What is Coenzyme Q10?

CoQ10 is a vitamin-like substance that is also a coenzyme. CoQ10 is ubiquitous in the cells all throughout the body. CoQ10 is a tiny, but nonetheless essential component in the ATP production in the mitochondria. CoQ10 helps control the cells' fat-, carbohydrate- and protein metabolism, which is subsequently turned into energy. This newly produced energy is enveloped in the molecule ATP (adenosine-triphosphate), which shortly after is broken down to transfer the chemical energy to mechanical energy for the muscles to move.


CoQ10 from the diet and supplements is absorbed from the small intestines into the lymphatic system bound to lipoproteins called chylomicrons, which are formed in the intestinal cells after ingesting fats from a meal. From the lymphatic system CoQ10 is transferred to the bloodstream.

No effect from Tablets or Hardgel Capsules

Clinical research shows that CoQ10 in a powder form taken without any oils or fats is unabsorbable. This means that CoQ10 in a tablet form or CoQ10 products with CoQ10 powder in hard gels are unusable by our body. Here, it is important to emphasize that the same goes for CoQ10 in an oilmatrix in softgels, unless the CoQ10 raw material has been through a thermal process that prevents unabsorbable crystals in the CoQ10 product. There are numerous CoQ10 products, which look identical to Pharma Nord's brown softgels, however, this does not mean that the product can be absorbed. The only way to be sure that it is a high quality product with a satisfactory absorption level is to choose a CoQ10 product that has actual clinical research evidence documenting that the CoQ10 product increases the CoQ10 blood levels.

See the video to understand CoQ10 quality differences


Requires Special Pre-treatment

In human clinical trials where researchers have measured the CoQ10 blood content pre- and post trial, the researchers have been able to document the absorption effect from the ingested CoQ10 products. The best results have been achieved using a unique formulation of oils with softgels containing pre-heated ubiquinone to ensure a complete dissolution of the CoQ10 crystals at body temperature, not the higher melting point of the CoQ10 crystals when untreated (118.4 degrees F).




CoQ10 has Two Forms and Two Functions


Reduced CoQ10 - Ubiquinol


360 view of the Ubiquinol molecule

CoQ10 appears in two slightly different forms and also has two important but completely different functions in the body. One form is its reduced form. Reduced CoQ10 is called ubiquinol. In the blood and lymphatic ducts, most of the body's CoQ10 is in the form of ubiquinol, where it acts as an antioxidant. It protects against oxidative damage of the LDL cholesterol (Low-Density Lipoprotein), the cholesterol form everyone is worried about.


Oxidized CoQ10 - Ubiquinone


360 view of the Ubiquinone molecule

The other form of CoQ10 is its oxidized form called ubiquinone. When CoQ10 was first discovered by Dr. Frederick Crane in 1957, it was actually the ubiquinone form he identified. All research from that point forward for the rest of the century centered only on ubiquinone. Can you spot the difference? Rotate the molecules and take a look at the quinone head. Compared to ubiquinol the ubiquinone form has two double bindings between oxygen and carbon and is missing two hydrogen atoms. It is a more stable form.

Inside the cell's mitochondria ubiquinone takes part in the cell's energy production. During this energy production CoQ10 is constantly switching from one form to the other several hundred times each second as each are a byproduct of the other, depending on whether it receives electrons (ubiquinone) or donates them (ubiquinol). Principally, you could compare this to performing in a play, where you play two different parts requiring costume changes for each character.


Ubiquinone is Most Stable

Approximately 20 years ago part of the CoQ10 industry started to market CoQ10 in the form of ubiquinol. The argument was that some people have difficulty converting ubiquinone to ubiquinol and therefore the idea was that you take the missing form, which they at that point dubbed ”active Q10”. It later turned out that they were wrong about their concept. Scientists pointed out that the body can convert back and forth without any issues. It is also misleading to indicate that the ubiquinol form is more active than ubiquinone. Both are active even though they have different physiological functions.


Do Your Own Research at Home

Since ubiquinol is by nature unstable it can be a a good idea to examine whether your ubiquinol softgel contains ubiquinol or whether the content has been oxidized to become ubiquinone. Ubiquinone is a yellow substance, whereas the ubiquinol antioxidant form is a white substance prior to oxidation. Poke a hole in your ubiquinol softgel and squeeze out the contents on a napkin or plate. If it is yellow, it has been oxidized inside the softgel and thereby converted to ubiquinone. If it is white it is true to the declared ubiquinol contents as declared by the manufacturer.