Coenzyme Q10 Intake From Foods and Semen Parameters in a Subfertile Population

To assess the association between coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) intake from food sources and semen quality. We assessed this association in a prospective cohort of men attending a fertility clinic. CoQ10 supplementation has been associated with improvements in semen parameters. However, impact of CoQ10 intake from food sources on semen quality has not been investigated.

Subfertile couples seeking fertility evaluation at the Massachusetts General Hospital Fertility Center were invited to participate in an ongoing study of environmental factors and fertility. In total, 211 male participants completed a validated food frequency questionnaire and provided 476 semen samples. Multivariable linear mixed models were used to examine the relation between CoQ10 intake from foods and semen parameters while adjusting for potential confounders and accounting for within-person correlations.

Mean dietary CoQ10 intake was 19.2 mg/day (2.4-247.2 mg/day). No subjects were taking CoQ10 supplements. There were no associations between dietary CoQ10 intake from foods and conventional semen parameters. The adjusted mean difference (95% confidence interval) comparing men in the top and bottom quartiles of CoQ10 intake from foods were -3.1 mil/mL (95% CI -29.5, 38.8 mil/mL) for sperm concentration, -4.5% (-15.1%, 6.0%) for total motility, -1.3% for progressive motility (-8.4%, 5.7%) and 0.3% (-1.4%, 2.0%) for sperm morphology.

CoQ10 intake from foods was not related to semen parameters among subfertile men. Mean dietary intake of CoQ10 in this study was 10-fold lower than the supplemental dose used in clinical trials showing improved sperm motility. CoQ10 intake from foods alone may be insufficient to optimize semen parameters.

Urology. 2016 Jan 22 [Epub ahead of print]

Bruno C Tiseo, Audrey J Gaskins, Russ Hauser, Jorge E Chavarro, Cigdem Tanrikut, EARTH Study Team

Division of Urology, Hospital das Clínicas, University of Sao Paulo Medical School, Sao Paulo, Brazil., Departments of Nutrition and Epidemiology, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA., Vincent Obstetrics and Gynecology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA; Departments of Environmental Health and Epidemiology, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA., Department of Urology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA. Electronic address: .