A report by ConsumerLab.com on supplements containing the anti-oxidant CoQ10 shows the difficulty for consumers in determining an appropriate dosage. CoQ10 is among the most popular and fastest growing supplements in the US with $413 million sold in 2007, up over 8% from the prior year, according to figures from Nutrition Business Journal. An “activated” chemical form of CoQ10 known as “ubiquinol” is also now widely sold.
Among thirty-nine products, the suggested daily servings ranged from 22 mg to 600 mg, and some products were “solubilized” formulas, which deliver more than twice as much CoQ10 into the blood as standard capsules of CoQ10 powder. ConsumerLab.com’s tests of the supplements showed that all but one contained the listed amount of ingredient: A product that made a cGMP claim, denoting FDA Good Manufacturing Practices, provided only 87% of its claimed amount.
CoQ10 may help treat congestive heart failure, prevent migraine headaches, and delay the progression of Parkinson's disease. It may also help reverse side effects associated with cholesterol-lowering "statin" drugs and it has potential use in muscular dystrophy, AIDS, hypertension, mitochondrial encephalomyopathies, as well as other conditions. Although sometimes touted for enhancing athletic performance, this effect has not been well demonstrated. A small study in Japan of ubiquinol in elderly people suggested an improvement in self-assessed “vitality.” The ratio of ubiquinol to CoQ10 in the blood has been shown to decrease with increasing age and in a variety of medical conditions, such as liver disease.
“An appropriate dose of CoQ10 or ubiquinol will depend on the condition for which it is being used and the type of formulation,” said Dr. Tod Cooperman. “One hundred milligrams of a “solubilized” product may deliver more than twice the dose of a simple powder.” People should not rely on products' suggested serving sizes but on dosages proven useful in clinical trials or based on the recommendation of a health care provider.” The ConsumerLab.com report includes information on the dosage used in various clinical studies and explains the differences in CoQ10 forms and product formulations, including which ones are more bioavailable.
The new report is available at www.consumerlab.com/reviews/CoQ10_Ubiqunol_Supplements/CoQ10/. The report provides results for thirty-nine products, of which ConsumerLab.com selected twenty. Nineteen were tested at the request of their manufacturers/distributors through CL's Voluntary Certification Program and are included for having passed testing. Also identified is one product similar to one that passed but sold under a different brand name.
Brands included in the report are Andrew Lessman, Berkley & Jensen (BJ’s), Bio-Q-Sorb Active Q, Biosolv Quinogel, Carlson, CarniQNol Active Q, CoQfactor (Vital Basics), Doctor’s Best, Drinkables, Dr. Ronald Hoffman/Vitamin Shoppe, Enzymatic Therapy, Essentials (Gero Vita), FoodScience of Vermont, Good ‘N Natural, Healthy America, Healthy Origins, Life Extension, Member’s Mark (Sam’s Club), Nature Made, Nature’s Bounty, New Chapter, Origin (Target), Physician’s Health and Diet (Wellness International), Protocol for Life Balance, PureGels, Puritan’s Pride, Source Naturals, Swanson, Trace Minerals, Twinlab, USANA, VitaFusion, Vitamin World, Vitasmart, and Webber Naturals.
Reviews of other popular types of supplements are also available at www.consumerlab.com. New reviews to be released in coming months cover calcium, multivitamins, and vitamins D and K.
ConsumerLab.com is a leading provider of consumer information and independent evaluations of products that affect health and nutrition. The company is privately held and based in Westchester, New York. It has no ownership from, or interest in, companies that manufacture, distribute, or sell consumer products. ConsumerLab.com is affiliated with PharmacyChecker.com, which helps consumers evaluate online pharmacies and drug prices, and MedicareDrugPlans.com, which reviews and rates Medicare Part D plans. Subscription to ConsumerLab.com is available online.