Does Coenzyme Q10 have Benefits for PCOS?

The benefits of different supplements for PCOS continue to expand and we can often be recommended different types in the media and by ‘word of mouth’ . The common question I get asked in my clinical practice is about the potential benefits of supplements for PCOS. So let’s break it down below. 

What is PCOS?

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome or PCOS is a common endocrine or hormone disorder. Many individuals that have PCOS will look very different from diverse body shapes and sizes alongside symptoms presenting.  There is no ‘typical’ person with PCOS, as it is so variable. Often the symptoms include menstrual cycle disturbances, acne, and unwanted hair growth, commonly on the face. If you have an ultrasound scan you may find a ‘pearl-like’ structure around the outside of the ovary known as cysts. 

What is CoEnzyme Q10?

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), also commonly known as ubiquinone is a fat-soluble antioxidant. It has a similar structure to vitamin K which is naturally present in the body, with the highest levels in the liver, kidneys, pancreas and heart. As an antioxidant, COQ10 supports cellular energy (or ATP) production.

Evidence supports that CoQ10 may play a role in regulating blood glucose, and may reduce the risk of insulin resistance, reduce blood pressure, improve fertility and embryo quality, and reduce migraine incidence. 

Does coenzyme Q10 have benefits for PCOS?

It is thought oxidative stress (imbalance between free radicals and antioxidants in your body) is a major factor in PCOS. We do need free radicals to help us fight off pathogens, which can lead to infections, however when there are more free radicals that can be kept in balance by antioxidants prolonged can lead to inflammation. Commonly known antioxidants are vitamin C, vitamin E and CoQ10. 

There is promising evidence of the benefits of CoQ10 for PCOS in effectively improving glucose metabolism, inflammation, and sex hormone levels. One study of 40 people with PCOS, given 100mg of CoQ10 for 12 weeks found significant improvements in the gene expression related to insulin, lipid and oxidative stress, but there is still a lack of large sample sizes and time period of study.

Can I take coenzyme Q10 with metformin?

Metformin is a prescribed medication to manage insulin resistance as it helps your body utilise the insulin your body is making better. The primary indication for prescribing metformin is as first-line therapy for type 2 diabetes 

There is no evidence to suggest contraindications to be taken alongside prescribed metformin. However, you can consult your Doctor regarding supplementation alongside prescribed medication. In addition, there may be a combination of side effects from both CoQ10 and metformin as both have been known to have gastrointestinal side effects. 

Can I take coenzyme Q10 with myo-inositol and d-chiro-inositol?

Myo-inositol, either taken alone or in combination with D-chiro-inositol (in a ratio of 40:1) may improve insulin sensitivity, reducing testosterone levels and regulating menstrual cycles. There is no evidence to suggest that you are not able to take inositol with CoQ10. Due to the similar structure to vitamin K, it is not advised to take alongside anticoagulants (blood thinners), such as warfarin. 

What are the best coenzyme Q10 supplements for PCOS?

When we’re looking at the best CoQ10 supplements for PCOS it is important to consider what was used in the clinical studies to ensure we are using evidence-based guidance. This suggests a dosage of approximately 100mg of CoQ10 per day alongside maintaining a varied, balanced diet.

Co Enzyme Q10 [CoQ10] 100mg

Ubiquinol CoQ10 100mg

Healthspan Ubiquinol 100mg

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