Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)
Definition - What does Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) mean?
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is a natural enzyme found in the body that is involved in many cellular processes including mitochondrial function. Mitochondria act as the energy stores of human cells. Egg cells and the early embryo depend solely on mitochondria to supply energy for growth. It has been proposed that CoQ10 supplementation in older women may aid in increasing fertility by improving egg quality and maturation. In addition, the antioxidant properties and role in mitochondria metabolism are said to improve male infertility in those with low sperm motility.
FertilitySmarts explains Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)
One study looked at the use of CoQ10 in women undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF) in women age 35-43 years old to see if it would reduce the risk of aneuploidy (abnormal number of chromosomes). The risk of aneuploidy increases with age and is a leading contributor to miscarriage and infertility. The study failed to reach its target number of participants, but it showed no difference between the two groups.
CoQ10 was also studied in a small group of men with reduced sperm motility. After supplementation for six months, the motility of sperm improved. Sperm concentration and size did not improve. Other studies have shown improvement in other sperm parameters including sperm concentration. However, the size of these trials is very small.
The level of evidence for CoQ10’s use in fertility is very limited despite potential improvement in outcomes. More studies are needed to promote its use in people trying to become pregnant.
CoQ10 is available as an oral daily supplement. It is also known as Ubiquinone. Side effects are very rare but may include skin rash or stomach upset.