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How CoQ10 Helps With Heart Health

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is a substance that’ s found naturally in the body and it helps us convert food into energy. CoQ10 is found in almost every cell in the body, and it is a powerful antioxidant. Scientists believe free radicals contribute to the aging process, as well as a number of health problems, including heart disease and cancer.

The heart is one of the most important body organs and has the most active tissues in the body (metabolically). On average, the heart pumps over 7570 litres of blood over 104,000 kilometres of blood vessels 100,000 times daily. The heart therefore needs adequate amounts of energy daily.

For this reason, heart cells contain a greater number of mitochondria and a higher number of CoQ10 molecules in mitochondria than any other cells in the body.  One of the most important Coenzyme Q10 functions is said to be for improving heart health, because it can improve energy production in cells, prevent blood clot formation, and has all other antioxidant properties. Antioxidants fight damaging particles in the body known as free radicals, which damage cell membranes, tamper with DNA, and even cause cell death.

Some researchers believe that because CoQ10 acts as an antioxidant, it may help with all heart-related conditions. Each heart cell contains thousands of mitochondria cells to be able to meet the huge energy demands of the heart.

Heart cells ATP (energy) production is dictated by the presence of adequate amounts of CoQ10. Taking CoQ10 supplements therefore helps heart health because it ensures that heart cells get adequate energy to support the hearts huge energy requirements.

Large Quantities of ATP Are Needed to Power Vital Processes Like:

  • Body Heat
  • Brain Function
  • Heartbeat
  • Immune Support
  • Muscle Movement
  • Sending Nerve Impulses

 

There are numerous studies supporting the fact that CoQ10 helps in improving heart health. For instance, there are studies done that prove that CoQ10 has a protective effect in patients who have suffered from heart attack/s. One such study done in 1998 focused on 71 patients suffering from acute myocardial infarction receiving a 120mg/d CoQ10 dosage revealed that CoQ10 actually improves functioning of the left ventricle which is the most essential heart chamber. Also, the study revealed that CoQ10 improves total arrhythmias (irregular heartbeats) because less patients suffered from fatal heart attacks and cardiac failure during the treatment period. This simply shows that CoQ10 supplements can help promote heart health.

Another study carried out on the effects of CoQ10 on high blood pressure patients revealed that CoQ10 indeed helps in treating hypertension. In this study 109 hypertension patients on hypertension medication were treated with varied doses of CoQ10. After 4 months, over 97% of the patients were able to completely stop taking their hypertension medication. This clearly shows that CoQ10 supplements can be effective in treating hypertension thus improving heart health.

Other studies show that CoQ10 supplements are also effective in treating congestive heart failure which affects millions all over the world (5 million in the U.S.). Congestive heart failure impairs blood circulation and numerous studies have shown that CoQ10 supplements are able to rectify this impairment which directly helps in improving heart health.

CoQ10 Uses According to the University of Maryland:

Some studies suggest that coenzyme Q10 supplements, either by themselves or in with other drug therapies, may help prevent or treat the following conditions:

After Heart Attack – One clinical study found that people who took daily CoQ10 supplements within 3 days of a heart attack were less likely to have subsequent heart attacks and chest pain. They were also less likely to die of heart disease than those who did not take the supplements. Anyone who has had a heart attack should talk with their health care provider before taking any herbs or supplements.

Heart failure (HF) – There’ s evidence that CoQ10 may help treat heart failure when combined with conventional medications. People who have congestive heart failure, where the heart isn’ t able to pump blood as well as it should may also have low levels of CoQ10. Heart failure can cause blood to pool in parts of the body, such as the lungs and legs. It can also cause shortness of breath. Several clinical studies suggests that CoQ10 supplements help reduce swelling in the legs; reduce fluid in the lungs, making breathing easier; and increase exercise capacity in people with heart failure. But not all studies are positive – some find no effect – so using CoQ10 for heart failure remains controversial. CoQ10 should never be used by itself to treat heart failure, and you should ask your health care provider before taking it for this condition.

High blood pressure (hypertension) – Preliminary research suggests that CoQ10 causes small decreases in blood pressure (systolic and possibly diastolic). Low blood levels of CoQ10 have been found in people with hypertension, although it is not clear if CoQ10 “deficiency” is a cause of high blood pressure. Several clinical studies involving small numbers of people suggest that CoQ10 may lower blood pressure. However, it may take 4 – 12 weeks to see any change. In one analysis, after reviewing 12 clinical studies, researchers concluded that CoQ10 has the potential to lower systolic blood pressure by up to 17 mm Hg and diastolic blood pressure by 10 mm Hg, without significant side effects. More research with greater numbers of people is needed. Don’ t try to treat high blood pressure by yourself – see your health care provider for treatment.

High cholesterol – People with high cholesterol tend to have lower levels of CoQ10, so CoQ10 has been proposed as a treatment for high cholesterol, but so far there’ s no evidence whether it works or not. There is some evidence it may reduce side effects from conventional treatment with cholesterol-lowering drugs called statins, which reduce natural levels of CoQ10 in the body. Taking CoQ10 supplements can bring levels back to normal. Plus, studies show that CoQ10 may decrease the muscle pain associated with statin treatment. Ask your health care provider if you are interested in taking CoQ10 with statins.

Diabetes – CoQ10 supplements may improve heart health and blood sugar and help manage high blood pressure in people with diabetes. Two studies found that 100 mg of CoQ10 twice daily improved A1c levels, a measure of long-term blood sugar control. But another study found no effect. If you have diabetes, talk to your doctor or registered dietitian before using CoQ10.

Heart damage caused by chemotherapy – Several clinical studies suggest that CoQ10 may help prevent heart damage caused by certain chemotherapy drugs, or other medications. More studies are needed, however. Talk to your health care provider before taking any herbs or supplements if you are undergoing chemotherapy.

Heart surgery – Clinical research indicates that introducing CoQ10 prior to heart surgery, including bypass surgery and heart transplantation, can reduce damage caused by free radicals, strengthen heart function, and lower the incidence of irregular heart beat (arrhythmias) during the recovery phase. You shouldn’ t take any supplements before surgery unless your health care provider approves.

Other

 

Dietary Sources:

Primary dietary sources of CoQ10 include oily fish (such as salmon and tuna), organ meats (such as liver), and whole grains. Some people get enough CoQ10 through their diet, but supplements may help people over the age of thirty-five, particularly those with particular health conditions or those taking certain medications and vegetarians.

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