|Emma McGowan NatureCity author & contributor|
Previous research has shown that infertility in men, specifically poor sperm morphology, can be linked to oxidative stress. Recent research has found that supplementation with coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) may reduce oxidative stress and improve male fertility.
Sperm morphology refers to the size and shape of the sperm. Abnormally shaped sperm may be unable to penetrate the egg.
The study included 60 infertile men, 47 of whom completed the trial. For three months, half of the group took a placebo while half took a supplement of 200 mg CoQ10 daily.
After three months, participants in the supplement group had approximately a 50% increase in CoQ10 levels. The researchers noted a positive correlation between higher levels of CoQ10 and improved sperm morphology.
The supplement group also saw an increase in activity of the antioxidants catalase and superoxide dismutase (SOD), and decreased oxidative stress.
This study was conducted by researchers at Shahid Sadoughi University of Medical Sciences in Iran. It was published online ahead of print on January 7, 2013, in the journal Andrologia.
CoQ10 is an enzyme present in the mitochondria of human cells. It helps produce chemical energy in these cell “power plants” and also has been shown to preserve blood levels of vitamin E and vitamin C. Previous studies have linked CoQ10 with improved cognitive health and reversing the effects of aging.
After the age of 20 our bodies become less capable of naturally producing CoQ10. If you want to increase your CoQ10 intake, try adding oily fish, organ meats such as liver and hearts, and whole grains to your diet. You might also consider a high quality, high potency supplement. Be sure to choose a supplement that is made with ubiquinol rather than ubiquinone.