Active form of coenzyme Q10 shows benefits in nutritional supplements
According to the World Health Organization, between the years 2000 and 2050, on a global scale, the number of people aged 60 and over will more than triple. It is a social challenge to maximize health and quality of life with advancing age, and consumer demand for products that promote a wide range of anti-aging benefits is increasing. In this respect, the micronutrient Ubiquinol is becoming more and more important, with scientists currently investigating several new potential applications. The fully reduced form of the better known coenzyme Q10 holds a wealth of possibilities for improving and maintaining health in later years.
A vital role in energy production
As one of its basic components, Ubiquinol supports the body’s respiratory chain. This vital process produces more than 95 percent of our energy and supplies it to the heart, brain, muscles and everywhere else that energy is needed. Ubiquinol is therefore essential for high level performance – mentally as well as physically. Generally, the human body is able to produce its own Ubiquinol, and the micronutrient is also naturally present in many foods, including meat, fish and nuts. But the body’s natural Ubiquinol levels decline with age and it is virtually impossible to compensate for this via diet alone. Used as a supplement, the electron-rich Ubiquinol has a more rapid and better effect than its precursor coenzyme Q10 since it does not have to be converted into an active form by the body. Its high bioavailability enables Ubiquinol to be taken up by the body more quickly and efficiently than traditional coenzyme Q10.
Ubiquinol works as a strong antioxidant too: It protects cell membranes from free radical damage and it contributes to their elasticity and flexibility. Within the inner mitochondrial membrane, this protection is especially important because reactive oxygen compounds called free radicals can occur here in high numbers during energy production. Furthermore, as an antioxidant, Ubiquinol helps to suppress the accumulation of mitochondrial DNA damage caused by free radicals which results in accelerated aging.
Adjuvant therapy for clinical disease
The many scientific benefits of supplementation with Ubiquinol have already been well documented. Published clinical and experimental research shows that Ubiquinol affects cardiovascular health, neuronal metabolism, renal health and genes related to lipid/lipoprotein metabolism and inflammation.
Many studies have been conducted in the field of heart and cardiovascular disease. These have found evidence of coenzyme Q10 deficiency in individuals suffering from hypertension and heart failure as well as those taking statin medication. Ubiquinol supplementation as co-adjuvant therapy is effective in lowering diastolic blood pressure and improves heart functions such as pump volume and ejection fraction. Ubiquinol also mediates a distinct reduction in LDL cholesterol levels and helps to prevent unwanted LDL oxidation.
Counteracting aging processes
Coenzyme Q10 possesses the ability to slow down the aging process – which is related to an increased occurrence of free radicals – and positively influence many age-related diseases and health issues.
In terms of brain health, for instance, coenzyme Q10 increases the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and may increase levels of neurotransmitters such as acetylcholine in the brain. Coenzyme Q10 also has been shown to increase cognitive functions such as memory and learning ability, and may even slow down the progression of neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s in their early stages. Another of Ubiquinol’s benefits is the maintenance of good eye health throughout life. The retina is very sensitive to oxidation and therefore contains high concentrations of antioxidants such as vitamins C and E, beta-carotene, lutein, and coenzyme Q10. Here, Ubiquinol prolongs the activity of vitamins C and E by helping to regenerate them. It may also directly protect the retina from oxidation and glycation and may reduce the formation of age spots in the eyes, as well as on the skin.
Coenzyme Q10 is already widely used as a powerful ingredient in anti-aging cosmetics. Within the skin, coenzyme Q10 is primarily found in the surface layer of the epidermis, where it ensures the reutilization of vitamins E and C, as is required for skin regeneration and protection from ultraviolet light. Not only can coenzyme Q10 replenish the skin’s energy supply, but its antioxidant function also has an important role to play here because it protects cell membranes from free radical damage. Since coenzyme Q10 is a fat-soluble substance, it can penetrate into the deeper layers of the skin extremely well and is thus able to prevent many of the detrimental effects of daily aggressors and light-induced aging.
Further research into the possible uses of coenzyme Q10 and Ubiquinol is ongoing. Researchers from the German University of Kiel and Japan’s Shinshu University have investigated the effects of Ubiquinol on metabolic processes related to aging. They used a special strain of mice which were characterized by high oxidative stress status and accelerated aging – and which therefore provided a good model for examining the potential effects of antioxidants on senescence. A detailed biochemical evaluation was initiated in the mice, including measuring changes in different metabolic mediators, such as sirtuins – important regulators of physiology related to calorie restriction, exercise and aging. In this study, Ubiquinol was shown to stimulate certain genes that are responsible for forming sirtuins. This could explain the enhanced mitochondrial activity and the decline in damage caused by age-related oxidative stress which were observed in the study. These findings may have implications for a wide range of conditions that are related to aging, such as diabetes, arthritis and neurodegeneration. This research is preliminary, but when further studies are carried out, Ubiquinol could become a foundational nutrient for brain, joint and glucose-metabolism formulations in the future.
Safe and natural
Kaneka Q10 and Kaneka QH Ubiquinol, both produced via yeast fermentation, are completely natural. As has been clinically documented, Ubiquinol is well tolerated and proven to cause no adverse effects. Technically speaking, it can be used in a wide range of easily digestible products, including pellets, sticks and soft gel capsules. With its broad variety of health benefits, Kaneka QH Ubiquinol allows manufacturers of nutritional supplements and functional foods to target a large spectrum of consumers – from sportspeople to stressed-out executives, the elderly and even people suffering from cardiovascular diseases.