This is the second of five articles highlighting the five supplements I think every adult should take. The first was a whole-food based multivitamin. The second is a form of CoQ10. Ubiquitous means to exist or to be everywhere; to be omnipresent. From the same word source comes the second supplement I think virtually everyone should be taking: ubiquinol.

Ubiquinol is the active and reduced form of CoQ10 (also known as ubiquinone). CoQ10 is found in every cell of the body and performs a critical role in cellular energy production. It also protects against free radical damage, which affects the aging process on numerous levels. While both ubiquinone and ubiquinol are necessary for sustaining life, ubiquinol is the source of the powerful antioxidant benefits that we often associate with CoQ10. More than 90% of the CoQ10 found in a healthy person’s blood is in the form of ubiquinol.

You’ve probably heard about free radicals, even if you don’t know how they affect you.  Free radicals are oxygen atoms deficient in electrons that become reactive in our bodies. They then wander “freely” through our bodies and cause damage to our tissues and DNA. Most experts agree that if we could reduce the free radical damage, we could slow down the damage that occurs in our bodies as we age. Ubiquinol can help because it limits free radical production.

CoQ10 also helps in the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the energy base for all our cells. But your ability to produce CoQ10 and then convert it to ubiquinol, even if you eat whole unprocessed foods, diminishes as you age. If you are under 25 years old, you will do well taking CoQ10 as a supplement. But after age 25, the conversion process becomes more challenging and research shows that taking the reduced form, ubiquinol, has a greater effect on helping to produce more cellular energy. Taking ubiquinol can also help you absorb more CoQ10 from your food.

In addition to free radical protection and increased cellular energy, ubiquinol can improve heart health. (I address its role in combating the oxidation that can occur with small dense LDL in the cholesterol chapter.) Ubiquinol has also been shown to help manage high blood pressure and to benefit seriously ill patients suffering from advanced late-stage congestive heart failure.

In one study, critically ill patients with life expectancies of less than six months were given ubiquinol for three months. They experienced a 24%-50% increase in their heart’s ability to pump blood, in some cases tripling their plasma CoQ10 levels. They all demonstrated significantly improved heart function and lived past initial expectations.

Statins lower cholesterol on the same pathway that your body uses to produce CoQ10. Research shows that CoQ10 production is significantly reduced by statins so ubiquinol supplementation is a must for anyone taking those drugs.

While ubiquinol is clearly tied to good heart health, its ability to mitigate free radical damage and support base cellular energy functions is not fully understood. Ubiquinol has only been available in supplement form since 2006, but what we have learned in that limited time is impressive.

Ubiquinol is important to many key processes in the body because it supports basic cellular level functions, so the benefits are likely far beyond what can be cited through the limited research available now. Whether heart health or anti-aging is a concern, the research that does exist now is compelling enough to recommend this supplement. And I believe we’ll learn even more about how important this vitamin-like substance is to many health functions in the coming years.

Click to read the next installment of the series: 5 Supplements Every Adult Should Take

To your wellness and health: your true wealth!


Author: Inger Pols is the Editor of the New England Health Advisory and Author/Creator, Finally Make It Happen, the proven process to get what you want. Get a free special report on The Truth About Sugar: It’s Not All Equal at

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