What Age Should You Start Taking Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)?
Originally published 05/06/2022. Updated for accuracy and relevancy on 09/22/2023.
By OBGYN and fertility expert Dr. Kenosha Gleaton
There are so many supplements and vitamins on the market, it can be a little overwhelming trying to figure out what you should be taking to support your health, and at what age you need to be adding new supplements into your routine. CoQ10 is an antioxidant responsible for energy production that provides many benefits such as improved fertility and heart health, and if you want the short answer: you should start taking it now.
What Is CoQ10?
Coenzyme Q10, known as CoQ10 or ubiquinol, is a naturally occurring antioxidant found in every cell within the human body. Our cells use CoQ10 to produce energy, which is necessary for all cellular function. Some parts of our body require more CoQ10 than others, such as the ovaries, eggs, and testes. [1-2] As a result, eggs need a lot of energy during egg maturation, fertilization, and development of an embryo. 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
From female fertility to heart health, let's talk about some of the benefits of coenzyme q10.
Female fertility typically declines after the age of 35, due to a decrease in egg quality as we age.  Therefore it’s recommended by some fertility doctors that women over 35 supplement with CoQ10 to make up for the natural decline that may contribute to decreased egg quality. Studies suggest that in women over 35, supplementing with CoQ10 may lead to improved egg quality, improved embryo quality, and improved pregnancy outcomes.  Another 2017 study found that a high level of CoQ10 in follicular fluid (the fluid in the ovary) is associated with higher pregnancy rates.  If you’re trying to conceive, you should also be taking a prenatal vitamin. Shop Natalist vegan, gluten-free, high quality prenatal vitamin daily packs.
CoQ10 can also be effective for increasing male fertility. A 2018 meta-analysis found that taking CoQ10 increased sperm motility, sperm concentrations, and sperm count.  This means that sperm movement increased as well as the amount of sperm, which gives you a better chance of conceiving. If you’re interested in other ways of supporting male fertility, consider a prenatal vitamin for men to give the little guys their best shot. Learn more about CoQ10 for male fertility
Your cardiovascular health can also benefit from a CoQ10 supplement. One study found that CoQ10 supplementation led to improved blood pressure, higher HDL (the good cholesterol), and lower LDL (the bad cholesterol), in a group of people with poor heart health.  Other data also found that taking CoQ10 prior to heart surgery was able to strengthen the heart and decrease the risk of post-surgery complications. 
We know that CoQ10 tends to decrease with age, so what happens when you supplement with it to combat the effects of aging? Research shows that it may help with aging and damaged skin.  Topical CoQ10 was able to improve sun damaged skin and provide anti-aging effects.
There are more studied potential benefits of CoQ10 including predicting dementia, enhancing immune function, reducing inflammation-related migraines, and more. [11-13]
What Age Should You Start Taking a CoQ10 Supplement?
CoQ10 is safe for most people after the age of 18 and is encouraged for anyone with mitochondrial dysfunction, over the age of 35, or anyone trying or planning to conceive. [3,5] There are no established age or dosage recommendations for CoQ10, but as long as you are older than 18 and aren’t taking any chemotherapy medications, blood thinners, blood pressure medications, or beta blockers, CoQ10 should be safe for you—but as with any supplement routine, we recommend checking with your healthcare provider on what makes most sense for your needs. Some other medications may have interactions with CoQ10, so be sure to talk to your doctor before adding a new supplement to your routine.
Who Shouldn’t Take CoQ10?
CoQ10 might not be for everybody. Before you decide whether or not you want to add it to your daily routine, let’s take a look at who CoQ10 is good for [3,5,14]:
- Those at a high risk for preeclampsia: This includes those that were previously diagnosed with preeclampsia, a multiple pregnancy, those with high blood pressure, kidney disease, and more.
- Those having a difficult time getting or staying pregnant: Research suggests higher CoQ10 levels are associated with higher quality embryos and higher pregnancy rates.
- Women TTC later in life: Female fertility tends to decline after 35. Egg quality begins to decrease while we age, leading to a more difficult time getting pregnant or having a healthy pregnancy. CoQ10 is highly recommended for women over 35 that are TTC.
- Those undergoing fertility treatments: Research shows that supplementing with CoQ10 before and during fertility treatments may increase follicle count, ovulation, and pregnancy rates.  Read more on CoQ10 for fertility treatments.
There are also some demographics that might not necessarily benefit from a CoQ10 supplement, such as:
- Pregnant women: While CoQ10 is helpful for many, there is a (weak) association between low CoQ10 levels and miscarriage.  While there are no claims that it can cause pregnancy loss, it’s important you discuss with your doctor before starting any new supplements or medications while you’re pregnant.
- Most people under the age of 18: It’s not recommended that anyone under the age of 18 supplements with CoQ10 unless directed by a health professional.
The bottom-line—CoQ10 is an antioxidant with many benefits, so it’s definitely worth discussing with your provider and potentially adding it to your routine.
CoQ10 Food Sources and Dosage Recommendations
Dosage ranges from 30 to 600 mg, and there is no established minimum or maximum effective dose.  We do know that up to 1,200 mg per day is thought to be safe, although it’s not recommended that this high of a dose is taken at once in order to maximize absorption.  Our evidence-backed CoQ10 gummies offer 200 mg per serving for daily use.
CoQ10 is fat-soluble, so it’s better absorbed by the body if taken with a meal that contains fats.
If you’re wanting to prevent deficiency by adding more CoQ10 to your diet, there are a few food sources to add to your grocery list, including:
- Oily fish (such as salmon and tuna)
- Organ meats
- Whole grains
- Soybean, corn, olive, and canola oils
- Nuts and seeds
- CoQ10 is an antioxidant that is naturally occurring and helps with energy production.
- CoQ10 is found in different forms, but ubiquinol is the most bioavailable form.
- As we age, CoQ10 levels decrease.
- CoQ10 has many benefits including improved fertility for women and men, improved heart health, anti-aging properties, and more.
- There are no established dosage or age recommendations, however, you should always check with a provider before taking any new supplements.
- CoQ10 can be found in oily fish, organ meats, nuts and seeds, and oils.
Support Your Goals With Natalist
CoQ10 is one of many important nutrients that can support you on your path to parenthood. Whether you’re actively trying to get pregnant or just planning on growing your family in the future, there are many benefits to taking antioxidants and supporting a healthy diet with prenatal vitamins. Natalist has got you covered with products that are evidence-backed, high-quality, and sustainable.
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- Tsao CW, Hsu YJ, Tseng XT, Chang TC, Tsao CH, Liu CY. Does Coenzyme Q10 Supplementation Improve Testicular Function and Spermatogenesis in Male Mice with Chronic Kidney Disease?. Biology (Basel). 2021;10(8):786. Published 2021 Aug 17. doi:10.3390/biology10080786
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