Does CoQ10 Increase Progesterone?

In this blog, we will take a close look at two vital components of the human body: Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) and Progesterone. We will discuss their roles, functions, and the potential correlation between the two, and will mention whether CoQ10 can increase Progesterone levels.
Greta Daniskova

Greta Daniskova

Greta is a BSc Biomedical Science student at the University of Westminster, London.

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What is CoQ10?

Coenzyme Q10, also known as CoQ10, is a vital component present in all eukaryotic organisms. It plays a significant role in the cell, particularly in the electron transport chain in the inner mitochondrial membrane, which is crucial for energy production in the form of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) [1, 2, 3, 4].

CoQ10 is also an essential cofactor in oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS), a process that occurs in mitochondria and cell membranes in both reduced and oxidized forms [1]. It is synthesized in all cells by a specialized mitochondrial pathway, requiring at least 13 genes for its biosynthesis [5].

What does CoQ10 do?

CoQ10 has multiple functions in the body. It acts as an energy transfer molecule, especially in high-energy-demanding organs like the liver, heart, and kidneys [1]. It also serves as an antioxidant, protecting cells from oxidative stress caused by reactive oxygen species (ROS) [4, 6].

In addition to its role in energy production and antioxidant defense, CoQ10 has been associated with anti-inflammatory effects, gene expression regulation, and lipid bilayer membrane stabilization [4]. It also plays a role in maintaining the electron transport chain and antioxidant defence, which are crucial for maintaining physical activity and extending the life cycle [3].

Moreover, CoQ10 has been linked to the prevention of DNA damage, with protective effects on several markers of oxidative DNA damage and genomic stability [7]. It has also been suggested as a potential therapeutic agent for various diseases, including cardiovascular diseases, neurodegenerative diseases, and male infertility [2].

What is Progesterone?

Progesterone is a steroid hormone that is naturally produced in the body by both men and women. It plays a crucial role in various physiological processes, particularly in the female reproductive system. Progesterone is recognized as a key physiological component of not only the menstrual cycle and pregnancy but also as an essential steroidogenic precursor of other gonadal and non-gonadal hormones such as aldosterone, cortisol, estradiol, and testosterone [8, 9].

What does Progesterone do?

Progesterone has a wide range of functions in the human body. In the context of female reproduction, it prepares the endometrium for the implantation process and maintains the gestational sac in the uterus. It also modulates the maternal immune system during pregnancy [10]. Progesterone plays a significant role in the early stages of pregnancy, helping to prepare the uterus for the fertilized embryo and ensuring the uterus has enough dilated blood vessels to feed the embryo as it implants and grows [11].

Beyond its role in reproduction, progesterone has significant actions in other tissues, such as the cardiovascular system, the central nervous system, and bones [12]. It has been associated with neuro- and immunoprotective activities, and it has been shown to have positive effects on neuroregeneration and repair of brain damage [8, 13].

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In addition to its natural physiological roles, progesterone and its synthetic analogues are used in various medical applications. These include maintaining pregnancy, preventing preterm labour, treating various gynaecological pathologies, and reducing the negative effects of menopause [8].

Does CoQ10 increase Progesterone levels?

Yes, CoQ10 supplementation may affect progesterone levels according to some studies. In a rat model of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS), treatment with CoQ10 decreased elevated serum progesterone levels compared to the untreated OHSS group.In a study of 30 infertile women, supplementation with 150 mg/day of CoQ10 (ubiquinol form) for 4 months resulted in higher progesterone levels, although the increase was not statistically significant.

So while more research is needed, the available evidence suggests CoQ10 may impact progesterone production in certain contexts like OHSS or infertility. The effects likely relate to CoQ10's antioxidant properties and ability to support mitochondrial function in steroid-producing ovarian cells.

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Several studies have reported that CoQ10 can enhance female reproductive health. For example, supplementation increased hormonal indices in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) [14]. It may also be capable of promoting the differentiation of ovarian stem cells and enhancing ovarian function in a mouse model of ovarian failure [15].

In another study of rats with OHSS, CoQ10 led to improved ovarian histology and dampened the expression of multiple angiogenic proteins in the ovary [16]. Yet another study proposes CoQ10 as a putative protective factor for ovarian tissue, as a ratio of CoQ10/total cholesterol was inversely associated with POI [17].

Though these studies suggest that CoQ10 has beneficial effects on female reproductive health, none provide a direct causal link with increased progesterone levels. Answers to these questions will require better study.

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Greta Daniskova

Greta Daniskova

Greta is a 2nd-year student currently pursuing her Bachelor's Degree in Biomedical Sciences at the University of Westminster in London. Currently, in her second year of undergraduate studies, she exhibits a keen interest in the dynamic field of healthcare. With a focus on understanding the intricacies of human biology and disease mechanisms, Greta is driven by a desire to contribute to advancements in medical research and patient care.