Clin Exp Reprod Med. 2021 Jun ;48(2):97-104. Epub 2021 May 25. PMID: 34078005
Coenzyme Q10, oxidative stress, and male infertility: A review.
Male infertility has a complex etiopathology, which mostly remains elusive. Although research has claimed that oxidative stress (OS) is the most likely underlying mechanism of idiopathic male infertility, the specific treatment of OS-mediated male infertility requires further investigation. Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), a vitamin-like substance, has been found in measurable levels in human semen. It exhibits essential metabolic and antioxidant functions, as well as playing a vital role in mitochondrial bioenergetics. Thus, CoQ10 may be a key player in the maintenance of biological redox balance. CoQ10 concentrations in seminal plasma directly correlate with semen parameters, especially sperm count and sperm motility. Seminal CoQ10 concentrations have been shown to be altered in various male infertility states, such as varicocele, asthenozoospermia, and medical or surgical regimens used to treat male infertility. These observations imply that CoQ10 plays an important physiological role in the maintenance and amelioration of semen quality. The present article thereby aimed to review the possible mechanisms through which CoQ10 plays a role in the regulation of male reproductive function, and to concisely discuss its efficacy as an ameliorative agent in restoring semen parameters in male infertility, as well as its impact on OS markers, sperm DNA fragmentation, pregnancy, and assisted reproductive technology outcomes.