* How would you rate consumer awareness of the health benefits of CoQ10? Neil: There is actually a fair amount of consistently positive press on CoEnzyme Q10 (CoQ10), with a significant part of that because of this antioxidant nutrient’s role in cardiovascular and heart health. Many cardiologists recommend CoQ10 to their patients and popular books, such as by Dr. Sinatra, promote the healthful effects of CoQ10 to at-risk people. I would go so far as to suggest that CoQ10 has picked up some of the wide popularity as a heart nutrient that vitamin E had several years ago (but lost due to consumer confusion caused by unwarranted negative publicity). The fact that CoQ10 is so obviously safe, versatile, and useful has propelled it to a high place on the list of cardiovascular nutrients. * What is driving consumer interest in CoQ10 products? Neil: The multiple roles of CoQ10 in the human body make it uniquely useful in protecting cells and energizing essential processes such as heart action and immunity. Energy supports the constant pumping of the heart muscle, but also supports immune functions and antioxidant activity. Lack of energy is a common complaint heard by doctors, and active people need good sources of energy, so nutrients that promise to improve the energetics of the body are always in demand. In addition, new technologies to improve the historically poor absorption of CoQ10 have expanded the product category as prices have moderated, which is a perfect place for people selling CoQ10 to be in. Tell us more about CoQ10: Neil: Ubiquinol doubles as an antioxidant, and like other antioxidants the body can convert from one to the other and back again. Although Ubiquinol lacks much in the way of human clinical trials, supplemental Ubiquinone mostly converts to Ubiquinol during transport from the gut to the circulatory system. Ubiquinol is the primary form of the nutrient that circulates in the body. Ubiquinol converts to Ubiquinone to stimulate the production of cellular energy. CoQ10 is a fat-soluble nutrient and therefore should only be taken with meals containing significant amounts of fat. That has traditionally been the main limiting factor in absorption. Blending CoQ10 into an oily base to make softgel capsules is somewhat superior to dry capsules because a little oil is provided, but again there just isn’t enough oil in a capsule to make a big difference when the nutrient is not dissolved into the oil. When CoQ10 is completely dissolved into an oil, forming a crystal-free solution, it does make it several times more absorbable. But all oily solvents are not created equal! Some manufacturers use the synthetic chemical polysorbate 80 as the base and main ingredient in the softgel capsule, whereas others use only natural citrus or coconut oil fractions to do the same job because we prefer to have natural bases.