Does dietary coenzyme Q10 affect semen quality in subfertile men?

In a nutshell

This study investigated whether there was an association between coenzyme Q10 intake from food and semen quality in subfertile men. This study concluded that the levels of CoQ10 taken in from food do not affect semen parameters.

Some background

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is an anti-oxidant that is obtained through the diet and is also produced by the body. Research has shown that supplementation with CoQ10 can improve several aspects of semen quality in subfertile men including sperm concentration, motility and counts. High concentrations of CoQ10 in seminal fluid have also been associated with high sperm concentration.

CoQ10 is found in foods such as meat, fish, nuts, and vegetable oils. It is not clear if the amount of CoQ10 taken in with food has an effect on semen parameters.

Methods & findings

211 male participants seeking fertility evaluation were assessed in this study. The participants completed a validated food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) and provided at least one semen sample. CoQ10 content was estimated for each food item of the FFQ and a dietary CoQ10 intake was calculated. Semen samples were analyzed for sperm concentration, motility and morphology. 

Average daily intake of CoQ10 was estimated to be 19.2 mg per day. Daily intake ranged between an estimated 2.38 and 247.16 mg per day. Semen analysis of sperm quality (including concentration, motility and morphology) did not identify any significant difference between groups based on CoQ10 intake. The average daily intake of CoQ10 in this study (19.2 mg) is considerably less than the amount of supplemented CoQ10 administered in recent clinical trials (200-600 mg). 

Methods & findings
The bottom line

This study concluded that the levels of CoQ10 taken in from food do not affect semen parameters. The authors suggested that supplemental CoQ10 may have potential to improve sperm quality in males with fertility issues, however further investigation is needed.

The fine print

The participants included were subfertile, whereas supplemental CoQ10 has only been shown to be effective in infertile males. 

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Published By: Urology
Date: Nov 11, 2020
Original Title: Coenzyme Q10 Intake From Foods and Semen Parameters in a Subfertile Population.

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