Patients with The Mayo Clinic defines heart failure, also known as congestive heart failure and/or chronic heart failure, as the failure of the heart muscle to pump blood to the body adequately. In other words, heart failure is not a heart attack, and it is not death from heart disease, which its name might seem to imply. Heart failure is a condition... Read more about this term are patients whose heart does not pump out enough blood with each heartbeat. The failing heart has to work harder and harder – has to pump more times per minute – to pump enough blood containing oxygen and nutrients out to the body tissues. The failing heart is an energy-deprived heart. It is a heart with contractions that are not as strong as they need to be.
The symptoms of chronic The Mayo Clinic defines heart failure, also known as congestive heart failure and/or chronic heart failure, as the failure of the heart muscle to pump blood to the body adequately. In other words, heart failure is not a heart attack, and it is not death from heart disease, which its name might seem to imply. Heart failure is a condition... Read more about this term
Cardiologists have categorized some of the most common symptoms of heart failure in its earlier stages:
- Shortness of breath (called dyspnea in the medical literature) during or following ordinary amounts of physical exertion
- Fatigue and weakness (muscle weakness is called myopathy) following ordinary amounts of physical exertion
- Swelling (called edema) in the lower extremities
- Reduced ability to walk or exercise
- Difficulty concentrating
Causes of chronic heart failure
There are many possible causes of chronic heart failure, but, essentially, what heart failure comes down to is a thickening and stiffness in the muscles of the left ventricle of the heart. The left ventricle is the ventricle that pumps the blood out to the aorta, which is the main artery that carries the blood from the heart out to the body.
Coenzyme Q10 makes the heart’s contractions stronger
Numerous studies conducted over the past 30 years have yielded the following conclusions about chronic heart failure:
- There is an established strong inverse association between the levels of Coenzyme Q10 in the blood and tissues and the severity of chronic heart failure – the lower the blood or tissues levels of Coenzyme Q10, the greater the severity of the heart failure
- Coenzyme Q10 is a known essential cofactor in the process of energy production at the cellular level
- Dysfunction of the cellular process of bioenergetics in the heart muscle is an important mechanism by which the heart’s contractions become less and less powerful
- The human body does produce Coenzyme Q10, but the production generally peaks in a person’s 20s and then begins to decrease with increasing age.
- The taking of statin medications greatly reduces the body’s own production of Coenzyme Q10
- Supplementation with Coenzyme Q10 in addition to conventional medication can lead to increased energy production in the failing heart
Digoxin as an inotropic agent
A positive inotrope is a medication that strengthens the contractions of the heart muscle. The best known positive inotrope is the one called digoxin.
Digoxin strengthens the force of the heart’s contractions by increasing the amount of calcium in the heart’s cells. The increased presence of the calcium stimulates the heart to contract more forcefully.
But digoxin use needs to be monitored very carefully. Its use is safe only within relatively narrow limits. Chronic digoxin toxicity is an ever present danger. Such factors as decreased kidney function, dehydration, disturbances in electrolyte balances, or some Numerous drugs interfere with the bio-synthesis or the absorption or both of Coenzyme Q10. Coenzyme Q10 is not known to inhibit the action of other drugs. There is research showing that Coenzyme Q10 supplementation does not interfere with the clinical effects of warfarin. However, anyone taking an anti-coagulant medication will want to discuss the benefits of taking Coenzyme Q10 with... Read more about this term can make the use of digoxin dangerous.
Coenzyme Q10 as a safe indirect positive inotrope
Coenzyme Q10 supplement is known to be very safe. The safe upper limit for the ingestion of Coenzyme Q10 is thought to be 1200 mg per day.
In the Q-Symbio study, 300 mg per day (taken as 100 mg three times daily) was safe and well-tolerated and effective at improving the symptoms and survival of heart failure patients.
Adjuvant treatment with Coenzyme Q10
In other words, adjuvant treatment with Coenzyme Q10 has been seen to work as an indirect positive inotrope. Adequate supplies of Coenzyme Q10 are needed in the cells of the heart muscle tissue. The Coenzyme Q10 is needed to produce the energy that helps the heart muscle contract.
The side effects of statin medications
By now, I hope that everyone is aware of one adverse side effect of taking statin medications. The mechanism by which statin medications work to inhibit the body’s production of Cholesterol is one of the major fat-soluble compounds that is found in animal plasma membranes. It is necessary for life and is found throughout the body. It is carried from the liver to the tissues where it is needed by lipoproteins of which it is a component. Much of the cholesterol is transported in Low density lipoproteins (LDL). High levels... Read more about this term – by inhibiting the functioning of the HMG-CoA reductase enzymes – is the same mechanism that inhibits the body’s production of Coenzyme Q10.
It now seems that, in reducing the amount of cholesterol in the body in the hope of reducing the extent of atherosclerosis — the build-up of plaques of fatty materials on the inner walls of the arteries – and reducing the risk of heart attack, we have reduced the supply of Coenzyme Q10 to the heart muscle cells and have increased the risk of worsening heart failure.
How Coenzyme Q10 helps the heart failure patient
In addition to improving the energy production in the heart muscle cells, supplementation with Coenzyme Q10 is thought to provide other health benefits:
- Coenzyme Q10 serves as a powerful Antioxidants are substances that protect the cells and lipoproteins against the harmful effects of free radicals. They are substances that prevent the oxidation of other molecules and compounds. There are two broad categories of antioxidants: enzymatic and non-enzymatic. Non-enzymatic antioxidants are substances like Coenzyme Q10, vitamin C, vitamin E, glutathione, and various carotenoids. Prominent enzymatic antioxidants include catalase, glutathione peroxidase,... Read more about this term neutralizing harmful Free radicals are unstable and highly reactive molecules that are produced in the body during normal oxygen metabolism. Free radicals derived from oxygen are known as reactive oxygen species. Free radicals play both helpful and harmful roles in the body. Free radicals steal electrons from other substances in order to become stable. In so doing, the free radicals oxidize those... Read more about this term caused by oxidative stress in the heart muscle
- Coenzyme Q10 improves endothelial function, helping to maintain a balance between the vaso-dilating and vaso-constricting substances acting on the The endothelium is the layer of cells that line the surface of the inside of the arteries and veins, the heart, and lymph vessels.The endothelium releases molecules, e.g. nitric oxide, angiotensin II, etc., that help to expand (dilate) or contract (constrict) the blood vessels and thus raise or lower blood pressure. The cells of the endothelium release substances (called factors)... Read more about this term (the endothelium is composed of the cells lining the inside of the blood vessels)
- Coenzyme Q10 can impede the metabolic vicious cycle in a beneficial way (the metabolic vicious cycle involves the low cardiac output of heart failure leading to compensatory hormonal excitation leading to increases in the fatty acid concentrations in plasma leading to the delivery of more plasma fatty acids to the heart muscle cells and then to the The mitochondria are the bean-shaped organelles in the cells. They are the key organelles with responsibility for the production of ATP energy molecules.... Read more about this term where the fatty acids disrupt the mitochondrial respiration process, which results in less powerful contractions of the heart, thus starting the cycle all over again.)
- Coenzyme Q10 may help stabilize the mitochondrial permeability transition pore (destabilization of the MPTP by calcium overload in the mitochondria together with oxidative stress results in ATP (adenosine triphosphate) molecules are the high-energy molecules with easily broken phosphate bonds that release energy to the energy-requiring processes in the cells. Coenzyme Q10 is essential to the process of ATP production.... Read more about this term depletion and cell injury or death)
- Coenzyme Q10 therapy may shield the heart muscle cells against apoptosis (programmed cell death)
Clinical effects of Coenzyme Q10 supplementation
Supplementation with Coenzyme Q10 capsules, as compared to supplementation with placebo capsules, brings about the following The outcome of a clinical trial is thought to have statistical significance, or to be statistically significant, if the outcome is likely not caused by chance at a given statistical significance level, typically at the 0.05 level. Statistically significant outcomes may or may not be clinically significant.... Read more about this term and clinically relevant positive outcomes in heart failure patients:
- Fewer cardiovascular deaths
- Fewer major cardiovascular events
- Fewer hospitalizations
- Fewer all-cause deaths
Mortensen, S. A., Rosenfeldt, F., Kumar, A., Dolliner, P., Filipiak, K. J., Pella, D., & Littarru, G. P. (2014). The effect of coenzyme Q10 on morbidity and mortality in chronic heart failure: results from Q-SYMBIO: a randomized A double-blind study is a study in which neither the investigators nor the study participants know which participants are receiving the active treatment and which participants are receiving the control treatment until the study has been completed and the seal on the code has been broken.... Read more about this term trial. JACC. Heart Failure, 2(6), 641-649.
Okuyama, H., Langsjoen, P. H., Hamazaki, T., Ogushi, Y., Hama, R., Kobayashi, T., & Uchino, H. (2015). Statins are a class of medications that effectively block the body’s synthesis of cholesterol. In so doing, statins also block the body’s synthesis of Coenzyme Q10.... Read more about this term stimulate Atherosclerosis is the thickening of the artery walls brought about by the build-up of plaque (plaque is made up of cholesterol and other fatty substances and waste products and calcium and fibrin) and the subsequent slowing of the flow of blood through the clogged arteries. More research is needed into the role of Coenzyme Q10 in the prevention and adjunct... Read more about this term and heart failure: pharmacological mechanisms. Expert Review of Clinical Pharmacology, 8(2), 189-199.
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