Coenzyme Q10, or CoQ10 as it is often called, is a vitamin-like substance that has been used to enhance fertility – both male and female – for several years. Originally known for its benefits to cardiac and neurological health, CoQ10 has been the subject of considerable research into its effects on overall sperm health and egg quality.
We ingest CoQ10 naturally in our diet through the consumption of meat, fish, and certain vegetables and fruit. Present in each cell of your body, CoQ10 plays a key role in energy production. Particularly prevalent in mitochondria, the powerhouse of the cell, CoQ10 is a component of the electron transport chain responsible for generating energy in the cells. Levels of CoQ10 tend to diminish as you age, resulting in reduced cellular energy capacity, which has obvious fertility implications. Particularly relevant for use in enhancing fertility, CoQ10 also functions as an antioxidant, decreasing the damaging effects of free radicals on the reproductive system.
CoQ10 & Male Fertility
A number of studies have examined the role of CoQ10 in relation to male fertility and have found it to play a key role. One study published in Fertility & Sterility revealed that men with lower-than-normal levels of CoQ10 in their seminal fluid tend to have sperm with low motility. Fortunately, the study also found that by supplementing with CoQ10 (200 mg/day), subjects experienced a significant increase in sperm motility. Another study published in the Journal of Andrology examined the results on sperm health on men supplementing with 300 mg of CoQ10 daily. In addition to a significant increase in sperm motility, this study also indicated a benefit to both sperm count and morphology.
CoQ10 & Female Fertility
Experts theorize that the powerful energy producing activity of CoQ10 is the mechanism by which this ingredient benefits female fertility. As we age and our naturally occurring levels of CoQ10 diminish, the high energy consuming processes associated with fertilization and embryo development become less efficient. A study published in the Journal of Fertility and Sterility found that older women taking up to 600 mg of CoQ10 daily experienced an improvement in both egg quality and subsequent fertilization rates.