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Question:
Can CoQ10 or ubiquinol be ruined by heat? I recently purchased several bottles of Qunol Plus from Costco.com and they arrived hot. The soft gels are not melted, but I am concerned.

Answer:
We generally advise against purchasing supplements by mail during very hot weather, as high temperatures can damage probiotics, vitamins, and phytochemicals found in herbs.

Ubiquinol is naturally produced in the body, so it can certainly withstand temperatures in the high 90s Fahrenheit. Exposure to higher temperatures will hasten degradation, but the process takes time. For example, an experiment with CoQ10 (a compound similar to ubiquinol) found a loss of only 15% after two months of being exposed to a temperature of 131 Fahrenheit. However, the addition of antioxidants, such as ascorbic acid (vitamin C), could minimize the loss to less than 5% (Kommuru, Chem Pharm Bull, 1999). Ubiquinol and CoQ10 products generally include antioxidant ingredients.

At a temperature of over 140 degrees, the gelatin in softgels can melt and this heat can also damage ubiquinol and CoQ10. If a break occurred in the softgel shell, exposure to air would speed degradation of the ingredient due to oxidation.

Since your softgels didn't melt and it is likely that the product may only have been exposed to high heat for a period of hours or days during transport, there was probably little degradation of the ubiquinol and it should be potent. To extend its shelf-life, store it at room temperature and away from light if it is in a clear bottle. 

For more information, including ConsumerLab.com's tests and comparisons of products, see the CoQ10 and Ubiquinol Supplements Review.

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Comments
Add Comment

Don15358   August 2, 2017
No one knows this better than the big vitamin e-tailers. Ever notice how their best discount offers always arrive during the hot months? There's a reason!
The interior of a UPS/FedEx/USPS truck exposed to a few hours of summer sun can go way over 100 degrees F. Will never forget one clear summer day opening a midday UPS delivery and how HOT the bottles were. "This can't be good," I thought.
Since then we buy a year's worth of everything during the winter months and store it ourselves.

Alice16760   April 25, 2018
Thanks for your post.

Alan15353   August 2, 2017
You mentioned the effect of heat on CoQ10. I'd be interested in a list of other supplements that are vulnerable to heat exposure. Thanks, and keep up the great work, CL.

ConsumerLab.com   August 2, 2017
Thank you Alan! Please see this CL Answer about the effects of heat on other types of supplements: https://www.consumerlab.com/answers/_/vitamin_temperature/

Ken 15344   August 2, 2017
Thank you for this information and, generally, for this sort of information. I've come to lean on you folks for the best available knowledge on matters regarding foods and supplements.

ConsumerLab.com   August 2, 2017
Thank you for your kind words, Ken!

This CL Answer initially posted on 8/2/2017.

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