Last update: Nov. 4, 2018

Coenzyme Q10

Low Risk probable for breastfeeding

Moderately safe.
Mild risk possible. Follow up recommended.
Read the Comment.

Present in the cells of all organisms, animals and plants, in the mitochondrial membrane. A powerful fat-soluble antioxidant.
It is synthesized in the body’s cells and is also obtained from diet (Niklowitz 2005), mainly from the consumption of meat, where it is very abundant, or from commercial supplements.

Indicated in the congenital deficiency of coenzyme Q, in some heart diseases and, off label, it is used in neurodegenerative diseases, headaches, cancer and others. Also sold as an "anti-aging" product. The evidence of its efficacy in most indications is zero, scarce or has little foundation (NIH 2018 and 2017, Hernández 2018).

Since the last update we have not found published data on its excretion in breast milk.

It is found naturally in breastmilk (Tang 2006), in greater amounts in colostrum and transition milk than in mature milk and preterm mother's milk (Quiles 2006, Niklowitz 2005).

Its pharmacokinetic data (large volume of distribution and moderately high molecular weight) make it unlikely it will transfer to breastmilk in significant quantities from the exogenous supply. Its liposolubility could make greater excretion in breastmilk possible.

The exogenous supply of Coenzyme-Q10 seems to increase its concentration in breastmilk (Codoñer 2013) and in infant plasma (Compagnoni 2004).

It is considered virtually devoid of toxicity and with few side effects (gastrointestinal ones) even at very high doses (Huntington 2010).

The amount contained in breastmilk, between 0.3 and 1.6 mg/L (Quiles 2006, Niklowitz 2005, Compagnoni 2004) is insufficient to reach the dosage normally used in newborns or infants: 15 mg/kg up to a maximum of 200 to 300 mg/day (Comité 2015, Lucangioli 2013).

Given its lack of toxicity, the fact it is a normal component of the body and the scarce increase in concentration in breastmilk that is assumed with supplements, its use during breastfeeding does not appear to be contraindicated.


We do not have alternatives for Coenzyme Q10.

Suggestions made at e-lactancia are done by APILAM´s pediatricians and pharmacists, and are based on updated scientific publications.
It is not intended to replace the relationship you have with your doctor but to compound it.

Jose Maria Paricio, Founder & President of APILAM/e-Lactancia

Your contribution is essential for this service to continue to exist. We need the generosity of people like you who believe in the benefits of breastfeeding.

Thank you for helping to protect and promote breastfeeding.

José María Paricio, founder of e-lactancia.

Other names

Coenzyme Q10 is also known as

Coenzyme Q10 in other languages or writings:


Main tradenames from several countries containing Coenzyme Q10 in its composition:


Variable Value Unit
Bioavailability 100 %
Molecular weight 863 daltons
VD 20,4 l/Kg
Tmax 7,9 hours
T1/2 21,7 hours


  1. Hernández-Camacho JD, Bernier M, López-Lluch G, Navas P. Coenzyme Q(10) Supplementation in Aging and Disease. Front Physiol. 2018 Abstract
  2. NIH - National Cancer Institute. Coenzyme Q10 (PDQ®). Health Professional Version. 2018 Full text (link to original source)
  3. NIH - National Cancer Institute. Coenzyme Q10 (PDQ®). Patient Version 2018 Full text (link to original source)
  4. NIH - Instituto Nacional del Cáncer. Coenzima Q10 (PDQ®). Versión para pacientes 2018 Full text (link to original source)
  5. NIH - Instituto Nacional del Cáncer. Coenzima Q10 (PDQ®). Versión para profesionales de salud. 2017 Full text (link to original source)
  6. Comité de Medicamentos de la Asociación Española de Pediatría. Coenzima Q10 (Ubidecarenona). Pediamécum. 2015 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  7. Lucangioli S, Tripodi V. Deficiencia de Coenzima Q10: ¿Una enfermedad huérfana en Argentina? Rev Farm. vol155 (1-2):81-88. 2013 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  8. Codoñer-Franch P, Hernández-Aguilar MT, Navarro-Ruiz A, López-Jaén AB, Borja-Herrero C, Valls-Bellés V. Diet supplementation during early lactation with non-alcoholic beer increases the antioxidant properties of breastmilk and decreases the oxidative damage in breastfeeding mothers. Breastfeed Med. 2013 Abstract
  9. Huntington Study Group Pre2CARE Investigators., Hyson HC, Kieburtz K, Shoulson I, McDermott M, Ravina B, de Blieck EA, Cudkowicz ME, Ferrante RJ, Como P, Frank S, Zimmerman C, Cudkowicz ME, Ferrante K, Newhall K, Jennings D, Kelsey T, Walker F, Hunt V, Daigneault S, Goldstein M, Weber J, et al. Safety and tolerability of high-dosage coenzyme Q10 in Huntington's disease and healthy subjects. Mov Disord. 2010 Abstract
  10. Tang PH, Miles MV, Steele P, Davidson BS, Geraghty SR, Morrow AL. Determination of coenzyme Q10 in human breast milk by high-performance liquid chromatography. Biomed Chromatogr. 2006 Abstract
  11. Quiles JL, Ochoa JJ, Ramirez-Tortosa MC, Linde J, Bompadre S, Battino M, Narbona E, Maldonado J, Mataix J. Coenzyme Q concentration and total antioxidant capacity of human milk at different stages of lactation in mothers of preterm and full-term infants. Free Radic Res. 2006 Abstract
  12. Niklowitz P, Menke T, Giffei J, Andler W. Coenzyme Q10 in maternal plasma and milk throughout early lactation. Biofactors. 2005 Abstract
  13. Compagnoni G, Giuffrè B, Lista G, Mosca F, Marini A. CoQ10 plasmatic levels in breast-fed infants compared to formula-fed infants. Biol Neonate. 2004 Abstract

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