The more powerful coenzyme Q10
The body is a complex mechanism of multiple metabolic processes and reactions. In order to perform its functions, it needs a variety of macro and micronutrients. These include proteins, certain types of fat and carbohydrates, and extremely necessary and regularly underestimated minerals and vitamins. Among the micronutrients also have antioxidants that play a role in metabolism, neutralize harmful free radicals and strengthen protective mechanisms. One of the most popular antioxidants is the well-known coenzyme Q10, for which we have a lot to learn.
Coenzyme Q10 and its forms
Coenzyme Q10 is a fat-soluble substance that has a structure similar to that of vitamins. Coenzyme Q10 is naturally found in the body by performing its functions in eukaryotes (core and plasma membrane cells) and more precisely mitochondria.
The main function of coenzyme Q10 is its participation in the electronic transport chain and the generation of the main energy units in the body - adenosine triphosphate. Antioxidant is especially important for organs with high energy consumption, so its concentrations are highest in the heart, liver and kidneys.
As a substance whose source is not only the human body but also the food, coenzyme Q10 is affected by metabolic reactions, depending on its state, three different forms differ.
The most popular and prevalent form is ubiquinone, which is fully oxidized coenzyme Q10. There is also a semi-oxidized form, called ubishycinone. The latter form is ubiquinol, which is a reduced coenzyme Q10.
The difference between oxidation and reduction is whether the molecule, atom or ion lose or add electrons. Oxidation is lost in the oxidation and the oxidation state is increased, while the electron is added to the reduction and the oxidant state is regulated.
It is the property of the antioxidant to exist in different phases of reduction and oxidation is the main reason to have such an important role in energy production and antioxidant protection. But despite its similar functions, the two major forms of coenzyme Q10 - ubiquinone and ubiquinol have many differences.
What is ubiquinol and how is it different?
Ubiquinol is enriched with coenzyme Q10 electrons and is therefore a reduced form. It can not be said that ubiquinol is the natural form of coenzyme Q10, as both forms, ubiquinol and ubiquinone, are synthesized in the body and are contained in a number of food sources.
The specificities of coenzyme Q10 are related to the ability to change its reduced-oxidative state, as ubiquinol and ubiquinone take part in a single cycle in which they mutually move their electrons. Thus the two forms interact and influence in the performance of their functions, which in fact differ.
It has been found that the oxidized form, namely ubiquinone, is actively involved in the production of adenosine triphosphate and is therefore called energy coenzyme Q10.
On the other hand, ubiquinol is a reduced form which in its nature neutralizes free radicals and performs antioxidant functions, making it an antioxidant coenzyme Q10.
In the normal state of the human body, the ratio of ubiquinol to ubiquinone is 95% to 5%. When oxidative stress increases, ubiquinol levels decrease because it neutralizes free radicals and transforms into ubiquinone.
Although they perform different active functions, the two Q10 coenzymes are interconnected. In addition to transmitting their electrons to one another, the intake of either form leads to an increase in the level of the other in the body.
It was found that upon oral administration of 100 mg and 200 mg of ubiquinone plasma ubiquinol levels increased by 80% and 150%, respectively. The reverse conversion is also proven, and in both cases the two forms maintain a constant balance between each other.
Apart from differences in function, ubiquinol and ubiquinone concentrate at different sites in cell membranes. When it does not produce energy, the ubiquinone is concentrated in the middle of the second layer of cell membranes, whereas ubiquinol is present in all other parts of the second layer, thus protecting the cell, including mitochondria, from free radical damage. Thus ubiquinol can also interact with other antioxidants such as vitamin C and vitamin E by activating them again.
Sources of ubiquinol
Ubiquinol is contained in solid amounts in a variety of food sources, which are both animal and plant.
In animal foods, highest concentrations of ubiquinol are found in calf, piglet, chicken heart, mackerel, and tuna. Among the richest plant sources are parsley, broccoli and oranges.
In general, the amounts in the meat (from 2.63 to 84.8 mcg / g), seafood (0.38 to 23.8 mcg), vegetables (0.17 to 5.91 mcg / g) ) and fruits (0.22 to 3.14 μg / g).
Proven and potential benefits
Ubiquinol drastically improves health in acute heart failure, exhibiting stronger properties than ubiquinone. In a comparative study, an average of 450 mg of ubiquinone was given initially to patients with acute heart failure, then the therapy changed to an average of 560 mg of ubiquinol daily. Plasma levels of coenzyme Q10 increased from 1.6 μg / ml to 6.5 μg / ml, with a two-fold improvement in the ejection fraction compared to ubiquinone.
The more reactive antioxidant. The properties of coenzyme Q10 as an antioxidant are widely known. Ubiquinol as a reduced form of coenzyme Q10 exhibits stronger antioxidant properties. Studies have shown that ubiquinol is more effective in suppressing peroxidation in mitochondria, and it only functions as an antioxidant in mitochondria, protecting them from injuries and indirectly assisting in energy production.
Ubiquinol exhibits a strong antioxidant activity in the suppression of lipid peroxidation. Its properties are close to those of vitamin E (α-tocopherol), superior to vitamin C and lycopene. In one study, ubiquinol is claimed to be more effective in suppressing lipid peroxidation even by alpha-tocopherol, further research is needed in this comparison.
In vitro, as well as in vivo animal studies, demonstrate the potential benefits of ubiquinol in lowering inflammation. Ubiquinol has a positive effect on the expression of the miR-146a anti-inflammatory gene that is suppressed by the metabolic pathways dependent on the pro-inflammatory cytokine nuclear factor kappa-b. Ubiquinol also suppresses other proinflammatory cytokines such as tumor necrosis factor and two other chemokines.
Wider impact on DNA useful genes. In tests on rats, ubiquinol is found to have a positive effect on 11 genes that are related to cholesterol, fat and fatty protein metabolism, while ubiquinone affects only one.
Against abnormally low levels of ubiquinol. It has been found that when oxidative stress is increased due to specific diseases, a dramatic decrease in ubiquinol plasma levels is noted while the total amount of coenzyme Q10 does not change. This suggests that the body needs additional Ubiquinol to respond to oxidative stress in conditions such as hepatitis, hematoma, and coronary artery disease.
Against ubiquinol age deficiency. Observations in elderly people note that as ubiquitin increases with ubiquinone levels, ubiquinol levels in the body decrease significantly with age. Also, the body becomes incapable of producing ubiquinol from ubiquinone. This is one of the main reasons why manufacturers recommend ubiquinol to people over the age of 30, as ubiquinone would be ineffective.
Ubiquinol demonstrates a stronger protective effect of ubiquitin over the neurotoxic effect of MPTP, which affects brain cells in the same way as in Parkinson's disease.
Studies on animals with chronic kidney disease demonstrate the strong antioxidant properties of ubiquinol, its concentrations in kidney tissues increasing and suppressing the action of the radical superoxide.
Coenzyme Q10 is not associated with side effects or toxicity. In fact, ubiquinol and ubiquinone have extremely low toxicity. The tests concluded that high doses of 3600 mg daily ubiquinone are not toxic to healthy and diseased individuals but can cause side effects related to diarrhea and stomach discomfort. The limit, which is recommended as completely harmless, is 1200 mg ubiquinone daily.
There is no evidence of the ubiquinol upper limit and its toxicity when administered at high doses. It has been proven that 900 mg of ubiquinol daily is completely harmless and does not show any side effects.
Usability and recommended doses
For Uchinquinone, there are different views on its potency and the possibility of learning completely, with some studies showing positive results, while others have a low absorption rate and need to take doses over 100 mg per day.
There are also insufficient reliable studies on the potency of ubiquinol. One of the few targeted studies, which has achieved positive results, is sponsored by the patent company, Kanecka, which casts doubt on its credibility.
However, by briefly analyzing all studies on ubiquinol, it can be concluded that it is well digested through the intestinal tract and increases plasma concentrations at oral intake of 90 to 300 mg per day.
Coenzyme Q10 is better absorbed when taken with a high fat meal and has a lower absorption rate for fasting. It has been found that when ubiquinol is taken in the form of fat-soluble liquid drags, its absorption increases.
What to combine ubiquinol?
Ubiquinol is a powerful antioxidant, therefore it can be combined with other powerful antioxidants. Due to its properties to reactivate antioxidants like vitamin E and vitamin C, their combination with ubiquinol is recommended.
Due to its beneficial properties related to cardiac health and energy production, ubiquinol can be successfully combined with L-carnitine and fish oil.
Ubiquinol would be supplemented with fish oil, although the simultaneous intake of fish oil with antioxidants is undesirable and should therefore be taken in different parts of the day. Combination with L-carnitine or acetyl L-carnitine would also be beneficial, as acetyl L-carnitine helps to increase plasma ubiquinol concentrations.
Ubiquinol is not recommended with statin class (lowering cholesterol), blood pressure lowering medicines and beta-blockers.
Studies have shown that statin intake can lower 40% serum concentrations of coenzyme Q10. It is not studied how it would affect the additional administration of coenzyme Q10 during statin therapy.
Where can we find ubiquinol?
Ubiquinol has not gained much popularity among consumers, and it is mainly interested in doctors and users who are strongly interested in dietary supplements or suffer from worsened health conditions.
Ubiquinol is a patented substance that was marketed in 2006 by the Japanese company Kanecas, which has so far been known for producing the purest Q10 pharmaceutical coenzyme. The patent guarantees the quality of ubiquinol, plus the fact that it is held by a reputable manufacturer. The disadvantage is the negative impact on the price of the product.
Due to its high price, ubiquinol is virtually not included in complex formulations such as multivitamins, antioxidants and cardiac health products. In most cases, it is sold in the form of dragees or capsules in concentrations of 50 to 100 mg.
Ubiquinol can be found in the ranks of the well-known brands of healthy food supplements.