Will CoQ10 Be Useful for My PCOS?
Fine-tuning your nutrition is central to leading a healthy and nourished life, and it’s especially useful if you have PCOS. Of course, an excellent place to start is by refining your diet: making a concerted effort to fill up on the good stuff, and ditch all the rubbish.
You’ve probably heard about the importance of supplementation too – and how the correct supplement programme can help you reach unsurpassed levels of nourishment. But, with so many supplements on the market, it can all get a little confusing at times, even for us. We do know this for sure though: there’s no ‘one-size-fits-all’ supplement routine for PCOS – everyone is built differently, and therefore, will require varying amounts of essential nutrients and minerals.
So, when it comes to cherry-picking the supplements to support your PCOS, what should you opt for? Well, we know one superstar that will help with great certainty: CoQ10. Let’s explore why.
What exactly is CoQ10?
CoQ10 – or Coenzyme Q10 as it’s more scientifically known as, is a tremendously important nutrient, required for cells to function at their optimum.i CoQ10 drives the conversion of glucose into energy, which is used to power metabolism and muscles – the most important being the heart.ii Better still, CoQ10 is an antioxidant powerhouse, packing a potent punch of vitamins E and C, along with selenium, which works to alleviate oxidative stress in the body.iii The take home message is this: CoQ10 isn’t only a mighty weapon for energy production, but it’s excellent armour against free radicals that run riot in your body, causing it to deteriorate and age.
Where can I find it in food?
Oily fish (salmon and tuna), organic meat (liver and kidney), vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower and spinach), and legumes (peanuts and soybeans) are excellent, natural sources of CoQ10.iv However, while we’d always suggest piling your plate high with these foods, often they don’t contain enough CoQ10 to meet the requirements of a therapeutic dose. What’s more, your body’s production of CoQ10 tends to decline as you age, so taking it in supplement form is usually recommended to plug any dietary gaps you might encounter.
How can CoQ10 help PCOS?
As we’ve mentioned previously, your PCOS may trigger higher levels of insulin. There is evidence that suggests that CoQ10 can lower insulin levels. In a trial published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology, a group of PCOS women were given CoQ10 every day for 12 weeks, while another group were given a placebo.v At the end of the study, the group who took CoQ10 saw a marked reduction in their glucose and insulin levels. Clearly then, CoQ10 has blood-sugar balancing properties, which is great news for your PCOS!
Improves egg quality and aids fertility
Unfortunately, PCOS can affect your egg quality and your fertility - so it is important that you understand the link. Yet, this is another area CoQ10 can assist with. A study published in the Journal of Fertility and Sterility revealed that, as an antioxidant, CoQ10 has been linked to improving ovulation because it neutralises the free radicals that damage egg quality.vi In recent years, research has also revealed that CoQ10 may support PCOS women attempting to conceive.
How much do I need to take?
Every individual is different so make sure you speak to a medical professional on how much you would personally need to benefit safely from CoQ10. Be mindful that CoQ10 is fat soluble, so be sure to take your daily dose with a spoonful of coconut oil, an omega 3 supplement, or a meal containing fat.
So, what’s the verdict?
Admittedly, evidence paints a rosy picture of CoQ10 for women with PCOS. And while more controlled trials are definitely needed, existing research is promising. If you have any further questions about CoQ10, please reach out to our friendly Nutrition Advice team, who would be very happy to help.
Want to discover more ways to feel emotionally and physically empowered – ready to take on your PCOS? Feel free to browse the rest of our PCOS hub.
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. (2015). Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10): In Depth. [ONLINE]. Available online: https://nccih.nih.gov/health/supplements/coq10#hed2
Littarru, G.P., Tiano, L. (2005). Clinical aspects of coenzyme Q10: an update. Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care. 8(6): 641–646.
Qiu En Lee, S., et al. (2017). Cellular factories for coenzyme Q10 production. Microb Cell Fact. 16: 39.
University of Maryland Medical Center (2015). Coenzyme 10. [ONLINE]. Available online: https://www.umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/coenzyme-q10
Samimi, M., et al. (2017). The effects of coenzyme Q10 supplementation on glucose metabolism and lipid profiles in women with polycystic ovary syndrome: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Clin Endocrinol.
Bentov, Y., Casper, R.F. (2013). The aging oocyte–can mitochondrial function be improved? Fertil Steril. 99(1): 18-22.
Burstein, E., et al. (2009). Co-enzyme q10 supplementation improves ovarian response and mitochondrial function in aged mice [abstract]. Fertil Steril. 92 (Suppl): S31
El Refaeey, A., et al. (2014). Combined coenzyme Q10 and clomiphene citrate for ovulation induction in clomiphene-citrate-resistant polycystic ovary syndrome. Reprod Biomed Online. 29(1): 119-24
Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. (2018). Coenzyme Q10. [ONLINE]. Available online: http://naturaldatabase.therapeuticresearch.com/nd/Search.aspx?pt=100&id=938&AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1