Some weeks ago I received one of the best comments on my blog so far (thank you Iva S.).
This is what Iva asked me:
Dear Darja, first of all, I liked very much your book about improving egg quality in women over 35, it’s informative and motivational, thank you for writing it!
As you may know, there is another book on the same topic available Amazon called “It starts with the egg”. The author says in the chapter dedicated to CoQ10 :”Women enrolled in the clinical studies on CoQ10 and egg quality were given a daily dose of 600 mg of traditional CoQ10. This is equivalent to approximately 200-300 mg of ubiquinol.” (the clinical studies were aimed at women aged 35-43 with previous IVF failures).
Therefore her fertility plan suggestions were to take:
1. Basic fertility plan: 100 mg ubiquinol (or 200 mg ubiquinone)
2. Intermediate fertility plan: 200 mg ubiquinol (or 400 mg ubiquinone)
3. Advanced fertility plan (recommended for low ovarian reserve and previous IVF failures): 300 mg ubiquinol (or 600 mg ubiquinone)
So I’m a bit confused about who’s right?!
You recommend “600mg per day and don’t worry about the form of CoQ10”. Maybe you didn’t use the same scientific studies to make your recommendations. Maybe I didn’t understand well the numbers and the story about ubiquinol and ubiquinone?
Thank you very much for your explanation in advance!
Here is my answer to Iva:
Dear Iva, thank you very much for your important question. Some facts on the ubiqinone-ubiquinol discussion you can read in this post (on CoQ10 helping reverse biological clock) and also in that one (which CoQ10 is best for fertility).
And now I will again summarize the most important facts related to CoQ10 and female fertility so that you can understand better what will work for you and why.
The right kind of CoQ10 to take when you’re trying to conceive
In recent years we’ve heard it said a lot that ubiquinol-CoQ10 might have a better availability profile and can more readily be used by cells and tissues (including ovaries) then the ubiqinone-form of CoQ10.
That’s why it’s became astandard to recommend the ubiqinol-CoQ10 to women who wish to maximize egg quality in the shortest time possible (and that’s why I also recommend taking ubiqinol and recommend trying brands like for example this one).
But having said this, I want to add that there is some hype surrounding stories about ubiqunol and you should know that ubichinon will work just as well.
The reason why I don’t recommend taking ubiqinol in dosages of 100mg or 200mg is because there is no evidence that such a low dosage would bring any significant benefits in terms of improving egg quality.
Maybe it would. Maybe it wouldn’t. Nobody knows, nobody has done a clinical trial with that dosage.
Therefore women who are still young and highly fertile are welcome to go ahead and try the low doses of CoQ10, in either ubiqinol or ubichinon form. They can play around with “basic” and “intermediate” plans which are not back up by any science at all. It won’t harm them.
However, my blog is not read by women who have a plenty of time. On the contrary, most of my readers are women over 35 (meaning women who have less than 5% eggs left) and this fact alone puts them into the “advanced fertility plan” category.
Added to this, a good portion of women I coach have a history of failed fertility treatments (here is how you can find me if you have a question).
Basically, no one in my audience would really benefit from the “basic” or “intermediate” fertility plan (and, by the way, I don’t know a single fertility specialist who works with these terms).
As a matter of fact, the very same fertility specialists (team around Dr. Robert Casper at TCART in Toronto) who first discovered the beneficial effects of therapeutic CoQ10 doses on egg and embryo quality in women of advanced reproductive age and used 600mg of ubichinon-CoQ10 in their clinical studies, have now created a supplement which contains ubichinon (and NOT ubichinol).
Because they know what they’re doing and what works and brings real results in a defined amount of time.
How much CoQ10 is recommended?
As you can read here, they recommend taking 3 x 333 mg of the ubichinon supplement daily (corresponding roughly to 600mg ubiquinol just as I recommend to most of the women I work with).
One further reason why I recommend sticking with this dose is that I see no point in lowering the dose of a perfectly safe supplement such as CoQ10 in a population which has no time to waste and where each cycle could mean the last chance to get pregnant.
Here in this article you can read a summary by the Mayo clinic on the absolute safety of CoQ10 in dosages of up to 3000 mg a day. So please tell me anyone, what would be the point in reducing 600mg ubichinol for any women who could profit even just a little bit from taking it? What exactly is the point of “basic” and intermediate “fertility” plan?
CoQ10-ubiquinol vs. CoQ10-ubiquinone difference in improving fertility: Is it real or is it just branding?
Having said this, my impression after several years of researching this topic is that it’s often supplement manufacturers that publish articles about ubichinol being apparently so much better and more readily available then the ubichinon.
While I’m ready to believe that both forms of CoQ10 have good absorption and availability, I feel a bit strange about women abandoning ubichinon, which worked well in the past, and giving all the glory to ubiqinol (Five times more potent? Eight? Are you kidding me? Or maybe some of that hype has to do with positioning a product which can otherwise be neither patented nor sold as medication?)
Interestingly, ubiquinon is not patented, while patent over ubichinol is held by a single Japanese company. Could this be a good argument why ubichinol is getting much more branding since it became known that CoQ10 helps with egg quality?
To conclude: Both ubiquinon- and ubiquinol-CoQ10 will work.
Much more important than obsessing about the new trendy word “bioavailability”, is changing a manufacturer every now and then (please keep in mind that in the US, supplements are not too strictly regulated by the FDA and it’s just a fact of life that a label does not always completely correspond to what’s in the pill).
And do call me or write to me if you have more questions or need an individual plan to improve your egg quality in the shortest time possible. It’s easy to make a mistake and take a wrong supplement (or the right one in a wrong dosage etc). Be smart. Only good eggs lead to healthy babies.
Here you’ll find a couple more interesting videos about “differences” in CoQ10 forms and why science does not back that up:
Dr. John Cuomo Ph.D from USANA Health Sciences explains in this video here why the science doesn’t back up the hype about Ubiquinol.
A wonderful lecture on CoQ10 absorption testing here.
Publications on why it’s important to support egg health with mitochondrial nutrients: