For those who wish to conceive and start a family, especially individuals dealing with infertility, it’s always helpful to learn about the benefits of supplements that are known to have a positive impact on fertility. One such supplement is Coenzyme Q10, or CoQ10, which is used to boost fertility in both women in men. Although much of the research about CoQ10 and fertility is relatively new, here are two important facts about this powerful nutrient.
What is CoQ10?
Coenzyme Q10, or CoQ10, is a compound made by your body and stored in the mitochondria of your cells. The mitochondria are in charge of producing energy and protecting your cells from oxidative damage and disease-causing bacteria or viruses. Although your body produces it naturally, its production tends to decrease as you age. CoQ10 is also an antioxidant that is present throughout every human cell and helps lowers the impact of the reproductive system’s free radicals, which are atoms (or groups of atoms) that can create a chain reaction in the body. By taking a supplement with CoQ10, you will not only ensure your body has what it needs to function, it will also ensure you are on the receiving end of these three fertility facts, backed by science.
Fact #1: CoQ10 and fertility go together.
Ovulation is an energy-intense process. A woman’s eggs are cells, and the mitochondria are responsible for energy production within the cell. The human egg contains more mitochondria than any other cell. CoQ10 plays a crucial role in energy production inside the mitochondria. As men and women people age, production of CoQ10 decreases. CoQ10 levels are highest during the first 20 years of life, after which they begin to decline. So, as women get older, their eggs become less efficient at producing energy. Studies have indicated that CoQ10 promotes egg quality in older women, thus supporting fertility and a healthy pregnancy.
Fact #2: CoQ10 helps male fertility too.
Several factors contribute to male fertility, but one of the most damaging can be the presence of free radicals.
It takes approximately three months for fully mature sperm to form. During that time, free radicals can cause damage to the sperm by attacking and destroying the membrane that surrounds sperm cells. They can also severely damage DNA, causing errors in the genetic information carried by the sperm. However, because CoQ10 is a powerful antioxidant, it works by protecting cells from damaging oxidative reactions caused by free radicals. Studies have shown that CoQ10 may support healthy sperm motility (the ability for sperm to swim), sperm density, motility, and more.
Fact #3: Coenzyme Q10 doesn’t only help to reduce age-related causes of infertility.
It has also been observed to improve fertility outcomes for younger women undergoing fertility treatment, especially those with poor ovarian response. Simply put, CoQ10 is a source of energy for the eggs, supporting both egg maturation and embryo quality. The energy contained within the egg supports embryo growth for the first 7 – 10 days of life, from the moment of fertilization through implantation. This energy drives embryo development, including the normal replication of chromosomes that results in a healthy baby. So CoQ10 promotes healthy eggs, improves embryo quality, prevents chromosomal defects, and increases successful pregnancies.
CoQ10 is also available in food from sources like fatty fish, organ meats and whole grains. However, the amount of CoQ10 reasonably sourced from food is often insufficient to maintain optimal levels in the body for fertility. For couples trying to conceive, the use of CoQ10 supplements can be highly advantageous to promote fertility, a healthy pregnancy, and more.