Thanks to a wealth of published scientific and peer-reviewed studies, the answer to this question is: YES, CoQ10 Ubiquinone and its reduced form, Ubiquinol do seem to help with fertility challenges.
According to a 2015 study published in the Anatomical Society, CoQ10 supplementation was found to restore and increase egg quality and improve fertilization rates. The study was conducted in lab animals and supplementation was done over a period of 15 weeks.
For results that hit much closer home, a separate study published in BioMed Central was concluded in 2018. The study found that CoQ10 supplementation increased ovarian response to stimulation; improved oocyte and embryo quality and a possible increase of live birth rates in young women.
Men, too, can benefit from CoQ10 as was demonstrated in a 2009 study published in the Journal of Endocrinological Investigation. Researchers found that CoQ10 deficiency in the seminal fluid led to reduced sperm motility. Supplementation significantly improved and restored low sperm motility in men.
How Does Ubiquinol Help with Fertility?
As a woman ages, the accumulation of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) mutations and deletions lead to reduced energy and increased oxidative stress in their reproductive cells. This impact to the functionality of the reproductive cells reduces the woman’s natural ability to convert Ubiquinone to Ubiquinol – which is the biologically active form of CoQ10. This has been found to increase the risk for miscarriage and defective births.
Ubiquinol supplementation, being biologically active means that it is directly absorbed by the reproductive cells and put to work without the need for conversion. [4,5,6]
Ubiquinol vs CoQ10
Since the natural conversion of Ubiquinone to Ubiquinol by the body becomes harder and less efficient as a person ages, it is recommended that both men and women over the age of 40 should consider taking Ubiquinol supplements.
Ubiquinol is the reduced form of CoQ10. Studies suggest this form has increased bioavailability for mitochondrial energy production. This is a more expensive product than Ubiquinone, however, a lower dose is needed to achieve the same results.
How Much CoQ10 Ubiquinol Should You Take for Fertility? And For How Long?
Generally, dosages range between 90mg and 300mg per day. For general fertility, 100mg daily is recommended. For women above the age of 35 trying to get pregnant, a dosage of 200mg to 300mg per day for two weeks is recommended.
After this, the dosage can be lowered to 100mg per day for at least three months. Some cases may call for the usage of higher doses of Ubiquinol; however, discuss it with your doctor first before pursuing this. [7,8,9,10]
When and How to Take
It is typical to take consume with breakfast since CoQ10 is fat soluble. However, if you are taking more than one capsule per day, you should consider spreading them with your meals throughout the day. For instance, you can take one with breakfast and another one with dinner.
1. Assaf Ben-Meir et.al, Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute, Mount Sinai Hospital, Canada, Anatomical Society (2015): “Coenzyme Q10 restores oocyte mitochondrial function and fertility during reproductive aging”. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4568976/
2. Yangying Xu et.al, Department of Reproduction, Beijing Obstetrics and Gynecology Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, BioMed Central (2018): “Pretreatment with coenzyme Q10 improves ovarian response and embryo quality in low-prognosis young women with decreased ovarian reserve: a randomized controlled trial”. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5870379/
3. Yaakov Bentov M.D. et.al, Journal of Fertility and Sterility (2010): “The use of mitochondrial nutrients to improve the outcome of infertility treatment in older patients”. Retrieved from https://www.fertstert.org/article/S0015-0282(09)02484-4/fulltext
4. Quinzii C.M. et.al, Department of Neurology, Columbia University Medical Centre; PubMed (2010): “Reactive oxygen species, oxidative stress, and cell death correlate with level of CoQ10 deficiency”. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20495179
5. Miles M.V. et.al, Divisions of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Centre; PubMed (2004): “Age-related changes in plasma coenzyme Q10 concentrations and redox state in apparently healthy children and adults”. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15313151
6. Dummond R. et.al, Laboratoire de Biologie du Développement UMR 7009 CNRS/Paris VI, Paris; PubMed (2007): “Regulation of redox metabolism in the mouse oocyte and embryo”. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17185319
7. Fotino AD. et.al, Department of Medicine, School of Medicine, Tulane University, New Orleans; PubMed (2013): “Effect of coenzyme Q₁₀ supplementation on heart failure: a meta-analysis”. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23221577
8. DiNicolantonio JJ. et.al, Saint Luke's Mid America Heart Institute , Kansas City, Missouri; PubMed (2015): “Coenzyme Q10 for the treatment of heart failure: a review of the literature”. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26512330
9. Safarinejad M.R. et.al, Clinical Center for Urological Disease Diagnosis, Tehran, Iran; PubMed (2012): “Effects of the reduced form of coenzyme Q10 (Ubiquinol) on semen parameters in men with idiopathic infertility: a double-blind, placebo controlled, randomized study”. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22704112
10. Suksomboon N. et.al, Department of Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand; PubMed (2015): “Effects of coenzyme Q10 supplementation on metabolic profile in diabetes: a systematic review and meta-analysis”. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25913756