Are you among the thousands of people told you have poor egg or poor sperm health? Perhaps you are over the age of 35 and trying to conceive. If this is you, you just came across crucial information that may greatly increase your chances of healthy conception and a healthy baby.
The most biologically-active form of coenzyme Q10, known as Ubiquinol, has been shown through several studies to improve both egg and sperm health, while playing a key role in protecting DNA at a cellular level.
CoQ10 is considered by many to be the miracle nutrient because almost every living cell relies on it for energy production. An important fact that you may not know is that the body requires certain levels of CoQ10 to function properly. If these blood levels drop, the body becomes more susceptible to disease and premature aging. This is why CoQ10 is so vital to the health of both the male and female reproductive system- most importantly egg and sperm health. But to truly understand why CoQ10 is so important to health, you must first learn what it is and why its most biologically active form, Ubiquinol, is a key player in improving egg and sperm health.
What is CoQ10 & How Does it Work?
CoQ10 is a powerful antioxidant that is produced naturally by the body, but it is also available as a nutritional supplement. It is present in the membrane of almost every cell in the body and is required for mitochondrial ATP synthesis, which is responsible for creating cellular energy.
There are two forms of CoQ10, ubiquinone and Ubiquinol. CoQ10 starts off as ubiquinone and then is converted within the cell to the more powerful Ubiquinol. Ubiquinol is considered one of the most powerful antioxidants.
CoQ10 is a considered a “vitamin-like” nutrient because it is synthesized in the membrane of human cells, but it is also obtained in small amounts through dietary intake. It is most abundantly found in organ meats, but can also be found in dark leafy green vegetables like spinach, kale and broccoli, nuts, seafood, and meat, though the amounts of leafy greens a person would need to consume to obtain therapeutic amounts of CoQ10 would be high. That is why nutritional supplementation of CoQ10 and/or Ubiquinol is suggested. Most all CoQ10 supplements available are in the form of ubiquinone. Ubiquinol is different in that it is the most biologically active form of coenzyme Q10 and does not need to be converted by the body. Ubiquinol is eight times more potent than ubiquinone.
Studies have shown that the presence of the most biologically active form of coenzyme Q10 Ubiquinol in the cell membrane may help reduce cell and DNA damage caused by free radicals, which has been shown to reduce blood pressure and improve egg health, sperm health and, in turn, embryo quality.
Free radicals are unstable molecules that can damage cell structures. In normal everyday life free radicals are produced from the activity in our bodies (for example, free radicals are made during ATP synthesis for energy production) but chemicals in our surrounding environment can also create free radicals. It is said that each cell in our body is attacked about 10,000 times a day by free radicals, accelerating the aging process.
As we age, the ability of the body to produce and metabolize ubiquinone to Ubiquinol declines. In turn so do energy levels and cellular health. This may be due to increased metabolic demand as the body ages, poor nutritional intake, gene mutation, and oxidative stress. Some reports have stated that this decline becomes most apparent around the age of 40, but may begin as early as 20 years of age. So, what can be done now to increase levels of CoQ10? Supplement with Ubiquinol.
Why Ubiquinol is Superior to CoQ10 Alone
Remember how I mentioned that most all CoQ10 supplements are made of the inactive form known as ubiquinone? Well, by supplementing with the most biologically active form of coenzyme Q10 (Ubiquinol), you are able to bypasses the body having to use energy to convert the ubiquinone to Ubiquinol. Ubiquinol provides a strong first-stage antioxidant effect against cellular oxidative damage.
Ubiquinol needs to be replenished regularly to maintain cellular health and proper function of the entire body. Ubiquinol is readily and easily absorbed in the intestinal tract, making it more “bioavailable” than ubiquinone. Studies have shown that Ubiquinol is eight times more potent than ubiquinone.
For people under the age of 30, the body may be able to easily convert CoQ10 supplements from ubiquinone to Ubiquinol. But for those who are older, suffering from chronic disease or exposed to excessive oxidative stress, Ubiquinol may be a superior choice of supplementation because it can readily replenish Ubiquinol stores.
Ubiquinol to Improve Reproductive Health and Boost Fertility
Several diseases associated with infertility and reproductive dysfunction are linked to oxidative stress including endometriosis, unexplained infertility, PCOS, POF, menstrual cycle irregularities, preterm labor, recurrent miscarriage, egg health, sperm health, and motility. Several studies show that antioxidant supplementation can reduce oxidative stress, which positively affects the outcome of each of these issues.
Start With Egg and Sperm Health!
In order to have a healthy pregnancy and baby, both the ova and sperm must be healthy! The cells of a developing embryo just after conception cannot divide properly if either ova or sperm health is poor, resulting in miscarriage. If the ova and sperm are very poor in health, conception may not be able to occur, even through IVF.
Researchers think that CoQ10 supplementation may help cells function more normally and divide more normally by restoring normal energy to the mitochondria in each cell. This is very important when considering conception and how the first stages of life are dependent on proper cell division.
Ova (Egg) Health
For women over the age of 35, ovum (egg) health begins to dramatically decline. Once a woman is over 40 years old, ovum health continues to decline and at a quickening pace. Each ovum is but a single cell, the health of each ovum matters greatly. Within each ovum is the blueprint of a future child; DNA is the genetic code inherent to the healthy life of a human being yet to be. Ubiquinol has been shown to inhibit DNA oxidation (damage from free radicals), thus protecting the genetic code.
A study published in Fertility and Sterility showed that supplementation of 600 mg of CoQ10 daily by older women improved both egg quality and fertilization rates. Other studies published in Fertility and Sterility also showed the same improvements in the ova of older mice.
A preliminary study of mice by Dr. Robert Casper and colleagues at Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute, showed that CoQ10 supplementation on mid-aged female mice resulted in more pregnancies and more babies per litter. “They found that when CoQ10 was given to 52-week-old mice – about mid-age for a mouse – their eggs appeared to rejuvenate. There were significantly more egg follicles in the old mice treated with the CoQ10…”
Sperm Count & Health
Just as each ovum contains DNA, so does each sperm, the other vital half to the creation of a child. CoQ10 deficiency may lead to not only damaged DNA within the sperm, but low levels affect the ability of sperm to swim, known as motility. Ubiquinol supplementation has a twofold support system for sperm health, one it is protective and second it supports motility by increasing cellular energy.
CoQ10 is found in the highest concentrations inside the mitochondria of all cells. For sperm, this is located in the midsection, the area where energy production occurs that powers the tail whip. The higher the blood levels of CoQ10, the greater the sperm’s ability to be strong swimmers. A study in 2009 showed that low levels of CoQ10 in the seminal fluid impacts sperm motility, but supplementation with CoQ10 greatly improved and restored sperm motility in men with very low levels of sperm motility.
One study showed that healthy sperm, with normal morphology (shape), incubated with 50 mg of CoQ10 had a significant increase in sperm motility. That same study also showed that 17 patients with low fertilization rates who supplemented with 60 mg of CoQ10 daily for 103 days had a significant improvement in fertilization rates.
Defective sperm function in infertile men has been shown to be directly associated with increased free radical stress. This is where Ubiquinol supplementation may greatly help to protect sperm health, as well as the health of all the cells that make up the reproductive organs, and the entire body.
Note from Kimberly Langdon M.D., OB/GYN:
While mice studies are not always indicative of human response, CoQ10 as an antioxidant alone would be protective of eggs in general as described in the 2018 study out if China in the journal Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology below.
“CoQ10 pretreatment resulted in significantly lower gonadotrophin requirements and higher peak E2 levels. Women in CoQ10 group had increased number of retrieved oocytes (4, IQR 2–5), higher fertilization rate (67.49%) and more high-quality embryos (1, IQR 0–2); p < 0.05. Significantly less women treated with CoQ10 had cancelled embryo transfer because of poor embryo development than controls (8.33% vs. 22.89%, p = 0.04) and more women from treatment group had available cryopreserved embryos (18.42% vs. 4.3%, p = 0.012). The clinical pregnancy and live birth rates per embryo transfer and per one complete stimulation cycle tended to be higher in CoQ10 group but did not achieve statistical significance.”
In addition Langdon shares, “Since fertilization depends on good eggs being retrieved, by default one would argue that the eggs were better in the treated group compared to placebo because more were fertilized and produced better embryos. Furthermore, more cyropreserved embryos are dependent on good eggs.”
I spite of inconclusive studies with human or animal subjects, Ubiquinol is a safe supplement with so many proven benefits as an anti-oxidant that when faced with egg health or advanced maternal age, supplementing is worth considering. In any case, all people should be on it for all of its benefits to other body systems including the heart, etc.
Supplementing with Ubiquinol
Ubiquinol is easily altered by both light and air. Once it is exposed to light and air, it converts back to the oxidized form of CoQ10, ubiquinone. Because of this, development of a bulk Ubiquinol supplement for consumers proved to be difficult. Today, through advanced technology, scientists have developed a process that has perfected stabilization of Ubiquinol, keeping intact its active electron-rich benefits through a specialized softgel that protects it from oxidation.
The general suggested daily dose of Ubiquinol for the average person is 100 mg per day. For those who are older or suspect decreased levels of CoQ10 due to health issues, supplementation may be started at 200-300 mg per day for two weeks. After two weeks, blood plasma levels plateau and dosage may be lowered to 100 mg per day, as maintenance.
The Importance of Diet
Supplementation of Ubiquinol alone cannot serve its purpose if healthy diet and lifestyle are not in place. The role of diet in cellular health and fertility is truly the foundation for proper reproductive function. We find that without eating a whole food Fertility Diet, Ubiquinol cannot be as effective. Learn all about the Fertility Diet here…
Supplementing with Other Antioxidants
For those who want to improve reproductive function, learning how supplementing with “sister” (other types) antioxidants is also important. Ubiquinol is not the only antioxidant that is important to fertility, so are Lipoic acid, vitamin E, vitamin C, and Glutathione. Antioxidants rely on one another to revive each other, so each one can continue on protecting cellular health and function. While Ubiquinol is considered the most powerful of all antioxidants, these other antioxidants play their own important key role in proper function of the body, including egg and sperm health. Learn more about each of these important antioxidants here…
Reduce Exposure to Free Radicals
The human body is bombarded by free radicals daily. Not only can Ubiquinol, antioxidants and diet help improve cellular health and energy, but so can reducing exposure to free radicals. Avoid car exhaust, chemical pollution, smoking, alcohol, excessive exercise, and hydrogenated oils.
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