What is Coenzyme Q10?

Coenzyme Q10 is present in every cell of the human body and serves as a coenzyme for several of the key enzymatic steps in the production of a cell’s energy.  It also functions as an antioxidant. Researchers have found that Coenzyme Q10 is known to be active in the testes and is an antioxidant that shares a vital link with forming the membranes and other structures within the cells by fighting the effects of oxidative stress.

 

How does it work?

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is also called Ubiquinone, a name that signifies its ubiquitous (widespread) distribution in the human body.  CoQ10 is used by the body to transform food into adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the energy on which the body runs.  Synthesis of sperm requires considerable energy.  Due to its role in energy production, CoQ10 has been studied in infertile men. A new study shows that daily supplementation can help improve sperm movement.

 

Where does it come from?

Coenzyme Q10 is naturally present in small amounts in a wide variety of foods but is particularly high in organ meats such as heart, liver and kidney, as well as soy oil, sardines, mackerel and peanuts.

 

Safety / Side Effects

Coenzyme Q10 appears to be extremely safe.  No significant side effects have been found, including studies lasting a year.

 

Studies Involving Sperm

In a study published in the January issue of Fertility & Sterility, researchers looked at the effect of daily oral supplementation with 200mg of Coenzyme Q10 in 22 infertile men with low sperm motility.  At the start of the study, researchers found the men had lower-than-normal levels of CoQ10 in their seminal fluid.  After six months of supplementation with the antioxidant, the men experienced a significant increase in these levels. (Balercia, et al, 2004)

 

Interactions

Certain medicines may interact with Coenzyme Q10.  Consult with your physician or pharmacist to determine if your medications might interact with this supplement.

 

References

Giancarlo Balercia, M.D., Fabrizio Mosca, Ph.D., Franco Mantero, M.D., Marco Boscaro, M.D.,a Antonio Mancini, M.D., Giuseppe Ricciardo-Lamonica, Ph.D., and GianPaolo Littaru, M.D.b Coenzyme Q10 supplementation in infertile men with idiopathic asthenozoospermia: an open, uncontrolled pilot study. Balercia, G. Fertility & Sterility, January 2004; Vol 81: pp 93-98). Endocrinology, Department of Internal Medicine, Umberto I Hospital, University of Ancona, Ancona, ItalyInstitute of Biochemistry Endocrinology, Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences, University of Padua, Padua, ItalyInstitute of Endocrinology, Catholic University School of Medicine, Rome, Italy Department of Economy, School of Economy, University of Ancona, Ancona, Italy