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20May, 2024

Co-enzyme Q10 and Fertility

Approximately 9% of men experience infertility. Often, the main reason for this is not discovered, however, in some people, infertility is associated with mitochondrial disorders. Human’s need a cell compartment called mitochondria which converts the energy from our food to chemical energy which is needed for conducting cellular functions. Diseases involving mitochondria could manifest as impaired spermatogenesis and male infertility.

What is Co-enzyme Q10?

Co-enzyme Q (CoQ10) is a fat-soluble vitamin like crucial component present within cells of our bodies. CoQ10 can be produced endogenously by our body by a specialized pathway involving mitochondria. They are also present in our regular diet. It is a member of mitochondrial electron transport chain.

What is the function of CoQ10?

mitochondrial ros

CoQ10 efficiently transfers electrons within the mitochondria aiding in the production of ATP (adenosine triphosphate) which is the energy source for various other pathways within the cells. It is also useful in the antioxidants production, lipid metabolism and can also improve blood flow. CoQ10 may help prevent heart failure, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes.

How does CoQ10 deficiency causes infertility?

Mitochondrial defects can trigger a process called ferroptosis which leads to cell death. CoQ10 is one of the components which is required to prevent cell death by ferroptosis. Thus, shortage of CoQ10 in spermatocytes could cause their death leading to infertility. CoQ10 deficiency due to aging or mitochondrial disorders, could also lead to infertility through increased oxidative stress.

coq10 and female infertiltiy
coq10 and male infertiltiy

What are the food sources of CoQ10?

food sources of coq10

Meat contains the highest amount of CoQ10 in the food products, especially organ meet such as liver, heart, and kidney. Oily fish such as salmon and tuna are also one of the primary sources of CoQ10 following which nuts, legumes, and plant oils. Lower levels of CoQ10 are also seen in dairy products, vegetables, fruits, and cereals.

How do we take CoQ10 supplements?

CoQ10 oral supplements are available in both oxidized form which is ubiquinone and reduced form which is ubiquinol. There are various forms of oral CoQ10 available, such as tablets, capsules, soft gels, and liquid formulations, with doses ranging from 30-600mg/unit. Since it is a fat-soluble molecule, the absorption is improved in the presence of a fatty meals.

coq various forms of drugs

How does CoQ10 supplements help infertile couples?

Men: There are many studies which has shown that, daily supplementation of CoQ10 in men for over 20 weeks improve erectile dysfunction. There is also global improvement in sperm parameters such as sperm concentration and sperm motility. The antioxidant property of the CoQ10 helps in improving sperm parameters.

boost your fertility with coq10

Women: CoQ10 improves egg quality and ovarian reserve. There is limited data available which has shown that the addition of CoQ10 may have a beneficial effect on the ovarian response. In the current network meta-analysis, CoQ10 treatment had the lowest cycle cancellation rate and achieved the second highest clinical pregnancy rate, indicating that the prospects are good for using CoQ10 in POR.

Adverse effects:

adverse effects of coq10

Since CoQ10 is endogenously produced by our bodies, supplements do not cause severe adverse effects. It is well tolerated with only minor and rare adverse effects which includes nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea. Few individuals complain of mild insomnia and rarely headache, dizziness, irritability, and fatigue. Dosage up to 1200 mg/d is well well-tolerated. Even though CoQ10 has shown beneficial effects, FDA does not approve it yet.

Drug Drug interactions:

Since CoQ10 is similar to vitamin K chemically, there is possibility of interaction with Warfarin in patients taking warfarin and CoQ10. This interaction is reversible, however, there are chances of warfarin treatment failure.


CoQ10 is a promising avenue as an adjuvant to improve fertility in both men and women. They improve sperm parameters such as concentration and motility as well as protect against oxidative damage. In female, it improves egg quality and ovarian reserve. Their usage has improved the clinical pregnancy rate and decreased cycle cancellation in couple undergoing ART. Further research is needed to explore the benefits and potential uses and standardization of CoQ10 in infertility and other fields of medicine.

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