CoQ10 passes quality test

By Shane Starling

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Coenzyme q10

Product tester Consumerlab.com has found most coenzyme Q10 dietary supplements – best known to benefit heart health – do exactly what they say on the tin.

But it noted what products said on their respective tins, or bottles or blisterpacks, varied greatly as CoQ10 dosage levels ranged from 22mg to 600mg – a significant discrepancy for a supplement with known bioavailability issues.

The research follows earlier ConsumerLab.com surveys in 2000 and 2004 that found not all CoQ10 supplements met their label claims, although the last test – in 2006 – found all products were above board.

In the current examination only one of the products failed to meet its stated label amount.

That product – Healthy America Coenzyme Q10 – contained only 86.7 percent of its labeled amount of 150mg of CoQ10 per soft gel. This claim was made despite the existence of a quality guarantee and cGMP claim that suggested it was made according to the Food and Drug Administration’s good manufacturing practices (GMPs) for dietary supplements.

Consumerlab tested 39 CoQ10, or ubiquinol, products – 20 of which it selected independently. The others were submitted by their manufacturers and one additional product passed because it was very similar to one that passed but sold under another brand name.

Brands tested included Andrew Lessman, Berkley & Jensen, Carlson, New Chapter, Twin Lab and USANA.

Bioavailability

Forms tested included soft gels and chewable tablets and Consumerlab suggested CoQ10 was best absorbed when accompanied by fats or oils that may be present in the digestive tract (especially during meal times). This may make it more absorbable if fats and oils are present at the time of consumption, as may be the case in a soft gel.

Such oils include rice bran oil, soybean oil, sunflower oil, vitamin E, and medium chain triglycerides. CoQ10 that has been solubilized with polysorbate 80 or formulated as water-soluble beadlets can offer improved absorption, Consumerlab said.

“CoQ10 found in most supplements is in the oxidized state (ubiquinone), but once in the body it readily goes into the reduced state (ubiquinol), which is its active, antioxidant form,”​ Consumerlab wrote.

CoQ10 comes in two dominant forms – synthetic and fermented. Most material is fermented because the process is cheaper.

Dosages

CoQ10 is often taken – especially in the US- in conjunction with statin drugs which deplete the body’s natural CoQ10 reserves. Typical doses in this area are 100-200mg, although some medical professionals recommend doses up to 600mg.

Daily doses for other ailments include 300mg to help prevent migraines (although it may take three months to become effective); Parkinson's (300 to 1200 mg); hypertension (120 to 200 mg); angina (150 mg); for reducing the likelihood of future heart problems in people who've had a first heart attack (120 mg); HIV/AIDS (200 mg); muscular dystrophy (100 mg); mitochondrial encephalomyopathies (150 to 160 mg); increasing sperm motility (200 mg); increasing ubiquinol ratios in children with trisomy 21 (10 mg of ubiquinol (liquid form) per kilogram of body weight).

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