by Zina Kroner, DO
CoQ10 has been considered for prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease related to atherosclerosis, hypertension, diabetes and other common risk factors. LDL (“bad cholesterol”) in the walls of arteries can be oxidatively damaged and that may be an initiating event leading to atherosclerosis. In these cases, the antioxidant function of CoQ10 might be beneficial. There are other properties of CoQ10 that are of interest, such as its ability to decrease the amount of a specific substance on the surface of cells that can collect on the blood vessel walls (1).
An analysis of available research in 2003 found conflicting results. Some improvement in cardiac function was observed in some studies, but not confirmed in others (4).
CoQ10 is considered as a possible treatment for cardiomyopathy, which is an abnormality or disease of the cardiac muscle. Improvements in cardiac output have been found in some small studies. It has also been shown to help congestive heart failure as the result of coronary heart disease in other small studies. Again, there is a need for more large-scale clinical trials (1, 3).
Levels of CoQ10 have been considered as an independent predictor for outcome in patients with chronic heart failure. Those with lower levels have a higher risk of death. In one recent study, the correlation was strong enough for investigators to call for more interventional studies using CoQ10 to treat heart failure (4).
This same pattern repeats for almost all types of cardiovascular disease and treatment. From the treatment of angina (lack of blood supply to the heart muscle), to high blood pressure and damage of the lining of the blood vessels, there is some evidence of benefit from CoQ10 and a need for more studies (1).
I make sure that my patients' coq10 levels are assessed and they are treated accordingly.
1. Higdon, J. Coenzyme Q10. Micronutrient Information Center. Linus Pauling Institute. 2/2003. Updated 2/2007. lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/othernuts/coq10/#deficiency (Accessed 5/27/2010)
2. Shekelle P, Morton S, Hardy M. Effect of Supplemental Antioxidants Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and Coenzyme Q10 for the Prevention and Treatment of Cardiovascular Disease. Summary, Evidence Report/Technology Assessment: Number 83. AHRQ Publication Number 03-E042, June 2003. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. www.ahrq.gov/clinic/epcsums/antioxsum.htm.
3. Dallner, G, Stocker, R. Coenzyme Q10. Encyclopedia of dietary supplements, ed Paul M. Coates. Marcel Dekker, New York. 2005.
4. Molyneux, SL, Florkowski, CM, George, PM, et al. Coenzyme Q10: An Independent Predictor of Mortality in Chronic Heart Failure. J. Am. Coll. Cardiol. 2008;52;1435-1441.