One of the reasons infertility has increased the last years is because couples decide to start a family at a later age. Often, nowadays, people don’t get married until they are in their mid thirties.
Fertility, especially in women, starts to decline at the age of 32 and decreases more rapidly after the age of 37. Therefore, there is a great interest among health professionals as well as scientist in finding ways to maintain optimum fertility even at the age of forty.
What is Coenzyme Q10?
Coenzyme Q10 is a fat-soluble substance similar to a vitamin which is found in every cell of the body. Cells use CoQ10 to generate energy which is then used for various functions within the body. In addition, CoQ10 acts as a powerful antioxidant. Although CoQ10 is mainly synthesized in our body, it can also be found in small amounts is various foods such as salmon, tuna, herring, beef, chicken and nuts and seeds such as peanuts, pistachios, and sesame seeds.
How does CoQ10 affect fertility?
With age, comes the diminished egg quality and quantity as well as sperm morphology and motility. Some scientists believe that one of the reasons we have this decline is because levels of CoQ10 diminish as we age.
Scientists also believe that since CoQ10 is a powerful antioxidant it can help when there are issues with chromosomally abnormal eggs or sperm.
What does research say?
Research has shown clearly that the age-related decline in egg quality and quantity could be reversed by the administration of CoQ10. In addition, it was demonstrated that not only a woman’s eggs were improved with CoQ10 but also the fertilization rates were increased.
In men, studies have shown that administration of CoQ10 can significantly increase sperm motility as well as sperm count and improve the overall health of sperm. The same was also seen when CoQ10 was administered to men with unexplained oligoasthenoterazoospermia.
Research has also shown that coenzyme Q10 intake from food alone did not improve sperm parameters among subfertile men. However, the mean dietary intake of CoQ10 in this study was 10 times lower than the supplemental dose used in similar previous studies.
What type of CoQ10 is best for me?
The most common and inexpensive form of CoQ10 that can be found in the market today is Ubiquinone CoQ10. Although most of the studies up until today were performed with Ubiquinone, we do have some studies showing that the bioavailability of Ubiquinol is higher than that of Ubiquinone.
Ubiquinol is the reduced form of Ubiquinone, in other words, even if you take CoQ10 Ubiquinone , your body will reduce it to Ubiquinol . Ubiquinol on the other hand is not found as easily and it is far more expensive because it is not very stable.
So, in answering the question what form is best to take I would reply it depends on various factors. It depends on your age, or even better, your biological age, the fertility issue you may be dealing with and your economic status. In other words, if money is not an issue then I would go for the Ubiquinol CoQ10. If you are older fertility wise, meaning over 35 or if you are having a fertility issue associated with sperm parameters or reduced ovarian reserve then again, I would suggest Ubiquinol rather than Ubiquinone.
If on the other hand, you are at an age between 25-35 and have no apparent fertility issues and you just need a boost, then you might be doing well with the Ubiquinone form. CoQ10 is also important if you are diabetic or have high cholesterol levels.
Far more important is to include CoQ10 daily rather than what type to take. Regarding the dosage that again depends on your age, your fertility issue and which form of CoQ10 you are taking. If you are taking the ubiquinone form you need to take a higher dose than if you are taking the ubiquinol form, as the absorption of ubiquinol, is greater. The good news is that studies have shown that you can take large doses of either forms of CoQ10, with no fear of overdosing or any severe side effects
TAKE HOME MESSAGE
- CoQ10 is synthesized in our body but levels diminish as we age
- its properties to provide cell energy as well as act as an antioxidant make it important for fertility matters
- CoQ10 supplement is necessary if you are trying to conceive and you are above the age of 30.
- CoQ10 can boost sperm density, sperm motility and morphology.
- In older women CoQ10 can increase the quality and the quantity of the egg.
- Ubiquinol is better absorbed than ubiquinone
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Safarinejad, Mohammad Reza. "Efficacy of coenzyme Q10 on semen parameters, sperm function and reproductive hormones in infertile men." The Journal of urology 182.1 (2009): 237-248.
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