Coenzyme Q10 and heart failure: a new meta-analysis

Symptoms of heart failure include shortness of breath, a tired feeling all the time, a build-up of fluid in the tissues, and heart palpitations. This chest x-ray shows an enlarged heart, the build-up of fluid between the lungs and the chest, the infiltration of fluid into  the lungs, and dilated pulmonary blood vessels. Still to come for this heart failure patient is the collecting of more fluid in the lungs, making breathing even more difficult.

Heart failure patients treated with daily Coenzyme Q10 supplements in addition to their conventional heart failure medications have significantly lower death rates and significantly improved exercise capacity compared with heart failure patients treated with conventional medications alone [Lei].

This is the conclusion of the 2017 meta-analysis of relevant randomized controlled trials reported by Li Lei and Yan Liu in the BMC Cardiovascular Disorders journal.  The two cardiologists analyzed the results from 14 randomized controlled studies enrolling a total of 2149 patients.

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Coenzyme Q10 and fatty acids and statin medications

Statin medications, also known as HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, have a good record at reducing high cholesterol levels. However, statin medications inhibit not only the body’s synthesis of cholesterol but also the body’s synthesis of Coenzyme Q10, which the heart muscle cells need for energy production and antioxidant protection. Statin drugs lower the plasma and tissue levels Coenzyme Q10. We need greater awareness of this relationship between statin drugs and the essential bio-nutrient Coenzyme Q10.

Statin medications?  What are we to think?  Statins undoubtedly lower cholesterol levels and reduce the number of heart attacks.

But statin medications can and do have adverse effects [Okuyama].  One of the undesirable unintended consequences of taking a statin medication is that the patient’s bio-synthesis of Coenzyme Q10 is also inhibited.  The body produces cholesterol and Coenzyme Q10 in the same biological pathway.  Cut off one, and you cut off the other as well.

The heart muscle cells need Coenzyme Q10

Low plasma and tissue concentrations of Coenzyme Q10 are clearly associated with increased risk of heart failure [Folkers].

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