CoQ10 vs Ubiquinol: Understanding the Differences

CoQ10 and Ubiquinol are not the same, but they are related. Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) and Ubiquinol are both forms of a vital compound that plays a crucial role in cellular energy production and overall health. The primary difference between them lies in their chemical structures and their roles in the body. While they share similarities, understanding their differences can help individuals make informed choices about supplementation and to better optimize their health. *

What is CoQ10?

Coenzyme Q10, often referred to as CoQ10, is a naturally occurring compound found in every cell of the body. It is a crucial component of the electron transport chain, a process essential for producing adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the primary source of energy for cellular functions. Additionally, CoQ10 acts as an antioxidant, protecting cells from oxidative damage caused by free radicals.*

In its oxidized form, CoQ10 is known as ubiquinone. Although ubiquinone is the more common form found in supplements, it requires conversion within the body to its active form, Ubiquinol.

What is Ubiquinol?

Ubiquinol is the reduced, active form of CoQ10. Unlike CoQ10, Ubiquinol does not require conversion in the body to become bioavailable. This makes it more readily absorbable, particularly for individuals with absorption issues or those who are older.*

As an antioxidant, Ubiquinol plays a vital role in neutralizing harmful free radicals, thereby protecting cells from oxidative stress. Furthermore, Ubiquinol contributes to cellular energy production, supporting overall vitality and well-being.*

      What is the Difference between CoQ10 and Uniquinol?

      Let's explore the distinctions between these two supplements.

      Chemical Structure:

      • CoQ10: CoQ10 exists primarily in its oxidized form, known as ubiquinone. It has a quinone ring structure with a tail of ten isoprenoid units. This form is converted to ubiquinol in the body during the process of energy production.*
      • Ubiquinol: Ubiquinol is the reduced form of CoQ10, meaning it has gained electrons and is in a more stable antioxidant form. It has a fully saturated tail, making it more reactive and readily available for cellular use.*

      Biological Activity:

      • CoQ10: Ubiquinone (CoQ10) is the form of CoQ10 commonly found in supplements and is converted to ubiquinol in the body. It plays a crucial role in the electron transport chain, where it helps generate ATP, the primary energy currency of cells.*
      • Ubiquinol: Ubiquinol is considered the "active" form of CoQ10. It acts as a potent antioxidant, helping to neutralize harmful free radicals in the body and protecting cells from oxidative damage. Additionally, it plays a role in supporting cellular energy production.*

      Absorption and Bioavailability:

      • CoQ10: Ubiquinone (CoQ10) has been widely studied and is known for its relatively good absorption in the body, especially when taken with food that contains fats.
      • Ubiquinol: Ubiquinol is thought to have better bioavailability compared to ubiquinone, as it is already in the reduced form and does not require conversion in the body. This may be particularly beneficial for individuals with absorption issues or those who are older.


      • CoQ10: Supports energy production, cardiovascular health, and provides antioxidant defense.*
      • Ubiquinol: Offers superior antioxidant protection, boosts energy production, and may have better bioavailability.*

      Therefore, Ubiquinol may have a slight edge in terms of antioxidant activity due to its more stable form, making it potentially more effective in combating oxidative stress.


      Ubiquinone is the oxidized form of CoQ10, while Ubiquinol is the reduced, active form. Essentially, Ubiquinol is derived from CoQ10 through a process of reduction. While they share similar functions and benefits, Ubiquinol is generally considered to be more bioavailable and has stronger antioxidant properties compared to CoQ10.*