubiquinol is frequently used for helping with a variety of heart health concerns such as heart attacks, chemotherapy-related heart damage, and heart surgery.
CoQ10 is one of the most popular anti-aging supplements because it’s levels are known to naturally fall off as we age. However, whether raising them back up has any actual benefit for aging remains to be seen.
Ubiquinol has been shown to enhance some markers of exercise performance and to reduce the oxidative stress caused by exercise in research studies. As such, it has some potential to be used in pre and post-workout supplements. However, research in this area is in its early stages and has reported mixed findings.
Fat Loss Supplements
CoQ10 has been theorized to support weight loss through several mechanisms, including:
- Suppressing fat cell creation
- Protecting the cell’s energy-generating mitochondria from oxidative stress
- Reducing the systemic inflammation seen in obesity
In addition, early research studies have shown that low CoQ10 levels may be linked to obesity, and that CoQ10 supplementation could increase fat oxidation and result in fat loss. As such, Ubiquinol has some potential as a weight loss ingredient.
Read more: CoQ10 for fat loss
Ubiquinol holds numerous advantages over the generic ubiquinone CoQ10 supplement ingredients:
- Easy absorption: Whereas generic CoQ10 supplements are difficult for the body to absorb, Ubiquinol has high availability and as much is more effective.
- Antioxidation: Ubiquinol has potent antioxidant activity in the blood, whereas ubiquinone first has to be converted into ubiquinol.
- Clinical research: Ubiquinol’s efficacy and benefits are backed by over 60 research studies, many of which are randomized, controlled trials (RCTs) – the gold standard of human research.
- High quality: Ubiquinol is produced only in the United States and Japan through a tightly-regulated process that ensures consistency and quality.
- Safe: A single-blind, placebo-controlled study in healthy adults showed that ubiquinol in doses of 90 – 300 mg was both safe and effectively absorbed. 2
- Established. Kaneka has been producing CoQ10 for 4 decades, and using it to make Ubiquinol since 2007.
Ubiquinol is one of the most researched branded supplement ingredients with a total of over 60 studies. Clinical studies show that it has a variety of benefits, including antioxidant activity, improved exercise performance, and improved quality of life. In addition, multiple studies report that ubiquinol has superior absorption to generic forms of CoQ10.
This study compared the bioavailability of ubiquinone – the standard form of CoQ10 used in supplements – with ubiquinol. Bioavailability is a measure of how much of the substance you take actually gets absorbed (reaches the bloodstream) where it can exert its effects. Twelve participants first took ubiquinone (200 mg) daily for 4 weeks, and after a 4-week washout period, the same dose of ubiquinol for another 4 weeks.
Ubiquinol was more effective than ubiquinone in increasing blood CoQ10 levels (4.3 mcg/ml vs. 2.5), CoQ10/cholesterol ratio (1.2 mol/mmol vs 0.7),and ubiquinol/total CoQ10 ratio, showing that it has better bioavailability.
- The researchers concluded that “…we found that ubiquinol was significantly better absorbed than ubiquinone.“3
This study examined the use of ubiquinone in people with congestive heart failure (CHF). Seven patients with advanced CHF and low blood CoQ10 levels were supplemented with ubiquinol (average of 450-580 mg) daily in hopes of improving their condition. Supplementation increase CoQ10 levels from an average of 1.6 microg/ml to 6.5, and also improved markers of heart function such as ejection fraction (EF).
- The researchers concluded that “Ubiquinol has dramatically improved absorption in patients with severe heart failure and the improvement in plasma CoQ10 levels is correlated with both clinical improvement and improvement in measurement of left ventricular function.” 4
This study examined the antioxidant activity of ubiquinol. A total of 53 men were supplemented with ubiquinol (150 mg) daily for 14 days to test its effects on GGT – an enzyme associated with oxidative stress and cardiovascular disorders. Supplementation resulted in a decrease of GGT activity, suggesting a reduction of oxidative stress.
- The researchers concluded that “…we provide preliminary evidence that higher Q10H2 levels improve oxidative stress via reduction of serum GGT activity in humans.” 5
This study examined potential of ubiquinol as an anti-aging supplement. A total of 124 adults (average age of 60) were given ubiquinol daily (100-120 mg) for 6 or 12 months. Although male participants did not experience any changes, women reported improvements in physical function, vitality, social function, and mental function on the SF-36 quality of life (QOL) questionnaire. These improvements were particularly notable in women with low or middle (but not high) blood ubiquinol levels.
- The researchers concluded that “…ubiquinol supplementation has effects on female participants’ psychological QOL, especially for those whose baseline serum ubiquinol levels are in the low to middle range.” 6
This double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized study examined whether ubiquinol can help men with idiopathic oligoasthenoteratozoospermia (unexplained infertility). A total of 228 men were given placebo or ubiquinol (200 mg) daily for 26 weeks. The ubiquinol group had greater improvements in sperm density, sperm motility, and sperm morphology.
- The researchers concluded that “Ubiquinol was significantly effective in men with unexplained oligoasthenoteratozoospermia for improving sperm density, sperm motility and sperm morphology.” 7
This double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study examined the effects of ubiquinol on exercise performance as measured by maximum power output. A total of 100 athletes preparing for the 2012 Olympics were given ubiquinol (300 mg) or placebo daily for 6 weeks. They performed a cycling ergometer test before and after supplementation to test their power output as measured in watts per kg of bodyweight (w/kg bw). Although both groups improved their maximum power output from the first test, the improvement was greater in the ubiquinol group (11% vs 8.5% for placebo).
- The researchers concluded that “…daily supplementation of 300 mg Ubiquinol for 6 weeks significantly enhanced physical performance measured as maximum power output by +0.08 W/kg bw (+2.5%) versus placebo…” 8
- Standalone supplements typically supply 100 mg softgel doses, taken 1-3 times daily
- Multi-ingredient supplements typically contain the same 100 mg dose
- Most research studies use 100-300 mg doses of ubuiqinol
- Ubiquinol’s manufacturer recommends taking 200-300 mg daily for 3 weeks as a “loading” dose and then taking 100 mg daily
Supplements in Review Recommendation
- Ubiquinol®, 100 mg 1-3 times a day.
Kaneka Ubiquinol is the best supplement version of CoQ10. Ubiquinol is superior to generic CoQ10 in efficacy, absorption, range of effects, and quality, in addition to being backed by numerous research studies. As such, we highly recommend it over generic ubiquinone CoQ10 supplements.
Research and experts recommend 100-300 mg dosages. Although the exact Ubiquinol dose depends on your needs, generally speaking you want to take at least 100 mg daily. In addition, Kaneka recommends starting out with a 200-300 mg loading dose for 3 weeks to bring up your CoQ10 levels, and then maintain them with 100 mg doses.
- Shi H et al. Dynamics of antioxidant action of ubiquinol: a reappraisal. Biofactors. 1999;9(2-4):141-8. ↩
- K Hosoe et al. Study on safety and bioavailability of ubiquinol (Kaneka QH™) after single and 4-week multiple oral administration to healthy volunteers. Regul Toxicol Pharmacol. 2007 Feb;47(1):19-28. Epub 2006 Aug 21. ↩
- Langsjoen PH and Langsjoen AM. Comparison study of plasma coenzyme Q10 levels in healthy subjects supplemented with ubiquinol versus ubiquinone. Clin Pharmacol Drug Dev. 2014 Jan;3(1):13-7. ↩
- Langsjoen PH and Langsjoen AM. Supplemental ubiquinol in patients with advanced congestive heart failure. Biofactors. 2008;32(1-4):119-28. ↩
- Onur S et al. Ubiquinol reduces gamma glutamyltransferase as a marker of oxidative stress in humans. BMC Res Notes. 2014 Jul 4;7:427. ↩
- Tetsu Kinoshita et al. The Effects of Long-Term Ubiquinol Intake on Improving the Quality of Life of Community Residents. FFHD Vol 6, No 1 (2016). ↩
- Safarinejad MR et al. Effects of the reduced form of coenzyme Q10 (ubiquinol) on semen parameters in men with idiopathic infertility: a double-blind, placebo controlled, randomized study. J Urol. 2012 Aug;188(2):526-31. ↩
- Dietmar Alf et al. Ubiquinol supplementation enhances peak power production in trained athletes: a double-blind, placebo controlled study. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2013 Apr 29;10:24. ↩