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Increasing Fertility: CoQ10 and Female Egg Quality

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) and its role on female infertility and egg quality is discussed by Dr. Vitaly A. Kushnir, physician and associate scientist from the Center for Human Reproduction. Key Points:

  • Antioxidants such as CoQ10 appear to protect eggs from oxidative stress.
  • CoQ10’s beneficial effects appear to derive from the protection it provides to mitochondria, the energy factory within each egg.
  • CoQ10 has been used successfully for male infertility, but its use for female infertility is only in its infancy.

CoQ10 has been used for a number of years in men with abnormally low sperm and it appears to be both safe and effective in improving their chances of having a baby through IVF. It is only now being started to be applied and studied in women with infertility but it has been used in women for other conditions, from cardiac and neurological studies, and so on. There is some data in animal models that suggests it may be beneficial for fertility, but it’s too early to know for sure until appropriate clinical studies have been done on female fertility. Anti-oxidants are substances that fight the harmful free radicals and they help to protect the cells and their DNA against oxidative stress. The basic concept behind supplementation with anti-oxidants and also various mitochondrial nutrients is to optimize the energy ability for eggs and to improve egg quality by decreasing the risk of chromosomal abnormalities in those eggs. Currently CoQ10, alpha lipoic acid, acylcarnitine, and resveratrol are antioxidants that are receiving the most attention. Coq10 normally declines with age in most tissues and CoQ10 happens to be a very important nutrient for the mitochondria and its ability to produce energy. It transports electrons and protons within the mitochondria which are the energy organelles of each cell. CoQ10 has been used for a number of years in men with abnormally low sperm and it appears to be both safe and effective in improving their chances of having a baby through IVF. It is only now being started to be applied and studied in women with infertility but it has been used in women for other conditions, from cardiac and neurological studies, and so on. There is some data in animal models that suggests it may be beneficial for fertility, but it’s too early to know for sure until appropriate clinical studies have been done on female fertility.