Today on Fertility Help Hub, we hear from FutureYou Cambridge who discuss the important topic of fertility supplements when trying to conceive. In particular, they discuss CoQ10 and fertility (or Co Enzyme Q10), which is becoming increasingly recommended for women undergoing IVF treatment. Read on to benefit from 20% off.
If you have been trying to conceive for a while, there’s every chance that you’ve been making changes to your lifestyle to try and improve your chances of fertility / IVF success. This could be eating a healthier diet, exercising more, cutting down (or cutting out) alcohol, caffeine and sugar, sleeping more, and trying to reduce stress in your life. All of these activities are thought to positively impact women and men when trying to conceive.
Alongside our lifestyle changes, the importance of taking food supplements is becoming more widely recognised. Food supplements can help to top up some of the essential nutrients that are related to fertility. However, the amount of supplements available on the market can quite frankly be overwhelming: some are tailored specifically to women and men trying to conceive, whilst others include essential nutrients that you may be lacking, if your diet isn’t as nutritionally complete as it could be.
What is CoQ10 and What are the Benefits for Fertility
CoQ10 is a vitamin-like substance that goes under several different names: CoQ10, CoEnzyme Q10 and Ubiquinone, as it’s present in most of the cells in the body. CoQ10 is found in the mitochondria, the powerhouse of the cell, where it plays an essential role in creating energy, as well as being a powerful antioxidant. It’s especially good at preventing something called lipid peroxidation – the process by which free radicals destroy our lipid cell membranes. It is best known as a food supplement for use in patients who take statins to treat high cholesterol. Whilst we do naturally produce COQ10, our ability to do so decreases as we age.
Can We Get it from Foods?
There are certain foods which do contain CoQ10, including some vegetables, fruit and cereals. However, the foods that are the best sources of this nutrient are fish, some oils, nuts and organ meats such as heart and liver, which are the richest sources. Unfortunately, these are not the most palatable or appealing foods for many people! This is perhaps why many of us opt for a high quality fertility COQ10 supplement, rather than consuming the nutrients from natural sources.
People who take statins to manage high cholesterol levels in their blood have been seen to experience the most benefits from taking CoQ10. CoQ10 synthesis requires cholesterol. As statins lower cholesterol levels, they can also deplete CoQ10 levels, so taking a high quality supplement can help top these back up.
However, more and more research is being carried out that links higher levels of CoQ10 and improved fertility in both males and females. In one study involving 169 women, a group was given CoQ10 prior to undergoing IVF treatment while the other group was not. In the group given the CoQ10 supplementation, women experienced:
Higher fertilisation rates
Higher quality embryos
Significantly fewer women had their embryo transfer cancelled due to poor embryo development, when compared with the women in the control group. Whilst the live birth rates in this study did tend to be slightly higher in the CoQ10 group, it’s worth noting that it wasn’t statistically significant. This particular study concluded that the CoQ10 supplements could improve ovarian response in women who had previously had a poor ovarian reserve.
The good news is that some evidence suggests CoQ10 could be beneficial to men too. A process called oxidative stress causes damage to our cells due to the accumulation of what we call free radicals. Free radicals are caused naturally by our bodies, but having a poor lifestyle, such as consuming too much fatty, processed, sugary or salty food, smoking and/or drinking too much alcohol, increases their amount exponentially. As well as damaging cells in organs, such as the brain or heart, oxidative stress has been shown to have an impact on sperm quality and function, which can be a major cause of male infertility. Lifestyle changes that decrease oxidative damage, as well as improving the antioxidant capacity in the body, can reduce this damage. Studies with oral antioxidants (such as CoQ10), have shown some early but promising results.
In conclusion, there is evidence to suggest that CoQ10 supplements may be beneficial for certain specific groups of people – those on statins, women undergoing IVF and those experiencing male infertility, due to excessive oxidative stress. Whilst some of these important nutrients can be acquired through diet, a much more efficient way to increase your intake is by taking a highly-quality supplement. If you are undergoing or planning IVF treatment, it’s always best to discuss taking any supplements with your doctor first. They may have specific recommendations that are tailored to your particular needs and can give advice that is best suited to you and your partner.
If you want 20% off Future You Co-Enzyme Q10+ just enter the code ‘FHH20’ below at purchase.