Coenzyme Q10 and Male Infertility

There is more and more evidence that Coenzyme Q10 plays a physiological role in the maintenance of semen quality [Alahmar 2021]:

  • Higher CoQ10 concentrations in seminal plasma correlate directly with elevated semen parameters such as sperm motility and sperm count.
  • Seminal CoQ10 concentrations are sub-optimal in male infertility conditions.
Pregnant woman
Infertility affects an estimated 15% of couples worldwide. Male infertility is a factor in about 50% of cases. The causes of male infertility are poorly understood, but there is evidence that oxidative stress is related to poor seminal fluid quality. Coenzyme Q10 is a powerful antioxidant, reducing levels of oxidative stress.

In a 2021 review article, Alahmar et al. [2021] summarize the research into CoQ10’s role in the regulation of male reproductive function:

  • restores semen parameters in male infertility patients
  • reduces the blood levels of biomarkers for oxidative stress
  • improves pregnancy and assisted reproductive technology outcomes
  • reduces sperm DNA fragmentation

CoQ10 Effects on Sperm Parameters

Alahmar et al. [2021] have reviewed several clinical trials of the CoQ10 supplementation of patients with male infertility. Overall, the outcomes of these studies show the following beneficial effects:

  • increased concentrations of Coenzyme Q10 in the semen and in spermatozoa
  • enhanced sperm parameters: sperm concentration, motility, and morphology
  • improved oxidative stress bio-markers and increased protection against free radical-induced sperm damage

CoQ10 Effects on Sperm DNA Fragmentation

Current evidence shows that Sperm DNA Fragmentation plays a crucial role in male infertility. Oxidative stress may be the key mechanism causing the sperm DNA fragmentation. An excess of harmful free radicals may be causing kinks and breaks in sperm DNA.

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Coenzyme Q10 and Male Infertility

Data from randomized controlled trials show that Coenzyme Q10 supplementation is positively associated with improved sperm density and motility and, to a certain extent, with improved pregnancy rates.

Coenzyme Q10 supplementation results in significant improvement in various sperm parameters: sperm density, sperm motility, and sperm morphology and, quite possibly, in pregnancy rates [Safarinejad].

Actually, we have known about the benefits of Coenzyme Q10 for treating men with significant abnormalities in sperm morphology and motility for 10 – 15 years now.  Let’s have a look at the clinical research results reported in journal articles indexed by Medline.

CoQ10 and Male Infertility Associated with Abnormal Sperm Parameters

Safarinejad, M. R. (2009). Efficacy of Coenzyme Q10 on semen parameters, sperm function and reproductive hormones in infertile men. The Journal Of Urology, 182(1), 237–248.

Researchers enrolled 212 infertile men with various sperm abnormalities. Half of the patients were randomly assigned to receive 300 milligrams of Coenzyme Q10 daily, and half took matching placebos for 26 weeks.  The researchers then continued to follow the patients’ progress for a 30-week treatment-free phase.

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Coenzyme Q10 and pregnancy

male-infertility-picture
Pregnancy depends upon the sperm’s reaching the egg. Daily supplementation with Coenzyme Q10 capsules is associated with significantly improved sperm density, sperm movement, and normal sperm shape as well as with improved pregnancy rates.

What about infertility problems and Coenzyme Q10, I was asked the other day. Mightn’t the improvement of cellular energy production and the protection against oxidative stress that Coenzyme Q10 supplements give, mightn’t they also help sperm quality and sperm motility? What about Coenzyme Q10 help for the quality of female egg cells?

Coenzyme Q10 and male infertility
Nature Reviews: Urology
In 2011, Dr. Annette Fenner, chief editor at Nature Reviews: Urology, published a note to the effect that supplementation with Coenzyme Q10 improves semen quality parameters and that the improvement in the sperm has been seen to be associated with improved pregnancy rates and live birth rates [Fenner].

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