Ubiquinone or Ubiquinol: What’s the preferred form of CoQ10?

Ubiquinone or Ubiquinol: What’s the preferred form of CoQ10?

What are Ubiquinone and Ubiquinol?

Ubiquinone and Ubiquinol are two different forms of CoQ10. 1 CoQ10 acts as an antioxidant in the body and reduces free radicals formed in the body.

The Evidence for CoQ10

Ubiquinone is the most studied form of CoQ10, boasting over 20 randomised control trials. CoQ10 has been studied for its effects on cardiovascular health, sperm health, and metabolic and hormonal imbalances in females.1 There has been some suggestion in the scientific community that ubiquinol is more bioavailable (i.e. more readily absorbed) than ubiquinone, but this has only been shown in elderly patients.4 CoQ10 inside the body converts ubiquinone to ubiquinol, interchangeable as part of normal physiological processes. Ubiquinone remains the most studied form of COQ10.7


Comparison Table Between Ubiquinone and Ubiquinol

 Ubiquinone Ubiquinol
Less expensive More expensive
More shelf stable Less shelf stable
Well-researched Less researched
Less susceptible to oxidation Susceptible to oxidation
Suitable for people <60 More bioavailable for elderly



CoQ10 has a notoriously low bioavailability, meaning your body finds it hard to absorb, so the search has been on for the most effective supplementation method. 7 Recent advancements in nutrients delivery technology has  improved both absorption and bioavailability of ubiquinone powder in supplements by modify micelles, decreasing lipophilicity and change particle size.4

Coenzyme Q10 is a lipophilic molecule and therefore absorption is enhanced when taken with a fatty meal. The capsule dissolves in the stomach and CoQ10 is then incorporated into micelles in the duodenum. The micelles breakup in the enterocytes and release the CoQ10. Some of the CoQ10 is absorbed in the enterocytes and attached to chylomicrons. The CoQ10 as part of the chylomicrons is passed into the lymph as ubiquinone. Inside the lymph, the ubiquinone is reduced to ubiquinol and is predominately passed to the blood as ubiquinol.  It appears that divided doses of CoQ10 are best, as the maximum the gastrointestinal absorption rate is around 100-150 mg per dose.7

In Conclusion…

CoQ10 is an antioxidant and helps to reduce free radicals in the body. Given the current scientific evidence, ubiquinone remains the preferred form. Ubiquinone and ubiquinol are continuously interchangeably converted in the body as part of normal physiological processes. Choosing a CoQ10 supplement which utilizes recent advancements in nutrient delivery technology may help to enhance the absorption of CoQ10 from supplements. 


  1. Cirilli, Ilenia, Elisabetta Damiani, Phiwayinkosi Vusi Dludla, Iain Hargreaves, Fabio Marcheggiani, Lauren Elizabeth Millichap, Patrick Orlando, Sonia Silvestri, and Luca Tiano. "Role of coenzyme Q10 in health and disease: An update on the last 10 years (2010–2020)." Antioxidants 10, no. 8 (2021): 1325. 
  2. Gat, Itai, Sonia Blanco Mejia, Hanna Balakier, Clifford L. Librach, Anne Claessens, and Edward AJ Ryan. "The use of coenzyme Q10 and DHEA during *** and *** cycles in patients with decreased ****** reserve." Gynecological Endocrinology 32, no. 7 (2016): 534-537. 
  3. Xu, Yangying, Victoria Nisenblat, Cuiling Lu, Rong Li, Jie Qiao, Xiumei Zhen, and Shuyu Wang. "Pretreatment with coenzyme Q10 improves ****** response and ******* quality in low-prognosis young women with ******** ********** **********: a randomized controlled trial." Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology 16, no. 1 (2018): 1-11.
  4. Pravst, Igor, Juan Carlos Rodríguez Aguilera, Ana Belen Cortes Rodriguez, Janja Jazbar, Igor Locatelli, Hristo Hristov, and Katja Žmitek. "Comparative bioavailability of different coenzyme Q10 formulations in healthy elderly individuals." Nutrients 12, no. 3 (2020): 784...
  5. Teran, Enrique et al. “Coenzyme Q10 supplementation during *************.” International journal of gynaecology and obstetrics: the official organ of the International Federation of Gynaecology and Obstetrics vol. 105,1 (2009): 43-5. doi:10.1016/j.ijgo.2008.11.033
  6. Spigset O "Reduced effect of warfarin caused by ubidecarenone." Lancet 344 (1994): 1372-3
  7. Mantle, David, and Alex Dybring. 2020. "Bioavailability of Coenzyme Q10: An Overview of the Absorption Process and Subsequent Metabolism" Antioxidants 9, no. 5: 386. https://doi.org/10.3390/antiox9050386