With supplements increasing in popularity to potentially help with a huge variety of common health issues, such as lowered energy levels and immune system function, the choices on the market are getting harder and harder to wade through.
It can feel overwhelming, especially for people new to the supplementation world, to feel like they know what to look for when purchasing a supplement. No one wants to get tricked into buying a subpar supplement that doesn’t do what it claims to do.
That’s why we’ve created this buyer’s guide, specifically for ubiquinol, so that consumers know what to look for when shopping for a supplement.
What is GMP?
When looking for a quality ubiquinol supplement, you’ll want to first make sure to look for a one that was manufactured to GMP standards.
GMP stands for Good Manufacturing Practice. It is a system that was put into place to ensure that all manufacturing products, like foods, pharmaceuticals, and cosmetics, are produced and controlled consistently according to specifically set quality standards.
Products manufactured under GMP standards have every part of the manufacturing process examined to help remove the risks of mislabeling, cross-contamination, and other issues that will affect quality and safety.
In the United States, the GMP standards are governed and enforced by the Food and Drug Administration. If the products do not meet their standards, they have the ability to call for a recall.
There are basic GMP guidelines that any company following their standards must adhere to:
- Quality management
- Sanitation and hygiene
- Building and facilities/premises
- Raw materials
- Validation and qualification
- Documentation and recordkeeping
- Inspections and quality audits
As you can see, GMP standards are important for any supplement to verify that the product you're getting was manufactured safely.
Where can I buy ubiquinol?
Before considering ubiquinol supplements, the first (and arguably most important) step is making sure you are purchasing them from a trustworthy brand or company. While we’ll talk more about what makes for a quality supplement, the place that you’re purchasing the supplement from is just as important.
The company’s website is a large part of being able to figure out if it is reputable or not.
Reputable companies may make claims, but they also go out of their way to back those claims up with research that is available on their website. Don’t be fooled by a website that is just flashy. Look for the science behind the supplements. Some of the best supplements out there come from websites that don’t oversell.
In-person doesn’t always mean better
While some people believe that purchasing a supplement from an in-person store means that it is better than one purchased online, that doesn’t necessarily make it true.
In fact, many stores are simply staffed with people who just work as customer service and don’t know much, if anything, about the actual science behind their products.
The benefit of purchasing supplements online, in addition to the amount of them available, is that there is far more information available about the science behind the products. Instead of asking a customer service person to answer in-depth questions about why the supplement helps and its method of action, shopping online allows you to see that research for yourself without the pressure of an employee needing to make a sale for commission.
A comprehensive label
Any ubiquinol supplement should have a comprehensive label, including a few key features.
To start, the supplement should always be labelled with the serving size as well as how many servings are in each bottle. This is essential so the consumer is aware how many they should take at a time, and helps to prevent accidentally taking too much.
The label should also have all active ingredients listed, both brand and chemical names. Not only does this make sure the consumer knows what they are getting, but can also help to prevent allergic reactions. The same goes for the “other” or “inactive” ingredient list. It should always be comprehensive, even down to the binders used in the supplement.
A comprehensive label also helps you to verify that the supplement will not interact with any medication you may already be taking. Interactions don’t always include only the active ingredient, sometimes it's the inactive ingredients that cause problems. That’s why it’s important to always discuss starting any medication or supplement fully with your family physician prior to starting anything new.
Be prepared to manage your expectations
When first starting a supplement, no matter how much hype it has gotten, it’s important that you always go into taking it with reasonable expectations.
No supplement will have an immediate effect, and most effects are cumulative instead of dramatic. They work differently from medications that have been prescribed by a doctor. In some cases, supplements may take up to a few months to really show their effectiveness.
Look for realistic claims backed by evidence
Because supplements are not specifically regulated by the FDA, consumers should be prepared to do their own research. Many companies make unrealistic, unverified claims about their effectiveness without any science to back it up, but these products look like they are legitimate.
Quality ubiquinol supplements will make realistic claims with actual research to support them. Don’t fall for supplements that claim that they will totally change your life in a day.
Look for reviews
While all of the above helps you find a supplement that has been manufactured by a quality company and is backed by research and science, that doesn’t mean that it works well.
One last way to help verify that you are getting a product that works is to look for reviews on both the website for the supplement and other websites. Being able to see what real consumers have to say about it, good and bad, can give you a more realistic perspective on not only if the product really works but also how well it works. It is often a much more balanced way to learn about the effectiveness of the supplement from actual users.
Check for ubiquinol versus ubiquinone
The way that CoQ10 works in the body is through the ability that its benzoquinone head group has to be able to both accept and donate electrons. Its primary functions include being able to relay those electrons to where they are needed in the electron transport chain to help produce ATP (the body’s energy source) while also acting as a lipophilic (fat-soluble) antioxidant.
Many supplements use ubiquinone as their primary source of CoQ10. However, ubiquinone is the oxidized form of the coenzyme, and it needs to be reduced to ubiquinol before it can be effective in the body.
Essentially, what that means is that ubiquinol is more bioavailable than ubiquinone. As soon as the supplement enters the body, it is able to become active much quicker and start to take effect faster than ubiquinone can. The best ubiquinol and ubiquinol-derived products on the market will seek to make their supplements as bioavailable as possible, even if it means modifying CoQ10 to make it more easily passable into the mitochondrial cell.
Why should I take ubiquinol at all?
Much like every supplement on the market, there have been plenty of claims on how amazing ubiquinol can be. However, not all of those claims are backed by science.
What is backed by scientific research is that ubiquinol intake has been linked to improving feelings of energy and supporting cellular health, even in perfectly healthy individuals. The ingredient can also support mental focus and clarity, healthy aging, and overall health and wellness.
Ubiquinol supplements are everywhere these days. While that is great for people who can benefit from this potentially helpful coenzyme, it can make it extra difficult to source a quality supplement from a brand that you can trust.
Hopefully this buyer’s guide helped you to better understand what you are looking for when considering purchasing a supplement, so that you can experience the benefits personally for yourself!