Ubiquinone (CoQ10)

Ubiquinone in Serum

Clinical Information

CoQ10, a vitamin-like substance, fat-soluble, and exist in the body as ubiquinone (oxidized form) or ubiquinol (reduced form)1, 2.

Coenzyme Q10 is best known for its antioxidant function. It is used by cells to make energy for growth and staying healthy3. It exerts its antioxidant activity by direct reactions with free radicals or by regeneration of tocopherol and ascorbate4.

Signs and Symptoms of Deficiency or Toxicity

Coenzyme Q10 deficiency is characterized by nephropathy and encephalomyopathy4.

Primary coenzyme Q10 deficiency, mitochondrial disorder5.

Coenzyme Q10 has never been described in the general population2. It has low toxicity and does not lead to serious adverse effects 6.

Biomarker and Methods of Analysis


Ubiquinone is the major (~ 80%) form of CoQ10 in human plasma. Compared to its reduced form, ubiquinol is more stable and practical to measure7-9. Quantification of CoQ10 in serum by HPLC/UV is the recommended method by the International Coenzyme Q10 Association and is considered one of the gold standard procedure1.

Supplementation Guide

No published guidelines for supplementation for the general public. Usually comes at 30 or 100mg pill format taken once a day.

Based on various clinical trials, an observed safe level for CoQ10 is 1200 mg/day6.

Statins may lower levels of CoQ10 while CoQ10 can make warfarin less effective3.

Food Sources

Main sources of CoQ10 include meat, poultry, and fish. Other sources are soybean, corn, olive, and canola oils, nuts, seeds.

Some CoQ10 could also be found in fruits, vegetables, eggs, and dairy products2.

(1) Mayo Clinic Medical Laboratories. (n.d.) Test Catalogue. Coenzyme Q10, Total, Plasma. Retrived from http://www.mayomedicallaboratories.com/test-catalog/Clinical+and+Interpretive/63148
(2) Higdon J, Drake VJ, Delage B. (April 14, 2018). Linus Pauling Institute. Micronutrient Information Center. Coezyme Q10. Retrieved from http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/dietary-factors/coenzyme-Q10
(3) National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. (n.d.) Cooenzyme Q10 (CoQ10): In Depth. Retrieved from https://nccih.nih.gov/health/supplements/coq10
(4) Crane, FL. Biochemical functions of Coenzyme Q10. Journal and the American College of Nutrition 2013; 591-598. doi:10.1080/07315724.2001.10719063
(5) Montini G, Malaventura C, Salviati L. Early coenzyme Q10 supplementation in Primary Coenzyme Q10 deficiency. The England Journal of Medicine 2008; 358(26): 2849-2850.
(6) Hidaka T, Fujii K, Funahashi I, Fukutomi N, Hosoe K. Safety assessment of coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10). Biofactors 2008;32(1-4):199-208.
(7) Turkowicz MJ, Karpinska J. Analytical problems with the determination of Coenzyme Q10 in Biological Samples. Biofactors 2013; 39(2):176-185.
(8) Molyneux SL, Young JM, Florkowski CM, Lever M, George PM. Coenzyme Q10: Is There a Clinical Role and a Case for Measurement? The Clinical Biochemist Reviews. 2008;29(2):71-82.
(9) Yubero D, Allen G, Artuch R, Montero R. The Value of Coenzyme Q10 Determination in Mitochondrial Patients. Hargreaves IP, ed. Journal of Clinical Medicine. 2017;6(4):37. doi:10.3390/jcm6040037.