Co-enzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is a superior antioxidant which is often recommended by fertility experts. Co Q10 is thought to improve the chances of conceiving with poor ovarian reserve and ‘older eggs’ upping the chances of pregnancy success. CoQ10 has been much-studied in male fertility where this antioxidant has an extremely protective effect on sperm; animal studies show that CoQ10's protective effect can profoundly rejuvenate eggs too helping older women - and women with poor ovarian reserve - to have a greater chance of conceiving.
One of the primary determinants of ovarian aging is the condition of the mitochondria within oocytes/eggs; mitochondria are the tiny energy factories present within each cell of the oocyte, they largely determine a cells 'biological age' and aliveness. Many studies have found CoQ10 to be a superior anti-aging supplement with great value for rejuvenating aging mitochondria especially in the cardiovascular system.
Historically, controversial studies have transplanted the mitochondria of younger women into the eggs of older women, the rejuvenating effect of CoQ10 made the the older eggs behave like younger eggs turning back the clock. Experiments like these - although no longer performed in the US - have led to research into supplements such as CoQ10 which may be able to restore youth to aging oocyte mitochondria. A Japanese study on the action of coenzyme Q10 in the female reproductive system concluded that:
“...administration of CoQ10 may cause positive effect on ovary and thus it is expected that CoQ10 improves ovarian function in older animals.”
The researchers of this study set out to examine whether CoQ10 could reduce oxidative stress within the ovary; increased oxidative stress is thought to be the main mechanism involved in accelerated aging in the ovary which damages oocytes. The researchers gave older mice CoQ10 daily for one month while a control group received a placebo.
At the end of the study it was discovered that the CoQ10-treated mice had significantly higher CoQ10 levels within their ovaries and ovarian veins and their ovaries contained less reactive oxygen species which trigger oxidative stress. The ovaries of the CoQ10 treated mice were also 30% heavier than controls; reduced ovarian volume is commonly associated with declining ovarian reserve and advancing age an increase in ovarian volume is a very positive sign. The researchers concluded that:
“...orally administered CoQ10 was transported to ovarian tissue in all age examined. Increased intravenous CoQ10 levels reduced systemic oxidative stress. In addition ovarian weight showed bigger value by CoQ10 treatment.”
“These results suggest that administration
of CoQ10 may cause positive effect on ovary and thus it is expected that
CoQ10 improves ovarian function in older animals.”
Some reproductive endocrinologists recommend extremely high doses of CoQ10 - up to 200 mg three times a day - while others recommend lesser amounts. The kind of CoQ10 that you take can affect how much your ovaries absorb; ubiquinol is a form of CoQ10 which has been proven to be absorbed far more effectively leading to higher blood levels. If you are trying to conceive with poor ovarian reserve or are an older mom-to-be CoQ10 may be able to help you to get pregnant faster or have greater IVF success. You should always ask your physician before starting new nutritional supplements.
This article is for purely educational and informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical diagnosis and advice or nutritional advice for which you should consult a suitably qualified physician or licensed dietitian.
PRELIMINARY STUDY ON ACTION OF COENZYME
Q10 IN FEMALE REPRODUCTIVE SYSTEM
*T Fujiwara1, M Nakabayashi1, M Goto1, S Koyama1, A Fujimoto1,
K Kugu1, T Yano1, O Tsutsumi1, Y Taketani1, T Okamoto2