CoQ10 Shows Benefits in Patients with Heart Risks

Coenzyme Q-10 (CoQ10) is a vitamin-like compound that is found in practically all cells in the human body. The ubiquitous compound is felt to be important for helping mitochondria, the power plants of cells, work efficiently.

Patients who take some medications, including cholesterol medications like statins, have been shown to have lower levels of CoQ10 in their bodies. For cholesterol medications, one theory that addresses muscle complications suggests that decreased CoQ10 levels may contribute to these problems. Several small studies have suggested that the use of CoQ10 as a supplement to alleviate symptoms of statin induced muscle pain may be effective.

The use of cholesterol lowering medicines has grown significantly since their introduction over twenty years ago. We now know that cholesterol medicines significantly reduce the risks of heart disease and stroke in nearly all patients with an elevated risk. Some patients may even reduce their risk of heart attack and stroke by as much as 50%.

Lower Cholesterol = Lower Cardiovascular Risk

Several studies have proven that the lower a patient’s cholesterol is, the lower the cardiovascular risk. This has caused treatment guidelines and standards to be adjusted in the past ten years to be more aggressive across all demographic groups of patients. As such, doctors are not only prescribing these medicines more frequently but are prescribing higher doses.

As with most medicines, higher doses increase the risk of adverse side effects to the patient. Give the tremendous benefit of these medications, most doctors are hesitant to wean or reduce the medicines without good reason. A number of physicians have begun to recommend prophylactic CoQ10 as a supplement for patients who take cholesterol lowering medication.

Lower Blood Pressure and Improved Heart Function

Additional evidence exists to suggest that CoQ10 supplements may help in maintaining a healthy blood pressure and improve heart function in the setting of heart failure. These effects are thought to occur by the improvement of muscle cell function. While some studies are still being conducted the excellent safety profile of CoQ10 has led a number of Cardiologists to recommend CoQ10 to their patients to provide the best possible benefit available.

A substantial amount of research has been done on the effects of CoQ10 and blood pressure. At this time, a good amount of scientific evidence exists to endorse CoQ10 as an adjunctive therapy towards regulating high blood pressure. While doctors don’t know the reason blood pressure becomes elevated in so many people as they age, it has been postulated that age related reduction of CoQ10 may contribute to the development of high blood pressure. The validity of the use of CoQ10 in treatment of hypertension lends weight to that theory.

Once or Twice a Day is Safe

CoQ10 is an extremely safe medication and can be taken as an oral supplement once or twice daily. While it is absorbed adequately, recent production advances have allowed for some forms of CoQ10, specifically the Ubiquinol form, to be much more readily absorbed, or bioavailable than the more readily available Ubiquinone form. This is important as in one safety study nausea was reported in over 1/3 of patients taking a large dose of CoQ10. When the dose was halved in another study less than 4% of patients reported nausea. The use of Ubiquilnol allows patients to take a fraction of the dose of Ubiquinone and recive the same benefits.

CoQ10 may interact with some medications, including coumadin. Also, for patients on certain blood pressure medicines, like methyldopa, using CoQ10 may require your doctor to reduce your blood pressure medicine. As always, no changes to your medication regimen should be undertaken without the advice of your physician.

Conclusion

In short, CoQ10 is an excellent supplement to certain heart and cholesterol medications and may help to reduce the risk of adverse effects from those medicines. It is safe and generally well tolerated, and in a newly developed form, Ubiquinol, less CoQ10 is needed to produce the same results. The Primary Care Specialists and Cardiologists at HealthwoRx™, an award winning medical practice in Broward County, Florida, exclusively recommend the Ubiquinol form of CoQ10 for their patients. Since it may be difficult to find Ubiquinol in the general community, HealthwoRx™ has made it available here. Consult your physician to discuss if CoQ10 may help you in managing and preserving your health.