CoQ10 and FertilityPosted on May 23rd, 2010 No comments
CoQ10 is present in almost every cell of your body. However since it plays a key role in the cellular production of energy, the organs which use the most energy also use the highest quantities of CoQ10. Naturally this means organs like the heart, brain, liver, kidney, and lungs… but our reproductive organs are also known to require a lot of energy. So does this mean there are CoQ10 fertility benefits?
CoQ10 and Fertility?
CoQ10 is a coenzyme that is a part of our cell’s energy creation, turning sugars and fatty acids to energy in a process known as Adenosine-5′-triphosphate (ATP for short). In humans, this process cannot occur without CoQ10. While our bodies do make this needed CoQ10 naturally, there is less produced as our bodies’ age. Reportedly our natural CoQ10 production climaxes at the age of 21.
Over the past two or three decades there have been many studies conducted which suggest CoQ10 supplementation offers a vast number of health benefits, especially in middle-aged to senior adults, for a wide variety of conditions. Although fertility and CoQ10 hasn’t been studied as extensively as, say its benefits on the heart, there has been promising research which suggests it may offer fertility benefits, too.
Does CoQ10 have an effect on sperm count?
It is said that each male testicle produces 85 million sperm per day. Common sense tells us that a certain threshold of cellular energy must be properly utilized in order to produce such a vast quantity. Over the past decade or so there have been several studies which sought to measure whether or not CoQ10 supplementation had an effect on sperm production.
Shahid Beheshti University study
In the July 2009 issue of the Journal of Urology, the findings of a study conducted at Shahid Beheshti University (Iran) were published. In total, 212 men with infertility problems participated: one group was given 300 mg of CoQ10 daily and another group was given a placebo. For 26 weeks they were administered the CoQ10 dosage, and then monitored for 30 weeks after that without taking any supplementation. The results were “statistically significant improvement in certain semen parameters.” There was a significant improvement in both motality and sperm density.
University of Ancona study
A few years before this, there was a similar study conducted at the University of Ancona in Italy which also suggested CoQ10 had a positive effect. The study involved 22 men, aged 25 to 39 (average 31) that had fertility problems for at least three years. Testicular volume was also measured in order to select these men for the study. Here are some quotes by Dr. Balercia and colleagues:
“The data of the present study show a significant improvement of sperm cell kinetic features after 6 months of administration of CoQ10, on the basis of both manual and computer- assisted evaluation”
“Furthermore, our results are the first to demonstrate that exogenous administration of CoQ 10 leads to increased levels in seminal plasma and in sperm cells.”
Although the above mentioned studies and other research suggest that CoQ10 supplements may have a positive effect on fertility, further studies are needed in order to conclude for sure. Also it’s important to note that in the United States, dietary supplements (such as CoQ10) cannot be used for the treatment, diagnosis, prevention, or cure of any disease (including infertility). Also, the FDA has not evaluated these claims. For these reasons, despite the above mentioned CoQ10 fertility research, CoQ10 supplements are not a treatment for infertility.
CoQ10 Dosage: What You Need To Know!
As a dietary supplement, if you take CoQ10 for general health, it’s important to understand a couple things. First of all, CoQ10 is a fat-soluble nutrient, meaning for best absorption it should be taken when eating foods that contain at least some fat (the healthy kinds, of course).
Secondly, in order to maintain more stable CoQ10 levels in the blood, many experts recommended taking smaller doses spread throughout the day, instead of one large dose. For example, if a person was taking 300 mg daily as a dietary supplement, instead they could take CoQ 100 mg, 3x daily. However before using any vitamin or dietary supplement, you need to consult a doctor.