Coenzyme Q10: Help for Heart Failure?
A daily CoQ10 supplement may improve heart health in people with heart failure
An estimated 23 million people worldwide suffer from heart failure, a condition in which the heart loses the ability to pump enough blood to meet the body's needs. Proper medical management and lifestyle changes, such as maintaining a healthy body weight and eating less sodium (salt), can improve the outlook for people with heart failure. Now we may be able to add coenzyme Q10 supplementation to this list.
Pooling the data for answers of the heart
Researchers used meta-analysis to combine data from 13 previous clinical trials to study the effects of coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) supplementation on heart failure. The doses of CoQ10 used in these studies ranged from 60 to 300 mg per day. All of the studies measured the New York Heart Association (NYHA) functional classification and/or ejection fraction to assess the severity of heart failure.
The NYHA functional classification provides a way to categorize the extent of heart failure, and ejection fraction refers to the percentage of blood by volume that is pumped out of the heart with each beat. Normal ejection fraction ranges from 50 to 75%, depending on how it's measured. People with heart failure often have ejection fractions below 40%, and most people feel symptoms, such as fatigue, when this number drops below 25%.
Compared with people not selected to take CoQ10 supplements, ejection fraction improved an average of 3.7% and there was a small improvement in the NYHA functional classification score in people who supplemented CoQ10. Doses below 100 mg of CoQ10 per day seemed more effective than higher doses, and the supplement was more effective in people with less severe heart failure.
Smart moves to bolster heart health
This study suggests that a daily 60 to 100 mg CoQ10 supplement may improve heart health in people with heart failure. Our tips can help you learn about other steps to minimize heart failure risk and better manage the condition if you already have it:
(Am J Clin Nutr doi: 10.3945/ajcn.112.040741)
Suzanne Dixon, MPH, MS, RD, an author, speaker, and internationally recognized expert in chronic disease prevention, epidemiology, and nutrition, has taught medical, nursing, public health, and alternative medicine coursework. She has delivered over 150 invited lectures to health professionals and consumers and is the creator of a nutrition website acclaimed by the New York Times and Time magazine. Suzanne received her training in epidemiology and nutrition at the University of Michigan, School of Public Health at Ann Arbor.