Ubiquinol, the reduced form of coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), reduced the low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol of healthy men after two weeks of supplementation, according to a recent German study (IUBMB Life. 2011 Jan;63(1):42-8. DOI: 10.1002/iub.413).
Researchers took fasting blood samples at baseline and after 14 days of 150 mg/d supplementation with ubiquinol. The 53 men in the study (21 to 48 years of age) received ubiquinol capsules (obtained from KANEKA Corporation, Osaka, Japan) in the form of three softgel capsules with each principal meal.
Biochemical and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR)-based analyses showed a reduction of LDL cholesterol plasma levels after ubiquinol supplementation (from 95.51 ± 28.89 mg/dL to 90.60 ± 27.21 mg/dL, P=0.022). This effect was especially pronounced in atherogenic, small dense LDL particles. Ubiquinol supplementation showed significant reductions of LDL cholesterol of more than 12 percent (P=1.21), according to the researchers.
The supplements elevated serum plasma CoQ10 levels by almost 500 percent (from 229.2 ± 61.3 lmol/mol to 1109.8 ± 343.8 lmol/mol) and reduced levels of the the oxidized form of CoQ10. After a four-week washout period post study, CoQ10 levels returned to baseline levels.
Ubiquinol also reduced the number of red blood cells, but increased the concentration of immature red blood cells (reticulocytes). Researchers found no effects on markers of endothelial dysfunction blood pressure and asymmetric dimethylarginine, a naturally occurring chemical found in blood plasma. They also found no significant effects of ubiquinol supplementation on triglycerides, total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol or oxidized LDL.
CoQ10 acts as a cofactor in electron transport in the respiratory chain and is required to uncouple proteins and for the biosynthesis of pyrimidine nucleotides, which are important pathways of a number of amino acids. Ubiquinol serves as a potent antioxidant in mitochondria and lipid membranes as well as a regenerator of other lipid-soluble antioxidants. Previous in vitro CoQ10 studies have shown anti-inflammatory effects and the ability to prevent programmed cell death.