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Coenzyme Q10: Fertility Energy for Older Eggs and Sperm

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by Rachel Lehmann-Haupt, Dec. 28, 2009

For years, doctors have been proscribing Co-enzyme Q10, a supplement that helps to better produce energy in the mitochondria of cells, to patients with congestive heart failure and diabetes, and athletes have been taking it to improve their performance. Ninety-five percent of the body’s energy is generated with Co-enzyme Q10, and therefore, the organs with the highest energy requirements like the heart and the liver have the highest concentrations. Now some fertility doctors believe that the supplement may also improve female and male fertility.

Dr. Yaakov Bentov, an Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto's Center for Advanced Reproductive Technology, says that as a woman ages, her eggs become less efficient during fertilization because the chromosomes don’t replicate as well. “The egg needs to complete a demanding process and often when a women reaches her late 30s and early 40s, there is not enough energy in the cells,” he says.

In a 2009 study published in The Journal of Fertility and Sterility, Bentov and his colleagues found that taking up to 600 milligrams a day of Co-enzyme Q10 -- which can be purchased at any drug store -- actually helped to improve egg quality in older women and improved fertilization rates.

“It may improve the quality of eggs by correcting their energy which improves the division of chromosome during fertilization,” Bentov claims.

Studies have also found that Co-enzyme Q10 may also improve male infertility. A July 2009 study in The Journal of Urology looked at 212 infertile men who took the 300 mg of the supplement for 30 weeks, and found that it improved both sperm density and motility.

You may want to ask your doctor what she thinks about this supplement.

Read more about "rejuvenating" aging eggs in Fertility Authority's Aging Eggs: Exciting Research Is on the Horizon article