What Are the Benefits of Taking Fish Oil and CoQ10?


CoQ10 and fish oil may have benefits that include improved heart function and blood flow. Fish oil has essential omega-3 fatty acids, which the body cannot produce, while CoQ10 is naturally occurring in the body. CoQ10 and omega-3 fatty acids share a dietary source in oily fish, such as salmon, tuna and mackerel. However, there likely isn't any specific benefit to taking them together as a supplement. Clinical evidence suggests that both fish oil and CoQ10 can provide benefits that support your metabolic health. Check with your doctor about choosing supplements, especially if you have health problems.

A ceramic spoon filled with fish oil capsules.
A ceramic spoon filled with fish oil capsules. (Image: marekuliasz/iStock/Getty Images)

What is CoQ10?

CoQ10, or coenzyme Q10, is an antioxidant that is vital for cell function and converting food into energy. CoQ10 combats free radicals, which are believed to contribute to cancer, heart disease and brain disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease. You can increase CoQ10 presence in your cells with dietary changes or supplementation. The University of Maryland Medical Center notes that CoQ10 can be effective alone or when combined with other treatments for cholesterol, blood pressure and other heart-related issues.

CoQ10 and Treating Heart Disease

Clinical evidence suggests that people with heart failure have lower levels of CoQ10 in their system. A study published in the European Heart Journal in 2006 examined the effects of CoQ10 and exercise in participants with chronic heart failure. The results in the small study showed that those who exercised and took a CoQ10 supplement had improved heart function compared to those who exercised without CoQ10. However, the University of Maryland Medical Center notes that some studies found no effect from CoQ10 as a sole treatment for heart failure, and it remains controversial. Consult a doctor before using CoQ10 as a supplement for heart-related conditions.

Fish Oil and Chronic Diseases

The most beneficial omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil are eicosapentaenoic acid -- EPA -- and docosahexaenoic acid -- DHA. These are polyunsaturated fatty acids, or PUFAs, which play a vital role in preventing heart disease, improving brain function and cancer. Fish oil may help prevent heart disease by reducing the high triglyceride levels that can lead to heart failure. Human studies suggest PUFAs can help prevent age-related cognitive decline and dementia, according to an article published in a 2013 issue of Ageing Research Reviews. Although fish oil has anti-cancer properties, clinical evidence on its effectiveness in preventing colon, breast and prostate cancer is limited.

Considerations and Side Effects

The American Heart Association recommends you eat oily fish at least twice a week. Fish is a dietary source for both CoQ10 and fish oil's omega-3 fatty acids. CoQ10 is generally safe with no major side effects. However, gastrointestinal issues such as bloating, stomach pain and gas can occur when supplementing CoQ10 or fish oil. Omega-3 fatty acids can interact with blood-thinning medication and increase bleeding in those with a bleeding disorder. Consult a doctor before including these in your diet.

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