Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is a potent natural antioxidant produced in the body. It is essential for a number of body functions and has been shown to improve heart health, immunity and fatigue. CoQ10 also protects LDL cholesterol from free radical damage and boosts the effects of vitamin E. As we age, however, our bodies are less able to produce this important antioxidant.
In 1974, the Japanese government officially approved of the use of CoQ10 for the treatment of congestive heart failure (CHF). This is because studies have shown that CoQ10 levels are lower in people with CHF and clinical trials indicate that complementing medical treatment with CoQ10 can improve the quality of life in CHF patients. A groundbreaking multi-centre study in 1993 demonstrated that adding CoQ10 to medical treatment significantly reduced hospital time and complications for CHF patients. In this one-year double-blind trial, CHF patients received either a placebo or CoQ10. Those who got the CoQ10 had half as many hospitalizations for symptoms of CHF, and more than half the incidence of pulmonary edema and cardiac asthma.
Hypertension (high blood pressure) is one of the most common risk factors for heart disease. At the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Idaho, researchers evaluated the efficacy of CoQ10 on 83 patients with high blood pressure. In this 12-week study, patients were given 60 mg of CoQ10 twice daily. The results showed that, on average, CoQ10 helped decrease hypertension by 17.8 points.
Sources: Clin Investig 1993;71(8 Suppl):S134-6; South Med J 2001 Nov;94(11):1112-7; Leslie Beck’s Nutrition Encyclopedia by L Beck, Prentice Hall:2001