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Coenzyme Q 10 and Fertility

broccoliCoenzyme Q 10, often referred to as CoQ10, supplies the mitochondrial energy for the metabolic requirements of the body, including both the egg and sperm. Scientists believe CoQ10 also functions as an antioxidant that blocks actions that can damage cells.

The body’s available supply of CoQ10 decreases with age and getting it from food presents challenges because of the relatively low amounts available, even in foods with the highest content values. Foods thought to be highest in CoQ10 include broccoli and other green leafy vegetables, nuts, fish and shellfish, pork, chicken and beef.

Research has confirmed the importance of adequate CoQ10 to enhance the fertility of both men and women as CoQ10 helps rejuvenate ‘older’ eggs; Research has shown that CoQ10 supplementing is associated with increased oocyte numbers and mitochondrial activity, similar to oocytes from younger women. (The use of mitochondrial nutrients to improve the outcome of infertility treatment in older patients Journal of Fertility Sterility 2010;93:272-5)

I personally do not like the term ‘older’ eggs. This term is used to refer to women aged 35 years and older. With Natural medicine treatments, ‘age’ does not determine the outcome of fertility, health does.

CoQ10 increases sperm motility. A 2009 study looked at the effects of a 200 mg daily CoQ10 supplement on the sperm counts of 55 infertile men with low sperm motility (asthenozoospermia). Before the start of the study, the infertile men were measured with lower than average levels of CoQ10 in their seminal fluid. After six months of taking CoQ10 as a supplement, the men showed increased levels of CoQ10. The research also found that the men’s sperm motility increased as well. (Coenzyme CoQ10 treatment in infertile men with idiopathic asthenozoospermia: a placebo-controlled, double blind randomized trail. Fertility and Sterility Vol. 91, No5, May 2009)

CoQ10 improves sperm count and motility. CoQ10 is found in seminal fluid where its concentration correlates with sperm count and motility. In an open label study and then in three randomized placebo-controlled trials; doses of around 200-300 mg/day for 6 months led to a significant increase in the concentration of CoQ10 in plasma and seminal fluid, and treatment also led to a improvement in sperm motility. (ManciniA, Balercia G, Biofactors. 2011 Sep-Oct;37(5):374-80. Doi:10.1002/biof.164. Epub 2011 Oct 11.)

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