Coenzyme Q10, or CoQ10, is one of the most popular supplements for heart health and general wellness. In addition to cardiovascular support, studies link it to blood sugar regulation, cancer prevention, skin rejuvenation, and even migraine control.
Some of these claims are more overblown than others, but there appears to be an undeniable benefit to supplementing with CoQ10. And there are plenty of options for your CoQ10 intake — so many that figuring out which ones are safest and most effective can be a chore.
This guide will break down what CoQ10 is, how it can help you, and which companies make the best supplements.
If you’re pressed for time, take a quick look at our summary of recommendations:
Garden of Life’s CoQ10 supplement contains fruit and vegetable complexes, as well as a probiotic blend.
Garden of Life goes above and beyond with their ingredient profile. Softgels are coated in chlorophyll and gluten-free, vegan, kosher, and non-GMO. Shipping is free on orders over $25 and every product is covered by a 30-day satisfaction guarantee.
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Winner: Garden of Life Raw CoQ10
At first glance, it may seem like all CoQ10 supplements are more or less the same. But there are important differences to consider, including other ingredients, the source of the CoQ10 itself, and whether the CoQ10 is oxidized or reduced. Even the construction of the softgel that houses each dose is worth some scrutiny.
Our favorite CoQ10 producer is Garden of Life. Their Raw CoQ10 undergoes a unique manufacturing process that works ubiquinone into a bacterial cycle involving various live ingredients. The result is a CoQ10 closer to what you’d find in a natural diet. The fact that the supplement contains raw cold-pressed chia seed oil, a fruit and vegetable complex, and a probiotic mixture only adds to the quality. Bluebonnet Nutrition’s Ubiquinol is a close second in our minds as the only vegetarian formula to utilize ubiquinol from Japanese manufacturer Kaneka. The big downside to Bluebonnet, however, is the cost.
Winner: Kirkland Maximum Potency
There are two companies whose CoQ10 supplements are less expensive than Kirkland’s based solely on cost per dose. But thanks to Kirkland’s higher amount of CoQ10 per softgel, you actually get more of the coenzyme for your money than you would with either Transparent Labs or Sports Research.
Nootropics Depot offers a powder form of CoQ10 at the same cost per dose as Kirkland, but you have to spend more upfront to get those savings. We also consider the powder form to be significantly less convenient than softgels.
Here’s a look at how each company on our list breaks down their pricing by dose and by gram of CoQ10:
|Lowest cost per bottle||Doses per bottle||Cost per dose||Dosage||Cost per gram|
|Garden of Life Raw CoQ10||$39.89||60||$0.66||200mg||$3.80|
|Bluebonnet Nutrition Ubiquinol||$42.00||60||$0.70||100mg||$4.20|
|Qunol Ubiquinol Extra Strength||$25.49||60||$0.42||200mg||$2.12|
|Nootropics Depot CoQ10 Powder 30g||$49.99||150||$0.33||200mg||$0.83|
|Transparent Labs CoQ10||$24.99||120||$0.21||100mg||$2.08|
|Sports Research CoQ10||$20.70||120||$0.17||100mg||$1.73|
|Puritan’s Pride Q-Sorb||$44.99||60||$0.75||600mg||$1.25|
|Kirkland Maximum Potency CoQ10||$24.99||100||$0.25||300mg||$0.83|
|Life Extension Super Ubiquinol with PQQ||$27||30||$0.90||100mg||$9.00|
*Bluebonnet does not sell to consumers directly. The prices here reflect the Bluebonnet deal available through the auto-ship & save program at iHerb.
Winner: Garden of Life Raw CoQ10
What makes one CoQ10 supplement more effective than another? The dose is important, to be sure. But CoQ10 is lipophilic, which means it loves fat. The coenzyme absorbs much more efficiently in the presence of fats, so most companies include some form of fat inside their softgels. Garden of Life uses the highest quality fats of any other company in our ranking.
Another key difference among CoQ10 supplements is the use of ubiquinol or ubiquinone. We’ll get deeper into the technical specifics below, but suffice it to say ubiquinol has studies backing it that show superior absorption to ubiquinone. But ubiquinone boasts a greater number of studies and manufacturing practices that keep its costs low.
Winner: Qunol Liquid CoQ10
Most CoQ10 supplements boast the same relative degree of convenience. They almost all require you to take a single pill once per day. But some of these pills are rather large, making them inconvenient for anyone who has a tough time swallowing medicine. And because the softgels are necessary to prevent the medicine from degrading in oxygen, you can’t snap them in half or break them down to make them easier to take.
Qunol’s Liquid CoQ10 solves this problem by delivering their doses in liquid form. That makes it easy for anybody to take. If there’s one inconvenience in the liquid form, it’s that it doesn’t travel as well as the softgels do. Still, this inconvenience is far rarer than the common trouble with big pills.
Most CoQ10 supplements work best when you take them with food. Not only will extra fats in your meal increase absorption efficiency, but the presence of food will help guard against digestive upset. Garden of Life is our runner-up for convenience because their ancillary ingredients — a fruit and vegetable complex and a probiotic complex — work great for absorption and decrease the odds of an upset stomach if you have to take your pill without food.
Coenzyme Q10 is an antioxidant naturally produced inside your body. It’s a key component of the electron transport chain, which is essential to creating ATP — fuel for your cells. CoQ10 is incredibly abundant in the body and can be found in about 95% of our cells.
Large amounts of CoQ10 in the form of ubiquinol reside in the brain, liver, heart, and kidneys. But your body doesn’t produce as much CoQ10 as you age, which is why supplementation can be important whether or not you suffer from a clinical deficiency.
CoQ10 and statins
CoQ10 is popular for the sheer variety of its applications. But one application tends to draw a lot of attention among patients taking statins. Statins are medications that target cholesterol and triglycerides to prevent heart disease. One common side effect of statins is muscle pain, and some research correlates statin use and a deficiency in CoQ10.
Additional research showed that 100mg of CoQ10 supplementation could reduce symptoms of mitochondrial dysfunction brought on by statin use.
Ubiquinol vs. ubiquinone
CoQ10 has two forms available for supplementation, and knowing the difference between the two might help you pick a supplement for your regimen. CoQ10 molecules convert back and forth between these states naturally. Both forms are safe in supplements, but one might have an edge in performance.
This is the oxidized form of CoQ10. It boasts more studies and proven efficacy than ubiquinol. Still, some recent research suggests that your body may need to convert it to ubiquinol before it can be useful in the electron transport chain.
This is the “reduced” form of CoQ10, meaning that it has fewer electrons than ubiquinone. That may be why it can jump right into the electron transport chain without prior conversion. It doesn’t have as much research behind it as ubiquinone and is usually more expensive.
There isn’t quite enough research to definitively say that ubiquinol is superior in terms of absorption and efficiency. Still, what research does exist either points to an advantage to ubiquinol or to neither. Research preferring ubiquinone over ubiquinol is scarce, but ubiquinone is the more thoroughly researched form of CoQ10.
There have been various studies into the potential benefits of CoQ10 supplementation. Among other things, these studies show evidence that CoQ10 supplementation can help with:
- Heart health
- Liver health
- Skin quality
- Blood sugar control
- Learning and memory
- Pulmonary function
Because CoQ10 production declines with age, supplementation simply replaces the CoQ10 that would otherwise be there. That allows the cells in just about every organ of the body to perform more efficiently.
Most studies involving CoQ10 report few to no adverse effects in study populations. When side effects did occur, they were generally mild and included:
- Abdominal pain
- Digestive upset
- Loss of appetite
No studies have established whether CoQ10 supplements are safe during pregnancy or nursing periods. Those who are pregnant or nursing or who hope to become pregnant should avoid CoQ10 supplements.
And, as always, speak to your doctor before introducing any new supplement into your daily regimen.
Best overall, Best vegan option, and Best gut support
- Naturally derived CoQ10
- Contains raw cold-pressed chia seed oil
- Softgels are coated in chlorophyll
- Includes a fruit and vegetable complex
- Provides 7mg of a probiotic blend
- Vegan-friendly and kosher
- Contains soy
- No subscription options
- On the pricey side
Garden of Life makes a wide variety of supplements and other nutritional products like protein bars and probiotics. Their process is somewhat unconventional. While many supplement companies seek to isolate their primary ingredients from all others, Garden of Life often manufactures their intended ingredients among complex mixtures of fruits, vegetables, bacteria, and more. The idea behind this manufacturing process is that nutrients perform at their best when delivered amidst a complex of other elements — just the way you’d find them in nature.
That’s why their CoQ10 supplement contains a complex of over 20 fruits and vegetables along with a probiotic blend made up of lactobacillus plantarum and lactobacillus bulgaricus. And since CoQ10 is lipophilic, the company includes raw cold-pressed chia seed oil in their capsules to help with absorption. Most other companies use MCTs, soybean, or palm oil.
Garden of Life Raw CoQ10 pricing
One bottle of Garden of Life Raw CoQ10 costs $39.89. There are no subscription options to bring this cost down, but since the company offers free shipping on orders over $25, your CoQ10 ships for free.
Garden of Life offers a 30-day satisfaction guarantee that reimburses you if you don’t think their products are for you, but you won’t be able to recoup any shipping charges.
- Free of most allergens
- Made with Kaneka ubiquinol
- Relatively small pill size
- Suitable for vegetarians
- 30- and 60-gel options
- One of the most expensive options
- Not available directly from the manufacturer
Among the companies that utilize Kaneka’s yeast-based ubiquinol CoQ10, Bluebonnet offers the cleanest overall formula. They advertise their CoQ10 supplement as suitable for vegetarians, but it’s unclear what about the listed ingredients makes it unsuitable for vegans. Their formula is also excellent for anyone who suffers from common allergies, as it’s free of:
- Tree nuts
Bluebonnet offers their ubiquinol in 50, 100, and 200mg doses. However, you can’t buy their CoQ10 from them directly. If you’re interested in Bluebonnet, we recommend iHerb, where you can purchase it as a single bottle or sign up for an auto-ship program.
- Single bottle purchase: $24.40
- Autoship and save: $23.18
Easiest to take
- Available as softgels, gummies, and a liquid
- 15% savings with a subscription
- Ubiquinone and ubiquinol options
- Free shipping on all US orders
- Other supplements available
- Capsules made with gelatin
- Only one liquid flavor
- Lipid source is palm oil
Qunol is one of the most recognizable brands in the CoQ10 space. Their Liquid CoQ10 is ideal for anyone who wants to avoid the hassle of swallowing pills or the added ingredients that come from softgels. The company also offers CoQ10 gummies. Unfortunately, neither the gummies nor the liquid is available in a 200mg dose — both come in 100mg doses only. You could always double up on the amount yourself, but that would get expensive quickly.
For the most part, Qunol uses Kaneka ubiquinol in their CoQ10 supplements, but some contain ubiquinone. Some of those ubiquinol options come with a 250mg dose of omega-3s, which are an ideal lipid partner for CoQ10. They’ll aid in absorption while also providing their own health benefits.
Here’s a look at Qunol’s various CoQ10 products:
|Cost||Dose||Servings||Delivery method||CoQ10 state|
|Extra Strength Ubiquinol||$29.99||200mg||60||Softgels||Ubiquinol|
|Ubiquinol + Omega-3||$31.99||100mg||90||Softgels||Ubiquinol|
|Extra Strength Ubiquinol + Omega-3||$34.99||200mg||90||Softgels||Ubiquinol|
Qunol also offers supplements in the following categories:
- Immune support
Qunol offers free shipping on all orders made within the US, as well as a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Best powder form
- Powder form allows for flexible doses
- Available in 15- and 30-gram quantities
- No extra ingredients, just CoQ10
- Lots of other brain boosters to choose from
- Low cost per gram
- Free shipping on orders over $50
- Tedious to measure out doses
- No scoop included
- May oxidize more readily than softgels
- No money-back guarantee
While the heart is the organ most often associated with CoQ10, the brain stands to enjoy serious benefits from supplementation. The most powerful of these is CoQ10’s neuroprotective potential that can help stave off cognitive decline that comes naturally with age and senility disorders like Alzheimer’s. And that’s why you see CoQ10 from a company renowned for their brain-boosting supplements.
Some of the most significant differences among some CoQ10 supplements are the materials used for their softgels and the lipids used to increase absorption. Nootropics Depot doesn’t deal with either, delivering a pure CoQ10 powder. Not only does that let you control what lipids you match with it in your meals or smoothies, but it also gives you complete control over dosing.
The bottle of CoQ10 you get from Nootropics Depot doesn’t come with a scoop of any kind, so we recommend using a small kitchen scale or even a jeweler’s scale to weigh out your doses. You can use the recommended dose of 200mg — one of the most common CoQ10 doses out there — or use less until you’re comfortable with its effects. Double-check with your doctor before going any higher than 200mg.
Here’s the pricing for Nootropics Depot CoQ10:
- 15 grams: $29.99
- 30 grams: $49.99
Nootropics Depot says they offer free shipping on orders over $50, but our testers received free shipping on single orders of the 30-gram bottle at $49.99. And since the shipping charge on the 15-gram bottle is at least $10, we think the 30-gram bottle holds the best value.
If you opt for the 15-gram bottle, here are your shipping options:
- FedEx 2-3-day: $10.20
- USPS Priority: $10.25
- FedEx Home Delivery 3-7 days: $17.08
- USPS Express 1-2 days: $33.70
How 2-3-day FedEx shipping costs less than 3-7-day shipping is a mystery to us. Whatever the cause, we still recommend opting for the bottle size that comes with free shipping.
- Softgel contains just two ingredients
- Gluten-free and non-GMO
- Rigorous third-party testing
- Bundles available for added savings
- No subscription options
- No accompanying lipids to boost absorption
- Free shipping only kicks in after $99
The third-party testing that supports each of Transparent Labs’ products is available for anyone to read. In fact, they maintain a database that shows analysis and composition for every batch of a supplement they produce. When your CoQ10 arrives in the mail, you can match the batch number on the label with a number in the database and see exactly how your personal bottle’s contents fared in testing.
In general, Transparent Labs tries to keep their supplements as simple as possible. Their CoQ10 is a prime example of this, with a total of just three ingredients in the entire product: CoQ10, the veggie capsule, and rice flour.
Because of CoQ10’s love of fats, you’ll want to take the Transparent Labs version with a meal containing at least some healthy dietary fats. Alongside a bulletproof coffee in the morning would be a good option. Otherwise, you could experience some digestive upset and inferior absorption.
One bottle of Transparent Labs CoQ10 contains 120 softgels (100mg) and costs $24.99. There are no subscription options, and you won’t get free shipping unless you spend at least $99. Fortunately, bundling packages save you money on multiple supplements while putting you over that hump to trigger free shipping.
- Made with coconut oil
- Includes Bioperine
- Gluten-free and non-GMO
- 10% savings with a subscription
- Flexible delivery schedule
- Huge assortment of exercise gear and accessories
- 90-day money-back guarantee
- Free shipping only kicks in after $75
- Not for those with tree nut allergies
The two most common variables in the debate over CoQ10’s absorption are its accompanying fat and its oxidized state (ubiquinol vs. ubiquinone). Sports Research uses ubiquinone with coconut oil, the medium-chain triglycerides that absorb more efficiently than some other fats. They also employ Bioperine, a black pepper extract that often ends up in supplements to improve general bioavailability. This makes for one of the more readily bioavailable CoQ10 supplements. If it came in a 200mg dose, we’d have put it much higher on our list.
A single bottle of Sports Research CoQ10 contains 120 softgels (100mg) and costs $23, but you can save 10% by subscribing. That brings your cost down to $21.70/bottle with flexible shipping options every one, two, or three months.
Sports Research also has one of the best money-back guarantees in its class at 90 days. You’ll still be on the hook for any shipping charges incurred in either direction, but you can try the product for up to three months and get a nearly total refund if it doesn’t work for you.
- Contains shilajit and PQQ
- Gluten-free and non-GMO
- Save 28% with subscription
- Subscribers get free shipping
- Costly for a 100mg dose
- Only 30-serving bottles available
- Made with gelatin
- Vague return policy
Life Extension offers a dizzying array of products, from supplements and foods to skincare serums and lab testing. Most of their product line is geared toward extending life and quality of life and achieving a healthier, more youthful appearance.
Life Extension makes the only CoQ10 in our guide to include shilajit and PQQ. Let’s break each of those down so you can understand what makes them beneficial.
Life Extension uses a branded form of shilajit called PrimaVie. Shilajit has been around for centuries, but recent studies have shown its ability to combat fatigue and boost the immune system.
Pyrroloquinoline quinone, sometimes called methoxatin, has been debated in the nutritional science community. Originally, the discussion centered on whether scientists could technically call it a vitamin. The closest thing to a consensus we have now is that PQQ is a longevity vitamin whose beneficial antiinflammatory effects take far longer to manifest than those of our better-understood lettered vitamins.
One bottle of Life Extension Super Ubiquinol costs $37.50. Subscribers save 28% and only pay $27 per bottle. Subscriptions also unlock free shipping. If you choose not to subscribe, here are the shipping rates you’ll encounter in the US:
- Basic: $5.50
- UPS 2nd Day Air: $12.50
- UPS Overnight: $21.50
Life Extension claims to have a generous 1-year return policy, but the particulars of this policy are nowhere on the company’s website. You could subscribe to their CoQ10 for a year and then find out the return policy can only apply to a single order, getting you just $27 back out of $324 spent. They might refund you the whole $324 in such a case, but the lack of transparency leads us to believe otherwise.
Best high dose
- Seven doses to choose from
- Free shipping on orders over $30
- Generous 90-day return policy
- Subscription savings are only 5%
- Not suitable for vegetarians
- Q-Sorb isn’t a meaningfully different form of CoQ10
- Softgels are on the large side
If you’re looking for an exceptionally high dose of CoQ10, Puritan’s Pride produces softgels containing 600mg doses. They do so using a form of ubiquinone they call Q-Sorb. It’s a fermented CoQ10, so it isn’t lab-generated by mixing potentially noxious chemicals together. But other companies boast similarly produced CoQ10. And despite its name, there isn’t anything identifiable about Q-Sorb that improves its absorption compared to those competitors.
Still, very few companies offer doses as high as 600mg. You can also get Q-Sorb CoQ10 in these doses:
One bottle of 600mg Q-Sorb with 60 servings costs $44.99. You can buy a three-pack for $112.47 ($37.49 each). You can also subscribe to take an additional 5% off.
- Low price for a high dose
- No artificial colors
- Gluten- and lactose-free
- USP verified
- Made with bovine gelatin
- Only available to Costco members
- Uses soybean oil as its lipid
Kirkland is the brand name associated with Costco Wholesale, the members-only quantity retailer. Their CoQ10 supplement comes in a 300mg dose, which is unusual compared to most other companies’ offerings. It’s a little more than the most common dose — 200mg — without increasing side effect risks significantly. Still, you should talk to your doctor before beginning a regimen of this or any CoQ10 supplement.
Kirkland delivers one of the best deals around, with one of the lowest costs per dose of anything in our guide. They’re also tied for the lowest cost per gram of CoQ10. Unfortunately, they achieve this by using some inexpensive ingredients like soybean oil to cut costs.
Kirkland products are also sold exclusively to Costco members, so you’d have to calculate for the cost of membership. That said, Costco is known for having particularly liberal return policies. And with 100 softgels in a bottle, you can try this supplement for over two months and likely face no issues getting your money back if you’re not satisfied.
One bottle of Kirkland CoQ10 300mg costs $24.99. Shipping for members is free.
Do CoQ10 supplements work?
CoQ10 supplements definitely work for particular needs. There is bountiful evidence that they can strengthen weakened hearts. There is also reasonable evidence that they offer neuroprotective and pulmonary benefits. When we start getting into claims that they fight cancer or stop migraines in their tracks, the evidence gets thin quickly. Still, if you and your doctor agree that CoQ10 could potentially help you, it’s certainly worth a try.
Are CoQ10 supplements dangerous?
The vast majority of studies looking at CoQ10’s efficacy reported few to no side effects. When adverse effects presented themselves, they were often mild. Effects can be dose-dependent, so extreme doses of CoQ10 are more likely to result in negative outcomes. CoQ10 supplements
can affect blood pressure and blood sugar levels. Anyone on medications to regulate these should be wary of CoQ10. We also recommend against it for those who are pregnant or nursing and those undergoing chemotherapy.
What’s the best dose for CoQ10 supplements?
The best dose for any medicine is the lowest possible effective dose. Many people find that either 100mg or 200mg is the ideal CoQ10 dose. A few companies offer increased doses, and you can theoretically double up on the daily intake of a lower dose to achieve a higher one. But we don’t recommend starting here. Try a 100mg or 200mg dose to start, using your body weight and susceptibility to other simple medications (i.e., ibuprofen) as a guide.
How do you take CoQ10 supplements?
Taking CoQ10 supplements is extremely straightforward. Most come in softgel capsules that you swallow with or without water. It’s smart to take these with food and even wise to take them with fatty foods. That’s because CoQ10 is lipophilic and absorbs more efficiently in the presence of fats. A usual course includes one softgel capsule per day.