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CoQ10 supplement tablets

How to Choose The Best CoQ10 Supplement: A Guide

  • Are all commercially available CoQ10 supplements alike? 

  • Ubiquinol or ubiquinone — Which CoQ10 supplement form works better?

  • How should I determine the best CoQ10 supplement to support my heart health?

Get the answers to common queries about how to choose the best CoQ10 supplement, including the different forms of CoQ10 supplements and factors you should consider while determining the right supplement formulation for your health. Use the links below to jump ahead to different topics on the page.

Table of contents
Why Does Your Body Need a CoQ10 Supplement?How does a CoQ10 Supplement Support Your Body?
How Much CoQ10 Should I Take Daily?Are There Side Effects of CoQ10 Supplements? 
Ubiquinone or Ubiquinol—Which CoQ10 Supplement Works Better?Poor Absorption of CoQ10 Supplements
How to Choose the Best CoQ10 Supplement?Novel CoQ10 Supplement Formulations
FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions

Why Does Your Body Need a CoQ10 Supplement?

Coenzyme Q10 or CoQ10 is a lipid-soluble antioxidant your body makes that plays a critical role in cellular energy production. Its concentration is particularly high in organs with high metabolism rates, such as the heart, kidney, and liver. The CoQ10 level in your body depletes with age, under the influence of certain medications, such as statins, or due to different pathological conditions a person might have. Although a CoQ10 deficiency can be addressed through a balanced diet of CoQ10-rich foods, it might not be sufficient to maintain the optimal level of CoQ10 in the body. This is when you need a CoQ10 nutritional supplement.   

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How Does a CoQ10 Supplement Support Your Body?

CoQ10 plays a fundamental role in cellular bioenergetics that enables it to address pathologies in tissues with high metabolic requirements, such as the heart muscle. Apart from energy production, CoQ10 is an antioxidant (a free radical scavenger) protecting cellular components from the adverse effects of oxidative stress.* 

The following table summarizes how including a CoQ10 nutritional supplement in your diet supports various health functions.

Health FunctionCoQ10 Supplement Benefits
Heart
  • Helps maintain lipid profiles (optimal cholesterol levels) and normal blood pressure.*
  • Helps limit oxidative stress to protect heart muscle tissues.*
  • Helps address the side effects of statin medications, such as muscle aches and weakness.*
Learn more about choosing between CoQ10 and fish oil to support your heart health. 
Skin
  • Promotes healthy skin by enhancing the cellular metabolism of aging skin cells.*
  • Stimulates collagen synthesis.*
  • Helps maintain the stability and flexibility of the skin.*
Learn more about coenzyme Q10’s skin benefits.*
Reproductive HealthEnhances the quality of the oocyte — the immature egg cell.Supports a favorable environment for the development of ovarian follicles.*Learn more about CoQ10's benefits for women and CoQ10’s menstrual cycle effects.* 
Immune System
  • Helps maintain the body’s natural inflammatory response.*
  • Plays a critical function within the lysosome — the organelle central to the immune response.*
  • Supports optimal functioning of immune cells with adequate cellular energy production.*
Learn more about selecting between quercetin and CoQ10 to support your immune health.*

How Much CoQ10 Should I Take Daily?

The whole body content of CoQ10 is only about 500 - 1,500 milligrams.

Based on no-observed-adverse-effect-level (NOAEL) studies1 on CoQ10, the acceptable daily intake of CoQ10 is 12 mg/kg/day, which translates to 720 mg/day for a person weighing 60 kg. However, it is worth noting that there is no established minimum or maximum effective daily intake. In clinical trials exploring the beneficial effects of CoQ10 on the heart, 100 - 400 mg of CoQ10 has been given to the trial subjects.  

The average CoQ10 amount necessary to attain a therapeutic blood level of > 2.5 mcg/mL is 200 mg taken twice daily with a meal2

Commercially available single CoQ10 capsules contain between 30-600 mg of CoQ10.

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Are There Side Effects of CoQ10 Supplements? 

Because CoQ10 is produced naturally in the body, additional oral supplementation is usually well-tolerated. However, infrequent and generally mild side effects have been reported. The following table highlights some of the potential side effects of CoQ10 supplementation. 

Potential Side Effects of CoQ10 Supplementation
Infrequent effects: Gastrointestinal side effects, including nausea, stomach upset, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Rare effects: Headache, fatigue, heartburn, irritability, dizziness
Potential contraindications: CoQ10 supplements might interact with prescription medicines for blood thinning, kidney and liver disorders, and glucose metabolism.  

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Ubiquinone or Ubiquinol—Which CoQ10 Supplement  Works Better? 

Commercially available CoQ10 supplements are mostly in the form of ubiquinone or ubiquinol. There has been much debate about the most effective form of CoQ10 supplementation. CoQ10 exists in three oxidation states:

  • The fully oxidized Ubiquinone form (CoQ10)
  • The fully reduced Ubiquinol form (CoQ10H2)
  • The radical Ubisemiquinone intermediate (CoQ10H.)

Both ubiquinone and ubiquinol forms coexist in the body and regenerate each other through sequential redox reactions. Ubisemiquinone is a highly unstable, intermediate form of CoQ10. Ubiquinone and ubiquinol are interconverted based on the body’s need for optimal functioning of its cells. Under the action of gastric acid, ubiquinol is oxidized to ubiquinone before it is absorbed into the body. 

Regardless of the initial dietary form of CoQ10 (ubiquinone or ubiquinol), it remains in the blood and in the lymph in the ubiquinol form. The following table highlights some of the key differences between the ubiquinone and ubiquinol forms of CoQ10. 

Ubiquinone or Ubiquinol—Which One Works Better?
Ubiquinone  Ubiquinol
Chemical formThe oxidized form of CoQ10 (CoQ10)The reduced form of CoQ10 (CoQ10H2)
FunctionInvolved in the electron transport chain in mitochondrial inner membranes for energy production.Antioxidant protection to cellular membrane lipids and lipoprotein lipids present in circulation.

It is worth noting that several clinical studies have established that there is no significant difference between the bioavailability of ubiquinone and ubiquinol supplements. 

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Poor Absorption of CoQ10 Supplements

CoQ10 supplements are mostly available for oral intake and are available in the form of chewable tablets, capsules, liquid syrups, and oral sprays. However, the poor absorption of CoQ10 in the intestine adversely affects its efficacy through the oral route. Clinical studies3 on rats have demonstrated that only 3 percent of CoQ10 is absorbed when taken orally. Elevating CoQ10 concentration per capsule to a significantly high level is not a feasible approach to enhance its absorption through traditional delivery methods.     

The poor bioavailability and absorption of CoQ10 in oral supplements is due to: 

  • The molecular weight of CoQ10: Ubiquinol molecules have a relatively high molecular weight that adversely affects their absorption in the gastrointestinal tract.
  • Limited solubility: Although CoQ10 is a lipophilic compound, it displays limited solubility in lipids and is insoluble in water. 
  • Instability: The ubiquinol form is relatively unstable and also adversely affects CoQ10 absorption in the body.

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How to Choose the Best CoQ10 Supplement?

CoQ10 nutritional supplements are generally produced through the yeast fermentation process. However, not all CoQ10 supplements are developed equally for optimal efficiency. When it comes to determining the best CoQ10 supplement to include in your diet, you should consider the following factors:

  • Bioavailability: The key to effective CoQ10 supplementation is the enhancement of its bioavailability. The bioavailability of a CoQ10 supplement largely depends on carrier lipids and the solubilization of the formulation. The proportion and addition of preservatives, such as vitamin C, to supplement formulations also affect the bioavailability of CoQ10.
  • Absorption: CoQ10 can only be absorbed in the body as individual molecules. Raw CoQ10 has a structural form of polymorphic crystals that are not absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract. For enhanced absorption, the polymorphic crystals should be disassociated to single molecules throughout the supplement’s shelf life.  

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Novel CoQ10 Supplement Formulations

The bioavailability and absorption of CoQ10 depend on the type of supplement formulation.

Types of CoQ10 formulations

Conventional CoQ10 formulations fail to enhance the bioavailability of CoQ10. Various novel approaches4 as an alternative to traditional delivery methods have been implemented to enhance the solubility of CoQ10 formulations, including:

  • Solid dispersion systems
  • Nanoparticles 
  • Cyclodextrin inclusion compounds
  • Microcapsules
  • Nano-liposomes 

Among the novel approaches, encasing CoQ10 with cyclodextrins has been found to significantly enhance CoQ10 absorption and bioavailability, suggesting this delivery process to be superior to oral formulations that feature only uncomplexed CoQ10.  

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FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions About Oral CoQ10 Supplements

Can I take a CoQ10 supplement with a prescription medicine?

Although the safety profile of CoQ10 is well-established, it can interact with prescription medicines. Consult with your health-care provider before including a CoQ10 supplement in your diet.   

Can I take a CoQ10 supplement while pregnant or breastfeeding? 

There is limited data on the safety of the use of CoQ10 during pregnancy and breastfeeding. It is always recommended to consult with your health-care provider before taking a CoQ10 supplement during pregnancy or breastfeeding.  

How do I choose the best CoQ10 supplement?

When considering the best CoQ10 supplement, keep in mind that the efficacy of a supplement is determined by the delivery technology used in the formulation. Tesseract’s CoQ10 Pro® is an innovative supplement formulation that uses the proprietary CyLoc® - DexKey® nutrient delivery nanotechnology for unparalleled absorption of billions of CoQ10 molecules in the intestinal tract. The unprecedented absorption of CoQ10 enables micro-dosing—taking CoQ10 in amounts much less than previously required to accomplish the desired therapeutic benefits to support your health.  

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The power of Tesseract supplements lies in enhancing palatability, maximizing bioavailability and absorption, and micro-dosing of multiple nutrients in a single, highly effective capsule. Visit our website for more information about how Tesseract’s products can help support your cardiovascular health.* 

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Citations:

1Hidaka T, et al. Safety assessment of coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10). BioFactors (Oxford, England) vol. 32,1-4 (2008):199-208. doi:10.1002/biof.5520320124

2Raizner AE. Coenzyme Q10. Methodist DeBakey Cardiovascular Journal vol. 15,3 (2019):185-191. doi:10.14797/mdcj-15-3-185

3Bhagavan HN, Chopra RK. Plasma coenzyme Q10 response to oral ingestion of coenzyme Q10 formulations. Mitochondrion vol. 7 Suppl (2007):S78-S88. doi:10.1016/j.mito.2007.03.003

4Pastor-Maldonado CJ, et al. Coenzyme Q10: Novel formulations and medical trends. International Journal of Molecular Sciences vol. 21,22 8432. 10 Nov. 2020, doi:10.3390/ijms21228432

Al Czap, Founder | Tesseract

Al Czap has more than four decades of professional experience in preventative medicine. He founded Thorne Research in 1984 (sold in 2010) and he published Alternative Medicine Review for 17 years beginning in 1996. AMR was a highly acclaimed, peer-reviewed, and indexed medical journal. Al was the first to recognize the need for hypoallergenic ingredients and to devise methods of manufacture for and delivery of hypoallergenic products to underserved patient populations. His work has greatly impacted those with impaired immune and digestive systems and compromised health due to environmental exposures.

The advanced formulations based on our revolutionary, patented, and patent-pending technology are only available through Tesseract. No other medical, pharmaceutical, or supplement company is licensed to utilize our proprietary technology.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
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