The efficiency of coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) supplements is closely associated with its content and stability in finished products. This study aimed to provide evidence-based information on the quality and stability of CoQ10 in dietary supplements and medicines. Therefore, ubiquinol, ubiquinone, and total CoQ10 contents were determined by a validated HPLC-UV method in 11 commercial products with defined or undefined CoQ10 form. Both forms were detected in almost all tested products, resulting in a total of CoQ10 content between 82% and 166% of the declared. Ubiquinol, ubiquinone, and total CoQ10 stability in these products were evaluated within three months of accelerated stability testing. Ubiquinol, which is recognized as the less stable form, was properly stabilized. Contrarily, ubiquinone degradation and/or reduction were observed during storage in almost all tested products. These reactions were also detected at ambient temperature within the products' shelf-lives and confirmed in ubiquinone standard solutions. Ubiquinol, generated by ubiquinone reduction with vitamin C during soft-shell capsules' storage, may lead to higher bioavailability and health outcomes. However, such conversion and inappropriate content in products, which specify ubiquinone, are unacceptable in terms of regulation. Therefore, proper CoQ10 stabilization through final formulations regardless of the used CoQ10 form is needed.
Keywords: HPLC-UV; assay; coenzyme Q10 content; commercial products; dietary supplements; medicines; reducing agent; stability; ubiquinol; ubiquinone.