Absorption is Key to a Good CoQ10 Product


The reason so many CoQ10 products do not have the desired effect is poor absorption. CoQ10 raw material without proper manufacturing processes is composed of large crystals that are unable to pass through the intestinal barrier and therefore remain unabsorbed and never reach the bloodstream. Pharma Nord has solved this absorption issue with a unique and patented manufacturing method that uses thermal processing to dissolve the large crystal clumps into smooth, snowflake-like structures.


Leading clinical researchers have compared absorption of six different CoQ10 preparations. Five of the test preparations contained CoQ10 in different oil mixtures in soft-gel capsules; one test preparation consisted of finely ground CoQ10 powder in a hard-gel capsule. Pharma Nord's CoQ10 preparation (Myoqinon) had a 3-10 times better absorption than any of the other five CoQ10 preparations.


The graph shows absorption levels for the six CoQ10 preparations from the human clinical trial, all of which contained the ubiquinone form.


The Mystery of the CoQ10 Crystals


The raw material used in all CoQ10 products is a fine yellow powder. If you observe the powder under a microscope, you will see clusters of large non-dissolvable crystals. These clusters are comprised of many CoQ10 molecules clumping together. Because of the sheer size of these crystals, it is impossible for the CoQ10 to cross the intestinal barrier in the small intestines during the absorption process, which would then lead them through the lymphatic system to the bloodstream. The only way to start dissolving these crystalline structures is to dissolve them in an oil matrix and use heat to lower their melting point from 118.4 degrees F to 98.6 F, the human body temperature.

Completely dissolving the CoQ10 raw materials' crystals is the key to creating a highly bioavailable CoQ10 product that your body can physically absorb. To be absorbed in the body, the crystals must first be individually dissolved into single molecules by way of submerging them in oil and heating them up.


The CoQ10 crystals do not completely dissolve until they reach a temperature of 118.4 degrees Fahrenheit. As a basic premise, this means that our body temperature is 19.8 degrees F too low for the unprocessed raw CoQ10 crystals to be absorbed in the small intestines. Even though the crystals are so small that you cannot see them with your eyes, they are too large to pass through the intestinal barrier. Therefore, you cannot expect to achieve any effect from a CoQ10 product produced in a manufacturing process that does not take this inherent absorption issue into account.

The CoQ10 molecules that pass through the intestinal barrier will reach the bloodstream through the lymphatic system. From the blood circulation, the CoQ10 will reach the cells to become a co-factor in the ATP production process inside the mitochondria.


A CoQ10 product that is not absorbed in the small intestines is a waste of money – no matter how expensive or cheap it is as it is literally excreted through one's stool.
Unfortunately, there is not enough focus on absorption. Very few CoQ10 manufacturers globally can document that their product is absorbed and that the active material reaches the cells where it performs its natural function in the production of ATP energy.


This is Why Pharma Nord's CoQ10 is Absorbed in the Body

All CoQ10 manufacturers face the same challenge – that CoQ10 molecules form large unabsorbable crystal structures. For you, the consumer, it is extremely important to be aware of this as it results in CoQ10 products being difficult to absorb in your small intestines. If the CoQ10 manufacturer can prevent the molecules from clumping together and forming large crystals, then he can produce a CoQ10 form that the body can absorb.
Pharma Nord's unique and proprietary manufacturing process works with a sophisticated and patented manufacturing method that has been achieved through thermal processing to make the crystals finer and the surface more porous, thereby rendering the CoQ10 in a dissolvable form that your body can absorb.




Coenzyme Q10 Fact or Fiction

CoQ10 experts have addressed various claims about CoQ10 and CoQ10 absorption. Below, we have written brief summaries of these claims and have classified the claims as either fact or fiction:


  • Some CoQ10 Tablets and Capsules Do Not Work. Fact.

    Because CoQ10 cannot dissolve in water, the CoQ10 in a compressed powder CoQ10 tablet or in a hard-gel capsule containing CoQ10 powder will remain in large clusters of crystals. These CoQ10 crystals cannot be completely dissolved. If you ingest these hard-gels with food, a very limited amount of CoQ10 may be absorbed because of the help in absorption of the fat content of the food.

  • Water-soluble CoQ10 Improves Absorption. Fiction.

    CoQ10 molecules are fat soluble. CoQ10 dissolves and mixes with oils; however, CoQ10 remains separate when it is put into water in the same way that oil and water will not mix.

    There are numerous so-called water-soluble CoQ10 products on the market, which use different methods to achieve a supposed water solubility. Leading CoQ10 researchers have the following to say about these methods:
     - Even if you envelope CoQ10 in liposomes or micelles, CoQ10 molecules will still remain fat soluble and will need to be absorbed like a fat.
     -If you genetically modify and reduce the isoprene chain on the CoQ10 molecule, the resulting molecule will become more water soluble. However, it will no longer be a CoQ10 molecule but will be a CoQ9 or CoQ-whatever number, which is not appropriate for humans to use in ATP production. The basic issue is that the CoQ10 molecule (with 59 Carbon atoms in it) is too large to be absorbed like a water-soluble foodstuff.

  • Nano CoQ10 is Nothing More than a Marketing Claim. True.

    CoQ10 molecules are themselves the size of a nano particle. A nano particle is defined as a particle less than 100 nanometers (nm) on one or all sides. Talking about a special Nano CoQ10 product is nonsensical as the product size is already a nano particle, and all CoQ10 products are by scientific definition Nano-CoQ10 products.

    The discussion concerning so-called Nano-CoQ10 products centers around the same issues as the fat-soluble versus water-soluble science discussion. The claim is that a Nano-CoQ10 product is more water-soluble and therefore improves absorption. However, the fact remains that CoQ10 molecules are fat-soluble and physically too large to pass the intestinal barrier easily.

    Enveloping the CoQ10 molecule in other carriers makes the molecule bigger (which is the basic issue with water solubility – the CoQ10 molecule is too big to be water soluble). Deconstructing the CoQ10 molecule to become CoQ9 or less and then putting it in a carrier to make it supposedly more water-soluble changes the basic structure of the CoQ10.

    CoQ10 will always be predominantly fat-soluble and will be absorbed as such. Meanwhile, the documentation on better human absorption of ”Nano-CoQ10” is either weak or non-existent.

  • CoQ10 Absorption Varies According to the Carrier Oils Used. Fact.

    Even when the CoQ10 raw material is dissolved in oils, there are no guarantees that you will absorb the product and gain an optimal effect from the product. For example, there are some clinical trials with CoQ10 dissolved in different fish oils that show horrific CoQ10 absorption levels. One plausible explanation is that fish oil has a melting point that is not conducive to good dissolution of the CoQ10 crystals.
    This does not necessarily mean that you should not take CoQ10 at the same time as fish oil capsules. At present, there is no research to determine the effect of taking the two products concurrently. Because of this uncertainty, some experts do recommend that you wait at least one hour between taking CoQ10 and fish oil supplements.
    Even olive oil has shown itself not to be a good carrier oil for CoQ10 absorption. After examining many different carrier oils with the end goal of maximizing CoQ10 absorption levels in human clinical trials, Pharma Nord has reached the conclusion that soybean oils with specific melting points are the most optimal carrier oil to maximize CoQ10 absorption.

  • Buying a ubiquinol product is a waste of money. Fact.

    CoQ10 has two different forms: An oxidized form, ubiquinone, and a reduced form, ubiquinol (the antioxidant version). Your body continuously converts the CoQ10 from ubiquinone to ubiquinol and back. This continuous transformation between the two forms happens constantly. Nothing indicates that the body absorbs ubiquinol more easily than ubiquinone or vice versa. However, almost all of the human clinical research showing a positive effect has been performed with the ubiquinone form.
    Moreover, the ubiquinol form of CoQ10 supplement is a very volatile and unstable form because it is an electron donor (antioxidant). When ubiquinol is exposed to oxygen, it oxidizes and is transformed to the ubiquinone form. This conversion to ubiquinone can even happen inside the soft-gels before you ingest the product.
    Consequently, you might end up paying for a raw material, which is more expensive because of the special handling requirements to prevent any contact with air. Taking the ubiquinol form of CoQ10 does not give any apparent advantages over ubiquinone. Ironically, you might end up absorbing ubiquinone even if you take a ubiquinol product because the ubiquinol can and does oxidize in the harsh digestive environment.  

  • Even the Best CoQ10 Raw Material May be Useless in the Body. Fact.

    In the same way that a chain is not stronger than its weakest link, even the best and most expensive CoQ10 raw material can end up being useless for our bodies if it is not processed correctly. Regardless of whether the CoQ10 raw material is cheap or expensive, the CoQ10 molecules have a natural tendency to form large crystalline clusters. It is not until the manufacturer subjects the CoQ10 raw material to a thermal manufacturing process that the crystalline surface structure is transformed in a way that precludes the crystalline clustering inside the soft-gels.

  • Some Clinical Trials of CoQ10 Efficacy Give Significant Results; Other Trials Do Not. Fact.

    Many factors affect the outcomes in a clinical trial and determine whether the outcomes are positive and statistically significant.
    For CoQ10 supplementation to achieve a positive effect, the participants must be able to absorb the actual content of the CoQ10 product. Many human clinical trials have been carried out with CoQ10 products that do not have clinical documentation establishing their absorption and bioavailability. The extent of CoQ10 absorption can affect the outcome of the clinical trial in a major way and can explain why some scientists do not obtain the expected positive outcomes and statistical significance from CoQ10 supplementation. Pharma Nord has more than 130 scientific studies on its CoQ10 flagship product; more than 75 of those are human clinical trials.

  • Pharma Nord’s CoQ10 Has Been Used in Groundbreaking Studies with Statistically Significant Outcomes. Fact.

    Pharma Nord's patented method of making CoQ10 supplements has been developed over a period of several years starting in 1991. Pharma Nord's CoQ10 has been used in some of the most important CoQ10 studies around the world. That is why this product has become the official reference product for the International Coenzyme Q10 Association (ICQA).
    Here are some examples of recent studies with statistically significant outcomes:
    *** The two-year Q-Symbio Study showed that 300 mg/day adjuvant treatment with Bio-Quinone significantly improved the symptoms and survival of chronic heart failure patients with a 43% reduction in cardiovascular mortality.
    *** The four-year KiSel-10 Study showed that 200 mg/day of Bio-Quinone in combination with 200 mcg/day of a patented high selenium yeast preparation significantly reduced cardiovascular mortality (by 54%), improved heart function, and improved the quality of life for seniors after the age of 70.
    *** The three-month Gulf War Illness Study showed that 100 mg/day of Bio-Quinone significantly improved physical function and reduced many symptoms in veterans diagnosed with Gulf War Illness.

  • You Should Take a Daily CoQ10 Supplement. Fact.

    It makes sense to take a CoQ10 supplement if you choose a preparation that offers scientific documentation of its absorption rather than mere marketing claims. Your heart muscle has a constant need for cellular ATP energy production; CoQ10 is an essential co-factor in this process. Moreover, your heart muscle cells need antioxidant protection. CoQ10 is an important fat-soluble antioxidant.
    The original CoQ10 that started it all is now available in the US as an OTC product under the name of Bio-Quinone Active CoQ10 GOLD. This is the product that was used in all the groundbreaking CoQ10 studies that the other companies are referring to in their marketing claims.

  • You Need a Prescription to Take the Original Patented CoQ10 Product. Fiction.

    The original CoQ10 product was developed as a medical preparation with the name of Myoqinon. It is produced in a patented process that dissolves the CoQ10 in an oil matrix that makes it highly bioavailable. The medical mix is protected by a proprietary soft-gel capsule. This product is now available as an OTC dietary supplement produced in exactly the same way and under the same patent as the medical preparation. It goes by various names around the world but is marketed as Bio-Quinone Active CoQ10 GOLD in North America.

Pharma Nord's Patented Method

Pharma Nord's secret lies in using a blend of pharmaceutical-grade soybean oils (from which the allergy-inducing protein stuffs have been removed) with different melting points. The soybean oils are mixed with the CoQ10 raw material, which is in a crystalline structure as the oil mixture’s temperature is below 118.4 degrees Fahrenheit. 

The next step involves using a proprietary thermal process that alters the surface of the crystalline CoQ10 molecules and makes them more open and porous. This process is completely natural. It neither affects nor alters the CoQ10 molecules by way of any chemical, genetic, or synthetic processing. The secret to the Pharma Nord Bio-Quinone formulation is the soybean oils' natural ability to help alter the surface structure of the CoQ10 molecules to become snowflake-like and porous, in order for them to be more easily dissolved and to pass through the intestinal barrier.


From Massive Crystals to ”Snowflakes”

Instead of massive crystalline structures that cannot cross the point of absorption, the CoQ10 molecules are transformed after the proprietary thermal process to a structure that resembles a snowflake on the surface.

If you study these crystalline snowflake structures in a microscope, you can clearly see the numerous branch-like structures or snow crystals that the CoQ10 molecules now have. As the surface is more open and less compact, the crystals have an easier time dissolving at body temperatures.

Can Bypass the Intestinal Barrier

The ability to pass the intestinal barrier has a defining impact on the bioavailability of a CoQ10 product. Immediately after ingestion, the gelatin in the soft-gel capsule will be dissolved in the stomach. The body temperature in the stomach is enough to dissolve the individual “snow-flake crystals” so that individual CoQ10 molecules are able to penetrate the intestinal barrier and enter the bloodstream.


The Only CoQ10 Manufacturer in the World with a Patented Process

Pharma Nord is currently the only CoQ10 manufacturer in the world that has a patent on a proprietary manufacturing process. Pharma Nord has been able to conduct 22 human absorption studies that clearly show that the active CoQ10 is absorbed in the bloodstream, increasing blood CoQ10 levels. Pharma Nord has done more than 75 unique human studies that document that supplementation with its Bio-Quinone CoQ10 preparation has statistically significant health effects. Of these studies, 25 are gold standard studies that are randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies enrolling 30 or more subjects. 

It is a considerable advantage for you, the consumer, to have access to this clinical trial information as CoQ10 products are relatively expensive compared to other dietary supplements. If you have access to clinical documentation showing that the CoQ10 product being consumed actually is absorbed in the body, you have certainty that the active ingredient will make it to the cells, where it is beneficial.