Coenzyme Q10 and heart

Increasing scientific evidence suggests that coenzyme Q10 is a safe and effective therapy for a wide range of heart diseases such as congestive heart failure, cardiomyopathy, high blood pressure, mitral valve prolapse and angina. It has also been used to treat patients undergoing coronary artery bypass surgery. Coenzyme Q10 appears to exert its beneficial effects both by improving energy production and by acting as an antioxidant.

Coenzyme Q10 and heartCoenzyme Q10 may help prevent atherosclerosis as it can protect against oxidative damage to fats. In a 1993 Japanese study, researchers measured levels of coenzyme Q10 and also levels of various types of cholesterol and other blood fats in 378 people. These included 249 people with no coronary artery disease, 29 patients with the disease who were receiving pravastatin, (a cholesterol-lowering drug) and 104 patients with the disease who were not receiving pravastatin. In the patient groups, the plasma total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels were higher and the plasma coenzyme Q10 level lower than in those with no disease. The results showed that coenzyme Q10 levels, either alone or when expressed in relation to LDL levels, were significantly lower in the patient groups compared with those with no disease. They concluded that coenzyme Q10 therapy would be beneficial in patients with atherosclerosis.

In a study published in 1994, researchers at the University of Texas looked at the usefulness of long-term coenzyme Q10 therapy in clinical cardiology. Over an eight-year period, they treated 424 patients with various forms of cardiovascular disease by adding coenzyme Q10, in amounts ranging from 75 to 600 mg/day to their treatment programs. Patients were divided into six diagnostic categories including ischemic cardiomyopathy, dilated cardiomyopathy, primary diastolic dysfunction, hypertension, mitral valve prolapse and valvular heart disease.

The patients were followed for an average of 17.8 months. The researchers evaluated clinical response according to the New York Heart Association (NYHA) functional scale and found significant improvements in all the patients. Out of 424 patients, 58 per cent improved by one NYHA class, 28 per cent by two classes and 1.2 per cent by three classes. Statistically significant improvements in heart muscle function were shown using a variety of laboratory tests. Before treatment with coenzyme Q10, most patients were taking from one to five cardiac medications and during the study, overall medication requirements dropped considerably with 43 per cent of patients stopping between one and three drugs. Only 6 per cent of the patients required the addition of one drug. No apparent side effects from coenzyme Q10 treatment were noted other than a single case of transient nausea. The researchers concluded that coenzyme Q10 is a safe and effective treatment for a broad range of cardiovascular diseases, often in combination with other medications, as it produces improvements in a variety of symptoms and reduces medication needs.

Coenzyme Q10 has also been used during heart surgery and to treat heart failure, cardiomyopathy and angina.

Other nutrientsOther nutrients

Choline

Choline helps to lower cholesterol levels as a choline-containing enzyme helps to remove cholesterol from tissues. In a 1995 study, researchers gave lecithin supplements to 32 patients with high cholesterol and triglyceride levels. The dosage used was 3.5 g three times daily before meals. After 30 days of treatment, total cholesterol and triglycerides levels decreased significantly and beneficial HDL cholesterol levels rose. Choline has also been used to lower homocysteine concentrations.

Carnitine

Carnitine can be used to treat several types of cardiovascular disease including cardiomyopathy, angina, heart attack and arrhythmias. It can also be used to lower blood fat levels, aid in weight loss, and improve muscle strength in some cases of weakness.

 
 
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