Ubiquinone is a lipid antioxidant, and a novel liquid ubiquinol (a hydro-soluble, reduced form of coenzyme Q10) supplement was recently developed. The purpose of this study was to examine the levels of glucose, lipids and antioxidant capacity of type 2 diabetes patients after liquid ubiquinol supplementation. This study was designed as a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. In all, fifty participants were randomly assigned to a placebo (n 25) or liquid ubiquinol (100 mg/d, n 25) group, and the intervention lasted for 12 weeks. Plasma coenzyme Q10, glucose homoeostasis parameters, lipid profiles, oxidative stress and antioxidative enzyme activities were measured during the study. After 12 weeks of supplementation, glyco Hb (HbA1c) value was significantly decreased in the liquid ubiquinol group (P=0·03), and subjects in the liquid ubiquinol group had significantly lower anti-glycaemic medication effect scores (MES) compared with those in the placebo group (P=0·03). The catalase (P<0·01) and glutathione peroxidase (P=0·03) activities were increased significantly after supplementation. Plasma coenzyme Q10 was correlated with the insulin level (P=0·05), homoeostatic model assessment-insulin resistance (P=0·07), quantitative insulin sensitivity check index (P=0·03) and the anti-hyperglycaemic agents’ MES (P=0·03) after supplementation. Lipid profiles did not change after supplementation; however, the subjects in the placebo group had a significantly lower level of HDL-cholesterol after 12 weeks of intervention. In conclusion, oral intake of 100 mg/d liquid ubiquinol might benefit type 2 diabetes patients by increasing antioxidant enzyme activity levels, reducing HbA1c levels and maintaining HDL-cholesterol levels.