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Is Coenzyme Q10 Safe for Pregnant Women?

by
author image Jessica Bruso
Based in Massachusetts, Jessica Bruso has been writing since 2008. She holds a master of science degree in food policy and applied nutrition and a bachelor of arts degree in international relations, both from Tufts University.
Is Coenzyme Q10 Safe for Pregnant Women?
Not all supplements are safe during pregnancy. Photo Credit Photos.com/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images

Coenzyme Q10 is an antioxidant found naturally in your body. It helps your body produce energy and protein and allows muscle contraction. Most people have sufficient CoQ10 levels in their body without taking supplements. However, certain medical conditions can cause lower levels of CoQ10 in the body, making supplemental CoQ10 helpful.

Coenzyme Q10 Levels During Pregnancy

During pregnancy, your coenzyme Q10 levels normally increase as the pregnancy progresses. Lower-than-average blood levels of CoQ10 in pregnant women may be associated with spontaneous abortion, according to a study published in the July 1996 issue of "Fetal Diagnosis and Therapy." However, this preliminary research did not determine whether there is a cause and effect relationship.

Safety of Coenzyme Q10 Supplements During Pregnancy

Because coenzyme Q10 supplementation has not been well studied in pregnant women, evidence is lacking as to whether it is safe during pregnancy. Unless your doctor prescribes this supplement, either because you have low levels of CoQ10 or for another condition, avoid unnecessary risks and do not take CoQ10 during pregnancy.

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Side Effects and Safety

CoQ10 is not safe for everyone. If you take blood pressure medications or blood thinners or suffer from diabetes, speak with your doctor before taking CoQ10 to see whether it is safe for you. CoQ10 may cause side effects including heartburn, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, upset stomach, insomnia, skin itching, headache, rash, dizziness, irritability, fatigue, light sensitivity in your eyes, loss of appetite and throat or upper chest discomfort.

Considerations

Speak with your doctor about safe medications or supplements you can use during pregnancy in place of CoQ10 if you are taking this supplement when you become pregnant. Although CoQ10 is generally safe and has few side effects, you should avoid it during pregnancy. It has not been proven safe for pregnant women, and limited evidence exists about its benefits.

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