Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) and fish oil supplements are the dynamic duo of maintaining vitality and improving quality of life. They have distinct mechanisms of action, and yet they’re equally effective dietary supplements [1]

So how do we choose between these two supplements? 

In this post, we will explore the benefits, side effects, dosage, and risks of both CoQ10 and fish oil supplements.

CoQ10 vs Fish Oil: Differences

The primary (and most obvious!) difference between CoQ10 and fish oil supplements is their source of origin.

CoQ10 (or ubiquinone) is a naturally occurring compound in our bodies. 

It’s predominantly found in cell mitochondria, and it assists the production of Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) that boosts our energy levels. Most COQ10 supplements either derive it through natural fermentation processes or chemical synthesis. 

CoQ10 is an excellent source of energy when taken consistently

On the other hand, fish oil is directly sourced from marine life, such as salmon, mackerel, and sardines. 

Fish oil supplements are rich in two main omega-3 fatty acid components: eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).

fish oil supplements help protect heart health

CoQ10 vs Fish Oil: Benefits 

CoQ10 has potent antioxidant effects that can reduce inflammation and risk of cardiovascular diseases [2]

Unfortunately, as we age, the synthesis of CoQ10 reduces and negatively impacts our cardiovascular function [3]. Therefore, CoQ10 supplements play a pivotal role in restoring our heart health and preventing heart failure, clot formation, and other cardiovascular events. 

Moreover, CoQ10 could also boost energy levels, prevent migraine attacks, and provide antioxidant effects. 

Conversely, fish oil supplements contain Omega-3 fatty acids that have anti-inflammatory effects. The reduction of cellular inflammation helps to reduce stress on the heart and promote optimal functioning. It can also lower triglycerides (TGs) which helps maintain healthy blood pressure levels [4,5].

CoQ10 vs Fish Oil: Efficacy

Numerous studies have examined the effectiveness of CoQ10 and fish oil supplementation on patients with cardiovascular diseases. 

For instance, in 2019, a randomized, double-blind study [6] concluded that groups with CoQ10 supplementation were less likely to experience major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE). 

Another study in 2020 [7,8,9] documented that habitual fish oil supplementation led to a 25% lower risk of cardiovascular diseases. 

However, there are competing amounts of clinical trials claiming the inefficacy of CoQ10 and fish oil supplementation on patients too. Some report no significant improvement in heart functionality, while others report statistically insignificant data [10].

That being so, it is safe to say that even though CoQ10 and fish oil supplements have convincing clinical evidence, they may not be 100% foolproof—our bodies work and respond differently, so what works for others might not necessarily work for you. 

CoQ10 vs Fish Oil: Risks

Both CoQ10 and fish oil supplements are safe when taken at recommended dosages. Nevertheless, it’s possible for consumers to experience side effects to a certain extent. 

The side effects are subjective and may vary from person to person. The most commonly reported side effects include [11,12]: 

CoQ10 EffectsFish Oil Effects
Insomnia Fishy  burps or aftertaste 
Hypotension (dizziness)Indigestion
Heartburn Diarrhea
Nausea Nausea
Side Effects of CoQ10 vs Fish Oil

You might also encounter allergy reactions to CoQ10 or fish oil supplements. Symptoms of allergy include rashes, itchiness, sudden swelling, or difficulty breathing. 

Seek medical attention immediately if you are subjected to any of these symptoms after taking any dietary supplements.

CoQ10 vs Fish Oil: Dosages

The usual CoQ10 dosage ranges from 30 to 90 mg (up to a maximum of 200mg) daily. 

As CoQ10 is a fat-soluble supplement, it is best consumed with meals. 

You will not notice any immediate effects after consuming CoQ10 as it takes up to at least eight weeks to show its benefits [13].

As for fish oil, most supplements in the market come in 1,000 mg dosages, which is equivalent to 180 mg EPA and 120 mg DHA. 

Similar to CoQ10, it’s recommended that you take your fish oil supplement consistently with meals [14]

FAQs

The choice truly depends on your personal health goals, preferences, and priorities. If you want to support your heart health and increase your energy levels, CoQ10 may be more suitable. On the other hand, if you’re looking for anti-inflammatory and brain health benefits, fish oil might be the better choice.
Yes. It’s safe to take both CoQ10 and fish oil supplements. In fact, this combination could work well together to boost your heart health and overall well-being. 

However, it’s worth noting that CoQ10 and fish oil supplements may interact with your other medications or supplements, such as [15,16]: 

– Anti-hypertensives
– Blood thinners
– Statins 
– Chemotherapies

Therefore, it’s best to consult your healthcare provider to determine the best approach for starting CoQ10 and fish oil supplement

Bottomline 

CoQ10 and omega-3 fish oil supplements are a great place to start. 

These powerful supplements not only improve heart health, they also maintain our overall well-being 

Prevention is better than cure—so make sure to take charge of your cardiovascular health today!

Disclaimer: This article is only a guide. It does not substitute the advice given by your own healthcare professional. Before making any health-related decision, consult your healthcare professional. We have assembled this article through in-depth research based on the information available at the date of publishing.  We may receive a small commission for purchases you make through our links, but this comes at NO extra cost to you. This commission allows us to continue doing what we love through Health Plugged, which is delivering evidence-based health information to our readers worldwide.

Editorial References And Fact-Checking

  1. D’Agrosa, C., Cai, C. L., Siddiqui, F., Deslouches, K., Wadowski, S., Aranda, J. V., & Beharry, K. D. (2021). Comparison of coenzyme Q10 or fish oil for prevention of intermittent hypoxia-induced oxidative injury in neonatal rat lungs. Respiratory research, 22(1), 196. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12931-021-01786-w
  2. Zozina, V. I., Covanțev, S., Goroshko, O. A., Красных, & Кукес. (2018, August 7). Coenzyme Q10 in Cardiovascular and Metabolic Diseases: Current State of the Problem. Current Cardiology Reviews; Bentham Science Publishers. https://doi.org/10.2174/1573403×14666180416115428
  3. De Barcelos, I. P., & Haas, R. (2019, May 11). CoQ10 and Aging. Biology; Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute. https://doi.org/10.3390/biology8020028
  4. Bradberry, J. C., & Hilleman, D. E. (2013). Overview of omega-3 Fatty Acid therapies. P & T : a peer-reviewed journal for formulary management, 38(11), 681–691.
  5. Kar, S. (2012, April 1). Fish Oil Supplementation & Coronary Artery Disease: Does It Help? PubMed Central (PMC). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6181727/
  6. Mortensen, A. L., Rosenfeldt, F., & Filipiak, K. J. (2013, January 2). Effect of coenzyme Q10 in Europeans with chronic heart failure: A sub-group analysis of the Q-SYMBIO randomized double-blind trial. Cardiology Journal; Via Medica. https://doi.org/10.5603/cj.a2019.0022
  7. Di Lorenzo, A., Iannuzzo, G., Parlato, A., Cuomo, G., Testa, C., Coppola, M., D’Ambrosio, G., Oliviero, D. A., Sarullo, S., Vitale, G., Nugara, C., Sarullo, F. M., & Giallauria, F. (2020, April 27). Clinical Evidence for Q10 Coenzyme Supplementation in Heart Failure: From Energetics to Functional Improvement. Journal of Clinical Medicine; Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute. https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9051266
  8. Li, Z. H., Zhong, W., Liu, S., Kraus, V. B., Zhang, Y. J., Gao, X., Lv, Y., Shen, D., Zhang, X. R., Zhang, P. D., Huang, Q., Chen, Q., Wu, X., Shi, X. M., Wang, D., & Chen, M. (2020, March 4). Associations of habitual fish oil supplementation with cardiovascular outcomes and all cause mortality: evidence from a large population based cohort study. BMJ; BMJ. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.m456
  9. Kaput, K. (2023, January 27). Fish Oil Pills Aren’t Doing What You Think They’re Doing. Cleveland Clinic. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/fish-oil/#:~:text=A%20large%20study%20showed%20that,people%20who%20took%20a%20placebo.
  10. Saadi, T. A., Assaf, Y., Farwati, M., Turkmani, K., Al‐Mouakeh, A., Shebli, B., Khoja, M., Essali, A., & Madmani, M. E. (2021, February 3). Coenzyme Q10 for heart failure. The Cochrane Library; Elsevier BV. https://doi.org/10.1002/14651858.cd008684.pub3
  11. Fish Oil: Uses, Benefits & Side Effects. (n.d.). Drugs.com. https://www.drugs.com/fish_oil.html
  12. Coenzyme Q10. (n.d.). NCCIH. https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/coenzyme-q10
  13. Saini, R. (2011, January 1). Coenzyme Q10: The essential nutrient. Journal of Pharmacy and Bioallied Sciences; Medknow. https://doi.org/10.4103/0975-7406.84471
  14. Office of Dietary Supplements – Omega-3 Fatty Acids. (n.d.). https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Omega3FattyAcids-HealthProfessional/
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Irshika Suthakar, B.Pharm

Irshika is a Bachelor of Pharmacy (B.Pharm) graduate who enjoys crafting in-depth health and wellness content. Her experience interacting with real-life patients during work has enabled her to pick up valuable communication skills, which translates into well-written and highly-engaging content for her readers. Being a health content writer is what she considers a huge privilege because she loves empowering people to make informed health choices. LinkedIn

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  • Irshika is a Bachelor of Pharmacy (B.Pharm) graduate who enjoys crafting in-depth health and wellness content. Her experience interacting with real-life patients during work has enabled her to pick up valuable communication skills, which translates into well-written and highly-engaging content for her readers. Being a health content writer is what she considers a huge privilege because she loves empowering people to make informed health choices. LinkedIn

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Irshika is a Bachelor of Pharmacy (B.Pharm) graduate who enjoys crafting in-depth health and wellness content. Her experience interacting with real-life patients during work has enabled her to pick up valuable communication skills, which translates into well-written and highly-engaging content for her readers. Being a health content writer is what she considers a huge privilege because she loves empowering people to make informed health choices. LinkedIn