A good CoQ10 supplement is a mainstay of any anti-aging regimen. It’s usually touted for its positive effects on heart health, but in actuality CoQ10 is useful throughout the body on a cellular level. It is vital in the creation of ATP (adenosine-5-triphosphate). ATP is the main source of energy for cells. Biological processes we take for granted are possible because of it.

CoQ10 is also a powerful antioxidant capable of zapping the free radicals that cause age-related decline. Besides heart health, its ability as an antioxidant is mentioned countless times by the media and in medical journals.

Functions: Ubiquinol vs Ubiquinone

Both forms of CoQ10, ubiquinol and ubiquinone, are contained in the body. Ubiquinone is used within the mitochondria to produce energy for the cell. Ubiquinol works outside of the cell by regenerating deactivated antioxidants such as vitamin C and vitamin E. Once the process is complete ubiquinol is transformed into ubiquinone. It then goes to work at producing energy.

Due to the processes explained above ubiquinone-based supplements only do half the job that ubiquinol does. Ubiquinol has the ability to recycle otherwise used up front line antioxidants, making it a vastly superior solution to the problem of oxidative damage.

CoQ10 Supplement Facts

Most commonly ubiquinone is used by manufacturers. Until very recently it was the only game in town. It’s inexpensive, thus enabling supplement makers to keep costs low.

In 2006, Kaneka QH became the first form of supplemental ubiquinol that is identical to the form produced naturally by the body. The only difference is the molecule has two extra hydrogen atoms. However, this simple addition makes it far more effective as a free radical scavenger.

Ubiquinol-based supplements cost about four times as much as a typical ubiquinone-based brands per milligram. With such a large discrepancy in price, people often get sceptical about if it is worth it.

Futurist and anti-aging writer Ray Kurzweil gobbles down 250 supplements per day. To us normal folk such measures seem excessive given the limited power of such interventions. At the other extreme, contemporaries like Aubrey de Grey see little value in supplements.

Often the truth lies somewhere in the middle. Supplementation won’t extend your lifetime but there is a good chance it can improve the quality of your life. After all, who wants to hang on to a miserable existence with a frail body? What we really need is a way to maintain our vitality and our youthful approach to living.

1. Resveratrol

There isn’t a more promising compound within the grasp of mere mortals. The scientific studies and evidence behind resveratrol continues to stack up. Findings have been largely positive although major pharmaceutical companies have funded unfavourable studies of questionable credibility.

Resveratrol mimics the effects of caloric restriction, which to date is the only known way to slow down the effects of age-related disease in mammals. As a side effect of the way it alters metabolism, resveratrol fends off the threat of type 2 diabetes. This means that overweight people benefit from it more than thin, active people.