Supplement Guide

Recommended Brands for Egg-Quality Supplements

*For those in the U.K. see recommended brands here

*Not all supplements are right for all situations- see the detailed discussion of each supplement in the book – the 2019 Edition is now available.

Choosing a CoQ10 Supplement

CoQ10 is quite a large and sticky molecule that can be difficult to absorb.  It also exists in two forms: ubiquinone, which is the standard form most commonly found in supplements, and ubiquinol, which is the active form.  Taking CoQ10 in the form of ubiquinol may have two advantages:

  1. It is more readily absorbed than most ubiquinone supplements.
  2. It is already in the active form, ready to act as an antioxidant and support energy production. (Ubiquinone is the oxidized form that has to be converted first. Most people perform this conversion well, but the ability to do so may decline with age).

For these reasons, it may be advantageous to supplement with CoQ10 in the form of Ubiquinol.  I recommend Jarrow Formulas QH-Absorb and Doctor’s Best Ubiquinol with Kaneka QH.

As discussed in the book, the standard dose of ubiquinol for age-related infertility or diminished ovarian reserve is 400mg per day (although some IVF clinics are now recommending even higher doses).

If cost is a significant concern, you can also take a standard ubiquinone supplement at a higher dose (200mg, 3 times per day). Some newer formulations of ubiquinone appear to be very well absorbed and for these supplements a higher dose may not be required. (Study). The best form of ubiquinone is likely Pharma-Nord’s Bio-Quinone Gold (MyoQuinon in Europe). It is absorbed as well, if not better than ubiquinol and was used in a recent clinical study showing significant benefit for egg quality. (It can be even more expensive than ubiquinol though).

Supplementing with DHEA

If you and your doctor are considering adding a DHEA supplement, it is useful to have your level checked first, by a simple lab test.  (The test measures the level of DHEA-S in your blood, which is more accurate than simply measuring DHEA itself).

Knowing your DHEA-S level can help to determine whether you need the full dose used in clinical studies, or whether a lower dose may be sufficient.  Checking your DHEA-S level every couple of months while taking a DHEA supplement will also help to ensure you are taking the right dose.

In most areas, you can order a test yourself through Life Extension (US) or Medichecks (UK).

What is the Optimal DHEA Level for Fertility?

The scientific research does not yet provide a clear answer as to this, but we do know that DHEA levels naturally decline with age.  Until more is known, clinics that recommend supplementing with DHEA typically aim for the high end of the normal range for young women, which would be around 250-300 mcg/dL.

Normal DHEA-S Range:

18-29 years: 44-332 mcg/dL
30-39 years: 31-228 mcg/dL
40-49 years: 18-244 mcg/dL

See also:

 

*** The 2019 Edition of It Starts with the Egg is now available! 

For research updates, success stories, and more, join my monthly email newsletter

Get email updates

~