Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is one of the most popular dietary supplements. A vitamin-like compound found in red meat, oily fish, certain plants—and practically every cell of the human body—CoQ10 is vital for health. Not getting enough of it has been linked to numerous health conditions, ranging from gum disease to heart failure.
Here are just a few of the many good reasons to consider supplementing with CoQ10.
It can help your heart
CoQ10 appears to be helpful for a variety of heart-related problems, including cardiomyopathy (heart muscle dysfunction), arrhythmias (irregular heart rhythms), angina and high blood pressure, and for those about to undergo heart surgery.1
According to the two-year Q-SYMBIO study, it's especially beneficial for people with congestive heart failure (CHF), when the heart can no longer pump properly. CHF patients taking CoQ10 in addition to their standard therapy had a more than 40 per cent reduction in their risk of "major adverse cardiovascular events" as well as death due to heart disease and all causes compared with those taking a placebo.2
It might prevent migraines
Having low levels of CoQ10 has been linked to migraines—at least in children and young adults—and correcting the deficiency by taking CoQ10 supplements can reduce the frequency of these debilitating headaches.4
When pitted against a placebo, 100 mg of CoQ10 three times a day was significantly better than the dummy pill in reducing the number of attacks, days with headache and days with nausea reported by the participants.5
It could help fight fatigue
In healthy people, CoQ10 appears to alleviate the fatigue caused by physical exercise as well as boost exercise performance and recovery.8 The supplement has even been found to improve tiredness in patients with multiple sclerosis.9
Among people with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), a group who tend to be CoQ10-deficient, Belgian researchers found a link between levels of CoQ10 and symptom severity: those with the lowest CoQ10 levels reported more fatigue, as well as concentration and memory disturbances.10 As for whether CoQ10 supplements work for CFS, one study found that 100 mg/day for three months more than doubled exercise tolerance in 20 women with CFS, and 90 per cent saw a reduction or even disappearance of their symptoms.11
It can combat gum disease
Up to 96 per cent of patients with gum disease could have too-low levels of CoQ10, so if you notice bad breath, or bleeding or swollen gums—some of the early signs of the disease—CoQ10 supplements may be a good idea.
When 18 patients with gum disease took either 50 mg/day of CoQ10 or a placebo in a three-week trial, all eight of those taking CoQ10 improved compared with only three of the 10 taking the placebo.3
It may help with infertility
CoQ10 was found to improve sperm motility (their ability to move and swim properly) in infertile men with asthenozoospermia—the medical term for reduced sperm motility. Of nine spontaneous pregnancies that happened during the study, six were by men treated with CoQ10 vs three by those taking a placebo.6
In a study of men undergoing intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), an assisted reproduction technique in which a single sperm is injected directly into an egg, higher fertilization rates were noted after treatment with CoQ10.7