Coenzyme 10 (CoQ10) is an essential part of women's fertility and overall health. Read on to learn the top CoQ10 benefits for women.
By OBGYN and fertility expert Dr. Kenosha Gleaton
Data is still emerging on all the benefits of Coenzyme 10 (CoQ10) supplementation, but so far the results are promising. Research shows that CoQ10’s essential role in cell growth and maintenance provides a host of benefits including protection against oxidative stress, supporting metabolism, heart health, fertility, and more.
The downlow on CoQ10
CoQ10 or Coenzyme Q10, is a nutrient that is found in almost every cell in the body, and provides antioxidant effects. Cells use CoQ10 for energy production, which is necessary for all cellular function. CoQ10 is recommended for treating many conditions including infertility and can even be helpful for things like migraine and heart health.
CoQ10 tends to decline as we age, which is why it’s often recommended for those experiencing various diseases of aging or individuals trying to conceive later in life.
Benefits of CoQ10
Protects cells from free radical damage
Almost every cell in the body contains CoQ10. As an antioxidant, CoQ10 helps the body fight off unstable molecules that damage other molecules in the cell, known as free radicals. When there are too many free radicals in the body and not enough antioxidants, it can result in damage to parts of the body including eggs and sperm. Supplementing with CoQ10 is a way of helping your body build up antioxidants in order to protect your body from free radical damage, to keep cells growing and changing the way they’re meant to.
Not only does CoQ10 help support the cellular membrane and protect against free radicals, but it has an important role in cell metabolism as well. CoQ10 helps break down cholesterol, sulfide, amino acids, and more. These are all important compounds that are essential for normal bodily functions, and if lacking proper metabolic function, may result in harmful or even fatal health problems.
Research shows CoQ10 has been helpful for various heart conditions such as congestive heart failure, cardiac disease, and post surgical complications. Specifically, long term use of CoQ10 in patients with chronic heart failure resulted in improved symptoms and reduced cardiovascular events. Prior supplementation also resulted in a decreased need for medications following heart surgery and decreased the risk of developing a post-surgical irregular heart beat. Recent research suggests that coenzyme Q10 may also be beneficial for patients taking cholesterol lowering drugs to fight off the risk of muscle aches and pains.
Blood sugar regulation
CoQ10 has also shown positive effects for diabetic patients, increasing insulin synthesis and secretion and improving overall glycemic control. Others with metabolic disorders can also benefit from supplementation. A 2015 study concluded that daily intake of CoQ10 resulted in improved serum insulin levels and plasma total antioxidant capacity concentrations.
Those living with diabetes are at a higher risk of developing other health conditions. While only animal studies have been done thus far, research does show that CoQ10 supplementation has been associated with a reduction of many related health conditions, including diabetic kidney disease, blood vessel damage, and peripheral nerve damage.
Oxidative stress reduction
Oxidative stress has an impact on our cells, damaging cellular processes and potentially resulting in chronic diseases such as obesity, cancer, Alzheimer's disease, and more. There are many theories that this stress can also lead to signs of aging, including a reduction in skin elasticity. Research shows that CoQ10 supplementation may help with aging and damaged skin through improving sun damaged skin and other anti-aging effects. The study was focused on topical CoQ10; however, effects are still promising for increasing levels of ubiquinone (a bioavailable, lipid soluble form of CoQ10) in the skin, potentially benefiting or decreasing the risk of other oxidative stress effects.
Both female and male fertility can benefit from CoQ10 supplementation. For those who may have low egg quality or diminished ovarian reserve, or for those struggling with male factor infertility (about 30-40% of infertile couples) and diminished sperm quality, CoQ10 can help. It can also be beneficial for helping your cells grow and divide the way they need to when supporting a healthy pregnancy.
A closer look at the fertility benefits of CoQ10
Studies suggest that for women over 35, CoQ10 supplementation may lead to improved embryo quality and improved pregnancy outcomes for women undergoing IVF. Another 2017 study found that higher amounts of CoQ10 in follicular fluid (ovarian fluid) is associated with higher pregnancy rates.
If you’re trying to conceive, you should also be taking a prenatal vitamin. Shop Natalist high-quality prenatal vitamin daily packs.
Female fertility typically begins to diminish after the age of 35, mostly due to egg quality decreasing as we age. Due to this, some fertility doctors suggest that women over 35 supplement with CoQ10 to make up for the natural decline that may contribute to decreased egg quality. You may be wondering how much egg quality really matters, and the answer is a lot! Regardless of how many eggs you have, you will usually only ovulate one egg each month, and the chances of having a healthy pregnancy depend on the quality of that egg. Studies have shown that for women over 35, supplementing with CoQ10 may show improved egg quality outcomes, meaning a better chance of conceiving and maintaining a viable pregnancy.
CoQ10 can also be effective for increasing male fertility. A recent meta-analysis concluded that CoQ10 supplementation had a positive effect on sperm motility, sperm concentrations, and sperm count. In simpler terms, sperm movement increased as well as the total amount of sperm, which gives you a better chance of conceiving. If you’re interested in supporting male fertility, consider a prenatal vitamin for men, which contains 200 mg of CoQ10 per serving.
Ubiquinol v ubiquinone
When shopping for CoQ10, you might notice there are two common forms available, ubiquinol and ubiquinone. The bottom line is that your body will naturally convert CoQ10 into whatever form is needed, as the body already shifts between ubiquinone and ubiquinol fairly consistently.
Ubiquinone is fat-soluble while ubiquinol is water-soluble, and ubiquinone has been on the market longer and is typically the form of CoQ10 used for clinical studies. Research has not found any compelling evidence that one form is better than the other, and both are considered safe.
CoQ10 supplement dosages range from 30 to 600 mg, and there is no standard established effective dose. We do know that up to 1,200 mg per day is said to be safe for most ages, although it’s recommended that a high dose is split up throughout the day to maximize absorption.
CoQ10 supplementation has been researched for years and is thought to be very safe, with minimal side effects. Mild side effects may include insomnia or an upset stomach. CoQ10 may interact with medications such as blood thinners, insulin, and some cancer treatments. You should consult your doctor before adding any new supplements to your current routine.
CoQ10 works as an antioxidant and helps with energy production.
COQ10 is found in almost every cell in the body and levels decrease as we age.
CoQ10 may help improve fertility for women by preventing a decrease in egg quality with age, and may support a healthy pregnancy.
Sperm health has also shown improvements following CoQ10 supplementation.
CoQ10 may improve heart health, provide anti-aging properties, and more.
As of now, there are no established dosage or age recommendations for CoQ10 supplementation.
CoQ10 may interact with other medications, so you should consult your doctor before adding it to your regimen.