CoQ10 is not sold in the U.S. as a prescription drug, so no CoQ10 can technically be “pharmaceutical grade.” There is no reason to pay more if you see this meaningless term. However, a manufacturer is allowed to claim that its CoQ10 meets the standard set by U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention (USP), which is the same standard ConsumerLab.com applies in its testing of CoQ10 supplements for Approval (See CoQ10 Supplements Review for approval status by product).
Terms like “natural” or “live source” on a CoQ10 supplement label simply mean that it contains the natural form of CoQ10, as opposed to the synthetic form. You may also see the term “yeast fermentation” or “natural fermentation” on the label of supplements that contain the natural form. However, nearly all CoQ10 supplements contain the natural form because the fermentation process is actually much less expensive than the process used to create synthetic CoQ10. In fact, many products using the natural form don’t even list the form. Again, you don’t need to pay more if you see “natural” or “live source.”
And don’t forget about natural sources of CoQ10 found in organ meats – heart, liver and kidney!