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Kaneka Ubiquinol supplement for healthy aging and antioxidant activity
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Ubiquinol’s role in the creation of cellular energy and what it means for healthy aging

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With global populations aging, the desire to maintain good health into old age is becoming more widespread.

The pace at which the population is aging is surpassing historical rates. Between 2015 and 2050, the proportion of those over 60 is expected to almost double to 22%.1​ This means there will be a significant increase in individuals who want to age in a healthier way.

The definition of healthy aging extends beyond the prevention of diseases; it also encompasses the preservation of physical, cognitive and emotional health, allowing individuals to lead mentally fulfilling and active lives as they age. By prioritizing healthy aging and taking a holistic approach, individuals can address concerns about age-related functional decline, including reduced energy levels, cognitive function, and physical activity.

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is important to preserve good health and promote healthy aging. Incorporating exercise and a healthy, balanced diet into your daily routine can help to lower risk of obesity, heart disease and stroke, among other chronic health conditions. Managing stress levels and getting enough sleep can also help to maintain heart health and improve quality of life.

Oxidative stress is a major contributor that accelerates the aging process, occurring when there is an imbalance of free radicals and antioxidants within the body. The formation of free radicals occurs in dynamic chemical reactions: as free radicals effectively ‘steal’ an electron from a molecule, the electron-deprived molecule can turn into a free radical or become damaged. If antioxidants are scarce, free radicals begin to overwhelm antioxidants and damage to the body accumulates at a cellular level.

Oxidative stress is more prevalent in older individuals in part because the body is less efficient at producing antioxidants. This heightened imbalance between free radicals and antioxidants can, in turn, contribute to health issues that significantly impact quality of life.

Whether this imbalance occurs from aging, lifestyle factors such as poor diet, or environmental factors, it is important to address any nutritional deficiencies in order to maintain optimal health – but particularly during later years of life.

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CoQ10, ubiquinol and the role of antioxidants

The nutritional requirements of the human body evolve as we progress through various life stages from childhood to old age; dietary supplements can help support these needs. One such popular supplement known for its positive effects is Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), which plays a crucial role in cellular energy production. As we age, our bodies produce less CoQ10 naturally, and supplementing our diet with this vital nutrient is important.

One key aspect of CoQ10’s role is that it shifts back and forth between being CoQ10 and ubiquinol, a potent antioxidant which is naturally synthesized in the body. Ubiquinol serves as a vital defence mechanism against oxidative stress, helping to protect cells from damage caused by free radicals. The conversion of CoQ10 to ubiquinol is therefore essential for producing cellular energy, maintaining cellular health and supporting overall wellbeing.

Electrons play a crucial role in this process. CoQ10 possesses two extra electrons that it can donate to neutralize free radicals, preventing them from causing harm to cellular components, like lipids. It is this exchange that transforms CoQ10 into ubiquinol as it helps to generate adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the primary energy source of cells.

By continually flipping between CoQ10 and ubiquinol – thousands of times a second – the body generates energy while combating oxidative stress, thereby supporting optimal cellular function and overall health. This continuous process occurs in the mitochondria and ensures that ubiquinol protects cells from damage caused by free radicals, thereby supporting overall cellular health and wellbeing.

“Ubiquinol is protecting the cell exactly where it needs to be, at the mitochondria, by neutralizing reactive oxygen species (ROS) where they are predominantly produced and have the potential to do the most damage,” says Risa Schulman, Senior Science and Regulatory Advisor, Kaneka.

“Furthermore, ubiquinol is regenerated in the mitochondria simply by virtue of its being there. It is the only lipid-soluble antioxidant that the body produces – the only other lipid-soluble antioxidant is vitamin E, but it only comes from the diet and must be regenerated after use, and it’s regenerated by ubiquinol. Ubiquinol really is the king of lipid-based antioxidant activity.”

An activated form of CoQ10

As we age, the body’s ability to convert CoQ10 into ubiquinol declines, which can lead to decreased levels of ubiquinol and increased oxidative stress. Supplementation can help support ubiquinol levels in the body as they naturally decline. In recent years, research around ubiquinol has expanded, leading to a better understanding of the full breadth of the ingredient’s benefits, including for healthy aging.

Kaneka Ubiquinol® ​is the reduced, activated form of CoQ10, and plays a key role in cellular health and promoting healthy aging. Kaneka introduced Ubiquinol into the market in 2007 following years of scientific research to ensure its quality, safety and effectiveness. The use of ubiquinol is supported by results from hundreds of studies conducted throughout the world by top independent research facilities and clinical investigators to further demonstrate the mechanisms of action and health benefits of ubiquinol.

Among these studies are those that assess ubiquinol’s benefit to aging adults, including measures such as muscle strength, which naturally declines as people age. In 2016, an observational cohort study of 967 subjects, with an average age of 52, measured hand grip strength, a recognized indicator of muscle strength and endurance. Results showed that lower levels of ubiquinol in the body corresponded to a weaker hand grip, or lower overall muscle strength in the body. This suggests an association with sarcopenia, a progressive loss of skeletal muscle mass and strength that is linked to age.2

Ubiquinol has also been shown to have benefits in another area of health that becomes increasingly critical with aging: cardiovascular health. In 2020, a randomized, placebo-controlled study included 48 men and post-menopausal women aged 35-65 with mild to moderate dyslipidemia who were not receiving medication.3​ Dyslipidemia is caused by an imbalance in the lipid profile (LDL cholesterol) which can lead to a compromise of vascular function and cardiovascular complications over time..

The study primarily measured the flow mediated dilation (FMD) in order to see how effectively vessels can open and close when there is a change in demand for blood flow. Nitric oxide is a chemical in the body that effectively causes vessels to widen, increasing blood flow and lowering blood pressure. In addition, when nitric oxide is present in vascular cells, it maintains the health and integrity of the inside of the vessel.

After eight weeks of supplementation with either 100 or 200 mg of ubiquinol, there were statistically and clinically meaningful increases in FMD (approximately 1% improvement in FMD for both doses) and in nitric oxide levels in the vessels. The medical consensus is that for every 1% increase in FMD, there is an 8-13% reduction in the risk of cardiovascular events.3

The study correlates ubiquinol supplementation with improvements in CoQ10 oxidative status in the blood. This is significant since by maintaining a healthy oxidative status in the vessel, the potentially damaging effects of free radicals can be neutralized, protecting vessel tone and integrity.

Kaneka Ubiquinol®​ has been shown to be 2-4 times better absorbed than conventional CoQ10.4,5​ Unlike CoQ10, ubiquinol requires no conversion in the body, making it more readily available for the body to transport and utilize.

“When you supplement with ubiquinol, you're fortifying the machinery,” adds Schulman. “Studies show that taking ubiquinol on an ongoing basis, leads to better results as it gets replenished over time and allows the body to maintain a healthy oxidative status. If your body has become less efficient at regenerating ubiquinol naturally and is subject to ongoing high oxidative stress, ubiquinol levels may drop quickly if supplementation stops.”

Kaneka Ubiquinol®​ has a shelf-life of four years and is available as a pure crystalline powder for use in product applications including soft gels, liquid capsules and other light and oxygen-controlled environments. Kaneka also offers Q30. It is a 30% ubiquinol powder with enhanced stability that can be used in stick packs, nutrition bars, soft chews, and other food formats.

As healthy aging becomes an increasing priority worldwide, optimizing quality of life in the later years presents growing opportunities for innovation with ubiquinol.


1. ​WHO, Ageing and health​. October 2022.
2. ​Fischer, A.; Onur, S.; Niklowitz, P.; et al. (2016). Coenzyme Q10 Status as a Determinant of Muscular Strength in Two Independent Cohorts.​ Plos One.
3. ​Sabbatinelli, J.; Orlando, P.; Galeazzi, R.; et al. (2020). Ubiquinol Ameliorates Endothelial Dysfunction in Subjects with Mild-to-Moderate Dyslipidemia: A Randomized Clinical Trial.​ Nutrients, 12(4), 1098.
4.​ Hosoe, K.; Kitano, M.; Kishida, H.; et al. (2007). Study on safety and bioavailability of ubiquinol (Kaneka QH) after single and 4-week multiple oral administration to healthy volunteers.​ Regulatory toxicology and pharmacology : RTP, 47(1), 19–28.
5.​ Schmelzer, C.; Niklowitz, P.; Okun, J. G.; et al. (2011). Ubiquinol-induced gene expression signatures are translated into altered parameters of erythropoiesis and reduced low density lipoprotein cholesterol levels in humans.​ IUBMB life, 63(1), 42–48.

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