There’s no doubt that we are currently living through the golden age of the supplement. But with more options out there than you can poke a stick at – let alone figure out how to pronounce – how on earth are we supposed to know what’s what?
You’ve probably heard of Coenzyme Q10 by now; found naturally in the body it is known to support cellular energy. However you may not have heard of Ubiquinol – the active and reduced form of CoQ10. Many benefits have been associated with Ubiquinol – from anti-ageing to reduction of inflammation – and I wanted to chat to someone in the know to learn more about those benefits, what it can do for the average person and any contra-indicators to taking it.
Stephen Eddey is a qualified nutritionist and naturopath and is the Principal of Australia’s longest established natural medicine college, Health Schools Australia. He has completed a Bachelor of Complementary Medicine as well as a Masters in Health Science. And he was kind enough to answer all of those burning questions.
Tell us – in layman’s terms – what is Ubiquinol and what is the relationship between it and Coenzyme Q10.
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is found naturally in the body. It plays a vital role in supporting cellular energy and powering your cells, particularly in your major organs such as your heart, liver and lungs. Around 90% of CoQ10 is found in Ubiquinol form. Ubiquinol is the active and reduced form of CoQ10 and it is 3-8 times more bioavailable. In order for CoQ10 to work in your body, it needs to convert into Ubiquinol, so taking Ubiquinol directly may be a more efficient way to help your body utilise the powerful antioxidant.
What does Ubiquinol do for our bodies?
Ubiquinol is considered to be one of the strongest antioxidants, providing support against oxidative stress, supporting cardiovascular and overall immune health. It also supports cellular energy to power your cells and has been shown to help reduce inflammation
What are the other anti-ageing benefits?
As we age, the concentration of Ubiquinol in the body decreases year by year, indicating that it has a close relationship with ageing. If you are feeling continually fatigued or foggy, or if you struggle to bounce back after exercising, your Ubiquinol levels may be low. Due to the potent antioxidant properties, Ubiquinol may help to promote healthy ageing.
Studies have been done into the benefits of Ubiquinol supplements in athletes, but how can this relate to the rest of us?
The studies that have been done on athletes have shown Ubiquinol to help increase muscle power and to help reduce inflammation.
In a recent double blind crossover study performed on 21 Rugby Players, the results showed that using Ubiquinol for sports nutrition can be seen to have several advantages for sportspeople and regular supplementation can aid faster recovery, better adaption and power enhancement.
In a study with 100 Spanish Firemen, the University of Granada (2014) have shown that supplementing with Ubiquinol lowers the degree of inflammation after intense physical exercise.
Finally in a double blind placebo study published in the Journal of Sports Nutrition (2013)[i] with 100 German athletes, after six weeks of training those who were given Ubiquinol demonstrated higher levels of muscle power compared to those who did not receive the supplement. The study also indicated that the results were likely to be broader and Ubiquinol may have benefits for athletes.
These studies showed lowered degrees of inflammation and power enhancement so with that in mind, it shows that the supplement may be good for the broader population too.
What is the optimum way for ‘regular’ people to take a Ubiquinol supplement?
150mg-300mg per day is the recommended dosage for people to take Ubiquinol and it can be taken at anytime.
Are there any dangers/contra-indicators to Ubiquinol?
There are no known side effect of Ubiquinol however if you are taking other medications you should always consult your healthcare practitioner for advice.
I’ve been taking Ubiquinol from BioCeuticals sporadically for about a month and have noticed an impact on my energy levels, although with so many other external factors contributing to how I feel I obviously can’t be sure whether it was the Ubuinol, a placebo effect or some kind of combination of the supplement and other changes I have made. I plan on taking it regularly in the lead up to this year’s City2Surf and will report back!
If you think that Ubiquinol might be a good option for you, chat to your healthcare practitioner about it (always a better idea than self-prescribing!).
p.s I highly recommend the BioCeuticals line. As a practitioner-only brand I feel more comfortable with the quality of the ingredients and advice.