Antioxidant breakthrough: How Ubiquinol supports preconception health

Preconception | May 31, 2024

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A wife and husband research Ubiquinol for Preconception

Antioxidant breakthrough: How Ubiquinol supports preconception health

When it comes to preconception care, Ubiquinol provides antioxidant protection, supports reproductive health, and prepares cells for conception.

For individuals trying to conceive, the health of the sperm and ova is the heart of the reproductive process, providing the foundation of successful conception and a healthy pregnancy. Ubiquinol, an antioxidant found naturally throughout our bodies, supports reproductive processes and protects reproductive cells from oxidative stress. However, our natural ubiquinol levels and antioxidant mechanisms decline with age, modern lifestyles, and environmental influences. The cumulative effects of aging, dietary habits, exposures to pollutants, and stress increase oxidative stress levels, impacting the health and quality of reproductive cells.

Let’s explore the science of preconception health, the impact of oxidative stress, and ubiquinol’s protective antioxidant role in the conception journey.

The impact of oxidative stress on mitochondria

Oxidative stress is a physiological process that occurs when there’s an imbalance in the body between the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and the body’s antioxidant defenses. ROS are chemically reactive molecules produced naturally in the mitochondria that can damage cell structures and cause mitochondrial dysfunction.

Here’s how that occurs.

Think of the mitochondria as the cell’s powerhouse, producing energy through the mitochondrial electron transport chain (ETC). As electrons, derived from nutrients, are moved through the ETC, they generate adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is the cell’s primary energy molecule. Ubiquinol plays a vital role here, supporting the transfer of electrons and the production of ATP.1

But the transfer of electrons through the ETC isn’t 100% efficient. A fraction of these electrons leak from the chain and react with oxygen, creating an unstable and reactive free radical, a form of ROS that produces other forms of ROS. Free radicals lack electrons and aggressively take them from nearby molecules, causing what is known as free radical damage. ROS has the potential to damage the cell structure, which can negatively impact the ETC, mitochondria, and DNA. This can cause increasing levels of ROS, further affecting the health of the mitochondria, the cell, and the body’s capacity for cellular energy production.2,3

Couple sitting on the couch looking at Ubiquinol for Preconception on a phone

The importance of mitochondrial health in reproduction

Mitochondria are unique within the body as they have their own DNA, known as mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), which is exclusively inherited from the mother. This DNA plays a role in energy production and the regulation and execution of cellular functions, including the entry and metabolism of nutrients within the mitochondria, as well as anti-inflammatory and pro-inflammatory responses. Additionally, mtDNA responds to cellular damage by initiating cellular repair, helping maintain the health of mitochondria and eliminate those beyond repair. For reproductive cells, prompt repair of any damage is essential to ensure successful conception.

As the body’s antioxidative defenses weaken, oxidative stress can increase, leading to mitochondrial dysfunction, mutations in the mitochondrial DNA, and failures in energy production and cell repair that negatively affect reproductive cells.

In men, this impacts sperm health in terms of quantity, structure, motility, and DNA integrity.4 Because the primary function of the sperm is to transport the man’s DNA to the egg, it’s vital that sperm are healthy and DNA is undamaged to ensure the development of a healthy embryo.

Oxidative stress also impairs reproductive health in women. Oocytes––the immature form of egg cells––are particularly vulnerable because they have more mitochondria than any other cell due to their high energy needs for development. Women are born with a finite number of oocytes, and as they become damaged, they are not replaced. Oxidative stress and aging lead to lower quality and fewer oocytes, especially after age 35. Oxidative stress can also damage other critical reproductive tissues, like follicles, which are essential for protecting and maturing oocytes.5-7

The role of antioxidants in reproductive health

Antioxidants prevent free radical damage by donating their extra electron to free radicals, stabilizing them and preventing further damage. How well antioxidants protect reproductive cells from oxidative stress depends on their solubility and ability to reach the site where ROS is generated. Sperm and ova membranes, along with their mitochondria, contain a high content of lipids, or fats. Moreover, the mitochondria have two lipid membranes. Because they are also the key sites for ROS damage, protecting against oxidative stress in these environments requires lipid-soluble antioxidants that can penetrate and act in the lipid-rich cell membrane and mitochondrial barriers. This is where ubiquinol comes into play.

Understanding Ubiquinol and CoQ10

CoQ10, or ubiquinone, is produced by the body and found in small amounts in foods. It is converted in the body to ubiquinol, which is the reduced, activated antioxidant form of COQ10. As the body ages, its ability to convert ubiquinone into ubiquinol naturally diminishes and leads to a reduction in ubiquinol levels and an imbalance in ubiquinol/ubiquinone levels.

Ubiquinol is the only lipid-soluble antioxidant created in the body.8 Because it can penetrate both the cell and mitochondrial membranes, ubiquinol provides targeted defense against oxidative damage, helping to safeguard reproductive cells. As the primary sites of ROS generation and energy production within cells, mitochondria benefit significantly from ubiquinol’s ability to neutralize free radicals directly at the source, supporting mitochondrial health and function.3 In addition to its antioxidant protection, ubiquinol’s contribution to energy production is vital for reproductive cells, which have high energy demands for processes like sperm motility and oocyte maturation.

Kaneka Ubiquinol for preconception health

When it’s taken as a supplement, Kaneka Ubiquinol® is 2-4x better absorbed than conventional COQ10.9-11 It requires no conversion in the body and provides strong antioxidant protection at the cellular levels. Its bioavailability and absorbability become increasingly significant for reproductive health with aging and in the presence of oxidative stress.

Ubiquinol enhances female preconception health by supporting:

  • Mitigation of ROS, protecting reproductive cells from oxidative stress
  • Mitochondrial function essential for egg health
  • Mitochondrial synthesis of energy vital for oocyte health
  • Cellular energy requirements for healthy egg and embryo function

Scientific evidence reveals that Kaneka Ubiquinol® neutralizes damage caused by oxidative stress. Two open-label studies have shown improvements in sperm motility by up to 26% and an increase in sperm count by up to 53%.12,13 Research also reveals improvements in sperm morphology by up to 24%.12

Start your journey with Kaneka Ubiquinol®

Ready to enhance your health offerings? A partnership with Kanaka Nutrients provides unmatched excellence for healthcare practitioners and supplement manufacturers. Plus, Kaneka Ubiquinol® adds the scientific advantage needed for superior preconception care. Get in touch to start your journey with us today.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.


  1. Becker WM, Deamer DW. Energy from Chemical Bonds: The aerobic mode. The World of the Cell. The Benjamin Cummings Publishing Company; 1991:275-313.
  2. Pham-Huy LA, He H, Pham-Huy C. Free radicals, antioxidants in disease and health. Int J Biomed Sci. 2008 Jun;4(2):89-96.
  3. Bratic A, Larsson NG. The role of mitochondria in aging. J Clin Invest. 2013 Mar;123(3):951-7.
  4. Agarwal A, Parekh N, Pannel Selvam MK, et al. Male Oxidative Stress Infertility (MOSI): Proposed terminology and clinical practice guidelines for management of idiopathic male infertility. World J Mens Health. 2019 Sep;37(3):296-312.
  5. Bentov Y, Casper RF. The aging oocyte––can mitochondrial function be improved? Fertil Steril. 2013 Jan;99(1):18-22.
  6. Zhu Z, Xu W, Liu L. Ovarian aging: mechanisms and intervention strategies. Med Review (2021). 2022 Nov;2(6):590–610.
  7. Agarwal A, Aponte-Mellado A, Premkumar BJ, et al. The effects of oxidative stress on female reproduction: a review. Reprod Biol Endocrinol. 2012 Jun 29;10:49.
  8. Ernster L, Forsmark-Andrée P. Ubiquinol: an endogenous antioxidant in aerobic organisms. Clin Investig. 1993;71(8 Suppl):S60-5.
  9. Hosoe K, Kitano M, Kishida H, et al. Study on safety and bioavailability of ubiquinol (Kaneka QH) after single and 4-week multiple oral administration to healthy volunteers. Regul Toxicol Pharmacol. 2007;47(1):19-28.
  10. Langsjoen PH, Langsjoen AM. Comparison study of plasma coenzyme Q10 levels in healthy subjects supplemented with ubiquinol versus ubiquinone. Clin Pharmacol Drug Dev. 2014 Jan;3(1):13-7.
  11. Schmelzer C, Niklowitz P, Okun JG, et al. Ubiquinol-induced gene expression signatures are translated into altered parameters of erythropoiesis and reduced low density lipoprotein cholesterol levels in humans. IUBMB Life. 2011 Jan;63(1):42-8.
  12. Cakiroglu B, Eyyupoglu SE, Gozukucuk R, Uyanik BS. Ubiquinol effect on sperm parameters in subfertile men who have astheno-teratozoospermia with normal sperm concentration. Nephro Urol Mon. 2014;6(3):e16870.
  13. Thakur AS, Litarru GP, Funahashi, I, et al. Effect of Ubiquinol therapy on sperm parameters and serum testosterone levels in Oligoasthenozoospermic infertile men. J Clin Diagn Res. 2015;9(9):BC01-BC03.

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