BCoenzyme Q10 improves ovarian response, Egg and Embryo quality:

Posted By Braverman IVF & Reproductive Immunology || 11-April-2018

A recent study published in the journal Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology showed the positive and significant impact of Coenzyme Q10 on women egg and embryo quality.

The article highlights results from a randomized controlled trial including young women (<35 years old) with poor response to ovarian stimulation or reduced ovarian reserve (low AMH). They investigated the effects of Coenzyme Q10 on ovarian response, egg and embryo quality in women undergoing IVF cycles. Poor or low responders to controlled ovarian hyperstimulation (COH) represent between 5.6 and 35.1% of assisted reproductive technology (ART) cycles (1) and this is a major cause of cycle failure with:

  • higher rate of cycle cancellation
  • fewer oocytes at retrieval
  • lower oocyte quality
  • reduced number of embryos for transfer.

    Besides aging, oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction may be possible explanation of poor ovarian response and have been largely investigated (2).

    Mitochondria are the most abundant structures in oocytes and early embryos. The maturation of an oocyte leading to ovulation is a complex process requiring the formation of the meiotic spindle and the production of energy by mitochondria (3). A disrupted mitochondrial function could lead to arrest of oocyte maturation, chromosomal misalignment, and could compromise embryo development (4-6). Further, mitochondria act as buffers against the production of ROS (reactive oxygen species), marker of oxidative stress, by converting ROS into an inactive form through an anti-oxidant mechanism (7).

    Coenzyme Q10: natural booster of your fertility Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is an antioxidant that you naturally produce and that fuels your cells’ growth and activity. CoQ10 is an essential component of the mitochondrial electron transport chain involved in energy (ATP) production (8), further it has critical anti-oxidant properties (9) by inhibiting lipid peroxidation and DNA oxidation. CoQ10 levels decrease with age in a similar way than fertility decreases, or the rate of embryo aneuploidy increases (10). This may suggest the key contribution of reduced CoQ10 levels to ovarian aging (11).

    In the present study, N=76 women were treated with 200mg CoQ10, 3 times a day for a total of 600 mg for 60 days prior to their IVF cycles, while N=93 controls were left untreated. Beneficial effects of Coenzyme Q10 have been reported on ovarian response with:

  • Lower gonotrophin required for ovarian stimulation: 2000 IU versus 3075 IU in the control group
  • Higher estradiol peak (pg/mL): 2349 versus 1685 in the control group
  • Higher number of oocyte retrieved: 4 versus 2 in the control group
  • Higher fertilization rate: 67.5% versus 45% in the control group
  • Higher number of high quality embryo: 1 on average versus 0 in the control group
  • Higher % of patients had cryopreserved embryos: 18.42% versus 4.3% in the control group

    Most interestingly, patient treated with CoQ10 were more likely to have a live birth (28.95%) as compared to the controls (15.54%) although the difference seen is not significant (as the p- value is at .08 and above the significance threshold of P<.05). Clearly, this study, in line with previous findings (12-13) highlights the CoQ10 benefits in improving ovarian response to gonadotrophin stimulation leading to better egg and embryo quality. Oocytes appear to be the main target of CoQ10A and animal studies have shown that CoQ10 counteract and even reverse the effects of aging on follicle development (14) although the exact mechanisms remain unknown. Altogether, these results are supportive of the usage of CoQ10 as a supplement in women fertility.

    CoQ10 is one of the several ingredients of our Endo-Optimize supplement crafted at Braverman Reproductive Immunology. This formulation has been developed to be the best solution to counteract oxidative stress induced-DNA damage and optimize your egg quality as well as minimizing your symptoms associated with endometriosis and PCOS. This all in one pill contains many ingredients enhancing mitochondrial activity (a key component in oocyte development) and reducing inflammation thus allowing optimal microenvironment for the oocyte development and maturation. To learn more about the topic, read our blog ENDO-optimize: an "all in one" dietary supplement with beneficial effects on egg quality, endometriosis and PCOS.

    Our diet supplements are available for purchase. For more information about our supplements range, please consult our website.

    Questions? Call 516.584.8710 

    We would be happy to help you take control of your fertility journey and answer any questions you may have.


    1- Oudendijk JF, Yarde F, Eijkemans MJ, Broekmans FJ, Broer SL. The poor responder in IVF: is the prognosis always poor? A systematic review. Hum Reprod Update. 2012; 18:1–11.

    2- Blerkom JV. Mitochondrial function in the human oocyte and embryo and their role in developmental competence. Mitochondrion. 2011; 11:797–813.

    3- Dumollard R, Ward Z, Carroll J, Duchen MR (2007) Regulation of redox metabolism in the mouse oocyte and embryo. Development 134, 455–465.

    4- Takeuchi T, Neri QV, Katagiri Y, Rosenwaks Z, Palermo GD (2005) Effect of treating induced mitochondrial damage on embryonic development and epigenesis. Biol. Reprod. 72, 584–592.

    5- Thouas GA, Trounson AO, Jones GM (2006) Developmental effects of sublethal mitochondrial injury in mouse oocytes. Biol. Reprod. 74, 969–977.

    6- Wyman A, Pinto AB, Sheridan R, Moley KH (2008) One-cell zygote transfer from diabetic to nondiabetic mouse results in congenital malformations and growth retardation in offspring. Endocrinology 149, 466–469.

    7- Nickel A, Kohlhaas M, Maack C. Mitochondrial reactive oxygen species production and elimination. J Mol Cell Cardiol. 2014; 73:26–33.

    8- Crane FL (2001) Biochemical functions of coenzyme Q10. J. Am. Coll. Nutr. 20, 591–598.

    9- Quinzii CM, Lopez LC, Gilkerson RW, Dorado B, Coku J, Naini AB, LagierTourenne C, Schuelke M, Salviati L, Carrozzo R, Santorelli F, Rahman S, Tazir M, Koenig M, DiMauro S, Hirano M (2010) Reactive oxygen species, oxidative stress, and cell death correlate with level of CoQ10 deficiency. FASEB J. 24, 3733–3743.

    10- Mancini A, Festa R, Raimondo S, Pontecorvi A, Littarru GP. Hormonal influence on coenzyme Q10 levels in blood plasma. Int J Mol Sci. 2011. 12:9216–25.

    11- Miles MV, Horn PS, Tang PH, Morrison JA, Miles L, DeGrauw T, Pesce AJ. Age-related changes in plasma coenzyme Q10 concentrations and redox state in apparently healthy children and adults. Clin Chim Acta. 2004; 347:139–44.

    12- El Refaeey A, Selem A, Badawy A. Combined coenzyme Q10 and clomiphene citrate for ovulation induction in clomiphene-citrate-resistant polycystic ovary syndrome. Reprod BioMed Online. 2014; 29:119–24.

    13- Bentov Y, Hannam T, Jurisicova A, Esfandiari N, Casper RF. Coenzyme Q10 supplementation and oocyte aneuploidy in women undergoing IVF-ICSI treatment. Clin Med Insights Reprod Health. 2014; 8:31–6.

    14- Ben-Meir A, Burstein E, Borrego-Alvarez A, Chong J, Wong E, Yavorska T, et al. Coenzyme Q10 restores oocyte mitochondrial function and fertility during reproductive aging. Aging Cell 2015; 14:887–95.

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