Monthly Archives: August 2016

All about U: Ubiquinol vs. Ubiquinone

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is a natural antioxidant, and with everyone from health gurus to beauty aficionados extolling its benefits on the heart, muscles, skin and hair it seems like it’s always on the supplement-du-jour list. But what is it, really, and why do we need it?

The skinny

CoQ10 is a vitamin-like, natural antioxidant that occurs naturally in the body and is found in every cell. Within the mitochondria (the powerhouse of the cell), CoQ10 is an important part of ATP synthesis, which creates energy for cellular function. That’s why organs with the greatest energy needs – muscles, heart, kidneys and liver – have a higher concentration of CoQ10.

CoQ10 is vital to keeping your body functioning properly, and a deficiency usually affects the heart first. Taking statins can inhibit CoQ10 activity and lead to further deficiency, making supplementation even more important.

CoQ10 is available in two forms: reduced (ubiquinol)  and oxidized (ubiquinone).

They both sound awfully similar. How are they different?

You might recall the notion of redox from your high school chemistry class. It’s a short form for reduction and oxidation. A redox (reduction-oxidation) reaction refers to the process of transferring electrons between two molecules. If a molecule loses an electron during this transfer, it has been oxidized. If a molecule has gained an electron during this transfer, it has been reduced.

Ubiquinone and ubiquinol are a redox pair, with ubiquinone being the oxidized form and ubiquinol the reduced form. As the active form, ubiquinol has more electrons to give to free radicals, making it a better antioxidant. On the flip side, the oxidized property of ubiquinone is better suited for energy metabolism inside your cells.

So which should I take? Is one form actually better than the other?

Both ubiquinone and ubiquinol have roles to play, but thankfully, there’s no need to take both. The body smartly converts between the two forms automatically, depending which functions are in demand. However, after age 30, your body is less able to metabolize CoQ10 and convert it into ubiquinol. People with a genetic variation in NQO1 may also have trouble reducing ubiquinone to ubiquinol.

This powerful antioxidant can help protect your heart and other organs from free radical damage, and can also be taken as a migraine prevention. CanPrev Ubiquinol 100 delivers 100mg of active form CoQ10, formulated with MCT oil for enhanced absorption. While the body is capable of synthesizing CoQ10, ubiquinol is the more bioavailable form which may be a better option for some – particularly for those in at-risk populations. Foods rich in CoQ10 include fish and meats, and oils from soybean, sesame, and rapeseed (canola) and may provide additional benefit above and beyond supplementation.

This article is for the purpose of providing information only. It is not intended as the practice of medicine or the provision of medical services. This site does not provide medical advice; the content provided is not meant to be a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult your provider or other healthcare professional with any question regarding any medical or mental health condition.

Schmelzer C, Kubo H, Mori M, Sawashita J, Kitano M, Hosoe K, Boomgaarden I, Döring F, Higuchi K. Supplementation with the reduced form of Coenzyme Q10 decelerates phenotypic characteristics of senescence and induces a peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-alpha gene expression signature in SAMP1 mice.Mol Nutr Food Res. 2010 Jun;54(6):805-15.
Fischer A, Schmelzer C, Rimbach G, Niklowitz P, Menke T, Döring F. Association between genetic variants in the Coenzyme Q10 metabolism and Coenzyme Q10 status in humans. BMC Res Notes. 2011 Jul 21;4:245.
Ross D, Kepa JK, Winski SL, Beall HD, Anwar A, Siegel D. NAD(P)H:quinone oxidoreductase 1 (NQO1): chemoprotection, bioactivation, gene regulation and genetic polymorphisms. Chem Biol Interact. 2000 Dec 1;129(1-2):77-97.
Takahashi T, Okuno M, Okamoto T, Kishi T. NADPH-dependent coenzyme Q reductase is the main enzyme responsible for the reduction of non-mitochondrial CoQ in cells. Biofactors.2008;32(1-4):59-70
Wada H, Goto H, Hagiwara S, Yamamoto Y. Redox status of coenzyme Q10 is associated with chronological age. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2007 Jul;55(7):1141-2.

Expert Advice | Dosages and detoxification

Welcome to Expert Advice a weekly series that features professional replies to your questions on natural health and wellness, and living a healthy life.

Our in-house team of naturopathic doctors, homeopaths, nutritionists and other licensed health care practitioners help you to make better informed decisions regarding your health, natural health supplements, natural medicine and meeting your wellness goals.

CanPrev Premium Natural Health Products works in partnership with natural health practitioners to bring you accurate and up-to-date information on all of your health questions.

Healthy Hormones for fibroids and ovarian cysts

Q. I just found out I have fibroids and an ovarian cyst. I bought the Healthy Hormones caps and want to ask if I should double or triple up on them for a few months?

A. Healthy Hormones™ is an all natural formula designed to promote healthy estrogen detoxification and relief of PMS. Because it is a potent dose already at two capsules per day, I would not recommend increasing it. A naturopathic doctor could possibly prescribe more than the two capsules per day, and we do recommend our customers and patients have a naturopathic doctor.

We have testimonials of fibroids and cysts shrinking or disappearing after one to three months on the Healthy Hormones, so I hope it will help in your situation. You may want to consider being on a low to full dose of Healthy Hormones long-term, but take a two-week break every three months or so.

Disclaimer: The experts’ responses are for general information purposes only and is not intended to be medical advice. If you have any specific questions about any medical matter, you should always consult your naturopathic doctor or other health care practitioner. Don’t delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice or discontinue medical treatment because of the information presented here.

You can start living a healthier life today. Click here to submit your question in confidence.

What’s your tongue telling you?
Anatomy of a tongue diagnosis in TCM

Rife with ridges and bumps, veins and papillae, the human tongue resembles some alien landscape. But a careful physical examination can tell a naturopathic doctor a lot about your overall health.

The tongue tells all

According to Dr. Cecilia Ho, a Toronto-based Naturopath and TCM practitioner, Tongue and Pulse diagnosis are two important and reliable diagnostic tools in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).

“TCM is part of the ND scope of practice; it’s just one of many of the tools we use to confirm a diagnosis,” explains Dr. Ho. “Through our training we do get 4 years of TCM, but as Naturopathic doctors, we use other diagnostic tools such as blood work, saliva hormone testing, hair and mineral analysis – and some of use may have extra experience in things like iridology.

“TCM theorizes that the tongue has connection to the different organs and meridians in the body,” she explains, “and inspecting the tongue is one of the easiest, non-invasive ways to identify potential root causes of a patient’s health complaint.”

The picture of health?

During an examination, your practitioner looks for a number of visual cues which range from colour (indicates the state of overall health) and coating (which points toward digestive health) to the shape and/or size (implies a possible deficiency state or excess).

A healthy tongue should be a pale pink colour, with a light white coating, and neither too dry or overly moist.

Colour changes or unevenness in its texture or appearance may uncover allergies, deficiencies and circulation or digestive issues.

Colour coded

The tongue displays a few key colours that indicate to a Naturopath and TCM doctor that something’s amiss:

According to TCM, “a red tongue could indicate an excess of heat in the body. Heat from the Western medicine perspective could also indicate an inflammatory state,” Dr. Ho advises.

A red tongue could also be caused by a deficiency in folic acidiron or B12.


“A pale tongue could indicate a blood deficiency or wind cold invasion,” says Dr. Ho.

A thick white coating on the tongue could be Candida (also known as yeast or thrush), which often occurs after a course of antibiotics or chemotherapy, if you have diabetes or have a compromised immune system.


While alarming, a black, hairy tongue is often harmless; it’s an overgrowth of the papillae (small bumps) on the tongue, which then trap bacteria and other debris.

It’s generally caused by poor oral hygiene, heavy tobacco use, or a course of antibiotics.


A yellowing of the tongue can be the early sign of black hairy tongue. In TCM it may indicate “impaired function in the intestines, bladder or uterus. “

In Western medicine, it may be a sign of jaundice, accompanied by yellowed eyes and skin.

A feel for things

The texture and coating of the tongue can also play a role in a diagnosis, reveals Dr. Ho. “For example, a greasy coating on the tongue could indicate there is dampness or heat in the body.”

Caused by an over-consumption of greasy/fatty foods and sugar, a patient might demonstrate irritability, rashes or acne, sweating or excessive thirst.

Other texture considerations include:

Cracks or fissures

Cracks are another possible indicator of yeast, as well as a biotin (B7) deficiency.

Scalloped edges

A pale, scalloped tongue indicates dampness within the body – which, in TCM, is “considered to be the cause of many illnesses such as high cholesterol, cancer, metabolic disorders, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, allergies and environmental illness.” Other accompanying complaints include loose stools, bloating, fatigue and pervasive cold.

TCM recommends treating symptoms with “warming” foods like soup, ginger and cinnamon.

– – –

Although the tongue is a reliable source of potential illness, Dr. Ho advises that not all irregularities are indication of diseases; certain medications and food may change the coating and colour of the tongue (e.g., certain antibiotics can create a black coating on the tongue, while coffee and certain foods or candies can stain.)

It’s also important to note that tongue analysis is but one part of the Naturopathic Doctor’s scope; it takes years of education and schooling before they are able to make a “quick” diagnosis. While self-evaluation can be a helpful prompt in knowing when to seek medical help, final health pronouncements are best left to the experts.

Additional or accompanying symptoms like burning/stabbing pain of the tongue, stiffness or swelling that interferes with swallowing or breathing should be attended to by your family doctor or GP.

This article is for the purpose of providing information only. It is not intended as the practice of medicine or the provision of medical services. This site does not provide medical advice; the content provided is not meant to be a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult your provider or other healthcare professional with any question regarding any medical or mental health condition.