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Coenzyme Q10 – can it improve sperm quality?

In a nutshell

This study investigated if coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) improves semen parameters in men with oligoasthenoteratozoospermia (OAT).

They found that CoQ10 improved semen parameters in these men.

Some background

Male infertility can manifest as a number of symptoms. Men may have low hormone levels. They may produce a low number of sperm. The sperm may have mobility issues or an irregular shape. The collective term for this is oligoasthenoteratozoospermia (OAT). OAT is a common cause of infertility. Oxidative stress (OS) may be a potential cause.

OS occurs when there are excessive reactive oxygen species (ROS). ROS can lead to DNA damage. Sperm is particularly susceptible to OS. ROS can be neutralized by antioxidants. Some studies suggest that antioxidant treatment may improve sperm concentration (SC) and motility (SM)Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is an antioxidant. It is unclear if CoQ10 improves semen parameters in men with OAT. 

Methods & findings

This study included 65 men with OAT. Patients were randomly assigned to treatment with 200 mg or 400 mg oral CoQ10. This was taken daily for 3 months. Semen analysis was performed at the beginning and end of the study. OS was measured using total antioxidant capacity (TAC). Two ROS enzymes were also measured.

Treatment with CoQ10 improved semen parameters significantly. CoQ10 improved TAC and other ROS enzymes. These effects were greater in patients treated with 400 mg CoQ10. Higher SC and SM were associated with higher enzyme activity.  Sperm morphology (shape) was also improved by CoQ10 treatment. Overall, reduced OS was associated with improved semen parameters.

Methods & findings
The bottom line

The authors concluded that CoQ10 improved semen parameters in men with OAT.

The fine print

The number of patients in this study was relatively small. It is unclear if the improvement in sperm parameters will improve fertility outcomes. More investigation is needed. 

What’s next?

If you have any concerns regarding infertility please consult with your doctor. 

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Published By: Clinical and experimental reproductive medicine
Date: Nov 11, 2020
Original Title: The impact of two doses of coenzyme Q10 on semen parameters and antioxidant status in men with idiopathic oligoasthenoteratospermia.

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