There is a fair bit of confusion surrounding CoQ10 and what its role is in reproduction. The confusion is because good quality evidence for dosage and length of time taking this supplement aren’t easy to find. Another reason for the confusion, is that there are two types of CoQ10 – ubiquinol and ubiquinone. They are both important but Ubiquinol is more readily used by the body.
A brief biology background on CoQ10. Within each cell in the body, there exists a small organelle called mitochondria. This part of the cell houses the energy required for that cell to function. It uses that energy for metabolism, transport and division. Mitochondria are similar to your petrol tank in your car and CoQ10 is like your petrol.
Each egg cell and each sperm cell has a mitochrondria and therefore requires CoQ10 for energy. The egg needs the energy to keep it moving through the fallopian tubes and a sperm cell needs energy to swim towards the egg, as well as the energy to fertilise an egg. The egg and sperm combined also need energy to continue cell division so they can form a healthy embryo and hopefully a viable fetus and then beautiful baby.
Even though this process is incredibly microscopic, it involves a huge amount of cellular energy to work. I suppose it would be similar to running a marathon….but for cells. If they don’t have enough energy, any stage of the fertilisation process could be affected.
So dosing CoQ10 can help with this process. There are very few contraindications for taking CoQ10, so it appears safe for most people. Those on warfarin do need to consult their specialist before taking it. I always recommend both male and female partners to take the supplement if possible and I generally suggest three months of taking it to make any significant changes. This advice is based on very preliminary research which can be updated when we have more information available. The dosage does depend on the person and their age.
For some people, taking it at night can keep them awake, so it is often best to take first thing in the morning.
Clinically, I have seen some great results with this supplement. It is safe and effective and has very few side effects. I would have difficulty not recommending this supplement for couples going through fertility treatment, especially if they are over 40 years old.