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Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) and Male Fertility
Coenzyme Q10 is a vitamin-like substance found in body cells, especially in the heart, kidney, liver, and pancreas, that may promote health and fight some diseases. Scientists believe CoQ10 functions as an antioxidant that blocks actions that can damage cells. New studies have found that supplements of CoQ10 can help improve sperm movement in infertile men. Decreased sperm motility is one of the leading causes of male infertility.
According to research, the amount of CoQ10 in the seminal fluid of men has a correlation to their sperm count and sperm motility.
Effects of CoQ10 on Sperm Count and Sperm Motility
A 2004 study in the journal Fertility & Sterility looked at the effects of a 200 mg daily CoQ10 supplement on the sperm counts of 22 infertile men with low sperm motility. Before the start of the study, the infertile men had lower than average levels of the coenzyme Q10 in the seminal fluid. After six months of taking the supplement, the men showed increased levels on coenzyme Q10. The research also found that the men’s sperm motility increased as well.
This research was supported by a 2009 study which was published in the Journal of Endocrinological Investigation. Researchers conducted two distinct studies of men with infertility, one with 22 men and the other with 60 men. The study examined the CoQ12 concentration and distribution in patients with varicoceles and azoospermia, both before and after fertility treatments. Researchers found that CoQ10 increased in both sperm count and sperm motility after treatment.
Safety of CoQ10
CoQ10 is sold in the United States as a dietary supplement. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not regulate dietary supplements in the same way that it controls medications, so their safety may not be as safely tested.
Research has found that taking 100 mg daily of CoQ10 has caused mild insomnia in some people, and taking 300 mg daily for an extended amount of time may cause elevated liver enzymes. Other side effects from CoQ10 may include nausea, upper abdominal pain, irritability, headache, and fatigue.