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A recent article in The New Zealand Medical Journal (October 8, 2004 Vol 117 No 1203) was entitled “The bioavailability of coenzyme Q10 supplements available in New Zealand differs markedly”. This study compared the bioavailability of seven different Coenzyme Q10 brands to provide a basis for selecting a brand or brands for clinical use.

The study was approved by the Canterbury Ethics Committee, (per The Ministry of Health of New Zealand, the role of the ethics committees is to provide independent ethical review of health research), and was completed November 2003 thru January 2004.

The seven brands investigated were selected because of their popularity in New Zealand and the fact that they contain differing excipients. The seven brands in this study were: Q-Gel, Radiance, Blackmores, Solgar, Kordel’s, Thompson’s and Good Health.

There were significant differences in bioavailability between the seven brands with Q-Gel being significantly better than any other supplement. The high bioavailability of Q-Gel compared to other coenzyme Q10 supplement brands supports the findings of previous studies including a study from 1998 which found the absorption of Q-Gel to be 319% better than that from a standard softgel capsule containing CoQ10 in oil, after 3 weeks of a daily 120mg dose.

The New Zealand study went on to say, “The high bioavailability of Q-Gel may be due to the presence of both non-ionic surfactants and the natural surfactant lecithin. The Radiance and Blackmore brands showed the next highest bioavailability, and these brands also contain lecithin.” Note: Q-Gel® is formulated via the patented Bio-Solv® process which reduces the Coenzyme Q10 particles to the nano range and renders them hydrosoluble as well as liposoluble (Duosoluble).

The authors in the Canterbury Health Laboratories, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand concluded by saying that differences in bioavailability should be considered when selecting a supplement and that the Q-Gel brand showed significantly better bioavailability than the six other CoQ10 supplements tested.