To understand the difference between Ubiquinol and Ubiquinone, we first need to understanding what Coenzyme Q10 is. If you’re into bodybuilding or taking nutritional supplements for the past years, you’ve probably came across this nutrient. When you go to the vitamin section of a pharmacy, there is probably a shelf for Coenzyme Q10. Searching on google, CoQ10 generates roughly 2 million results. With all that, what do you know about it?
Coenzyme Q10 or simply CoQ10 is a nutrient that is present in all the cells in the body. It was first discovered in 1957 by Dr. Fred Crane in the Wisconsin University laboratory. He first identified is as quinone, a family of substances involved in energy conversion. Because he felt like these yellow crystals in the test tube deserved a second look, his probe on Coenzyme Q10 revealed that CoQ10 it is in fact involved in energy, stamina, heart health, immune system functions, muscle health, and more body processes. Coenzyme Q10 can also be derived from some foods including fish, peanuts, and beef.
Coenzyme is found in the mitochondria, the part of the cell that produces energy. It functions as an extremely potent antioxidant, guarding the mitochondria from free radical damage brought by stress, pollution, processed foods, and other unhealthy habits. Without Coenzyme Q10, the mitochondria may not produce energy for the cells that can lead to cell damage and cell death. Meanwhile, more Coenzyme Q10 ensure healthy energy levels that can be used for exercise and working out. The cells of the heart use CoQ10 for its pumping action and the immune cells use it to fight microorganisms.
Now, the forms of Coenzyme Q10 are ubiquinone and ubiquinol. The oxidised form is ubiquinone and the reduced form is ubiquinol. Of the two, ubiquinone the most commercially available and most Coenzyme Q10 supplements in health stores contain it. When ubiquinone is ingested, it becomes ubiquinol. But when ubiquinol carries out its functions, it becomes ubiquinone.
For you to better understand how exactly these two works for energy production, let’s look at the chain of events that takes place in the mitochondria or the powerhouse of the cells. Inside the mitochondria, Coenzyme Q10 acts both as a donor and acceptor of electrons. When oxidised CoQ10 (ubiquinone) donates electrons, it becomes the reduced form which is ubiquinol. When reduced CoQ10 (ubiquinol) receives electron, it is then transformed to its oxidised form (ubiquinone). The process of accepting and donating electrons by these two forms is the way where the body can benefit from the antioxidant benefits of Coenzyme Q10.
The bottom line is that both forms of Coenzyme Q10 are very important to health. The body has the ability to convert it to which form is needed so it can get the most benefits from this powerful nutrient.
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