Heart Failure and Coenzyme Q10 as Adjuvant Therapy

Heart failure – it sounds scary. It is scary, but the medical term heart failure does not mean that your heart stops beating. No, instead, it means that your heart can’t pump enough blood and oxygen to your body.

Dr. William Judy
In the 30-year study of the management of congestive heart failure patients, Dr. Judy found that CoQ10 therapy in addition to conventional medication is more effective than conventional medication alone; however, the patients’ response to the CoQ10 adjunctive treatment is fairly slow, with peak improvements coming within 8 – 12 months. The conventional medication plus CoQ10 therapy is safe; it improves long-term survival compared to conventional medication alone.

Heart failure may develop because the heart muscle has weakened or has become thicker and stiffer. Your heart muscle can compensate for a period, but, eventually, you will need treatment.

The thing to remember is that the heart tissue is muscle tissue. As such, it needs a constant supply of ATP energy, and Coenzyme Q10 is essential to the process of ATP energy generation [Crane 2001]. Furthermore, the heart muscle tissue needs protection against the oxidative damage caused by harmful free radicals, and Coenzyme Q10 in its reduced form is an important antioxidant [Crane 2001].

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Coenzyme Q10 to Alleviate Fatigue

Fatigue. In many disorders, patients experience fatigue, even extreme fatigue, e.g., heart failure patients, chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia patients, multiple sclerosis patients, post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome patients, etc.

Dr. William V Judy
Today’s author is Dr. William Judy, founder and president of the SIBR Research Institute, where he has conducted studies of the effect of CoQ10 supplementation on fatigue in chronic heart failure and chronic fatigue syndrome patients.

The chronic fatigue may well be associated with cellular energy depletion and impaired mitochondrial function [Mantle 2022].

  • Research studies have implicated mitochondrial dysfunction in the development of chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia and in the resulting fatigue [Mantle 2022].
  • The outcomes of randomized controlled clinical trials have shown that CoQ10 supplementation significantly improves symptoms in chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia patients [Mantle 2022].
  • A 2019 systematic review of CoQ10 supplementation studies has shown significant benefits of CoQ10 supplementation on fatigue following exercise, statin intake, the development of multiple sclerosis, and the development of end-stage heart failure [Mehrabani 2019].
  • Supplemental CoQ10 has been shown to significantly improve plasma and skeletal muscle CoQ10 levels, exercise tolerance, and exercise recovery time in chronic fatigue patients. The response is not rapid. It takes months of supplementation to allow mitochondria regeneration and the improvement in exercise tolerance. If the supplementation of CoQ10 is stopped, then the chronic fatigue will slowly return [Judy 2018a, 2018b].

Coenzyme Q10, Inflammation, and Fatigue

Mantle et al [2022] make the point that that inflammation, which involves the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines, is not a wholly negative process in the body. Inflammation is the body’s normal response to infection or injury; it is essential for tissue healing.

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The Instability of Ubiquinol, Part 2 – Dog Studies

The results from large dog studies done by SIBR Research show that orally administered ubiquinol is mostly converted to the ubiquinone form of Coenzyme Q10 by the time it reaches the small intestines [Judy 2021 Part 2].

Dr Judy in the lab
Coenzyme Q10 is an essential bio-nutrient, especially important as we get older. It is a redox molecule with an oxidized state called ubiquinone and a reduced state called ubiquinol. Both are bio-active states. Ubiquinone supplements are more stable and much more tested than ubiquinol supplements. Ubiquinol by nature of being an electron donor is relatively quick to be oxidized to ubiquinone.

In the small intestines, it is then absorbed primarily as ubiquinone. Once it enters the lymph, it is increasingly converted back to ubiquinol.

By the time it leaves the lymph to enter the blood circulation, it is approximately 96 % ubiquinol again.

These findings beg the question: why buy a ubiquinol supplement when the ubiquinol will probably be converted to the ubiquinone form of Coenzyme Q10 prior to absorption?

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Coenzyme Q10 Supplementation for Elderly Persons

Supplementation with Coenzyme Q10 has primarily made use of the oxidized form called ubiquinone. It is the stable form of Coenzyme Q10, the form with which all the important clinical studies have been done involving elderly persons, heart failure patients, and Gulf War Illness patients [Alehagen 2013; Golomb 2014; Mortensen 2014].

Walk in autumn weather
When we reach the September of our years, our cells synthesize less and less of Coenzyme Q10, the essential bio-nutrient that is needed for ATP energy generation, for antioxidant defense against harmful free radicals, and for anti-inflammatory effects.

In study participants with low baseline selenium status, the combination of Coenzyme Q10 together with the essential trace element selenium appears to reduce the level of oxidative stress and inflammation and to delay or ameliorate the development of some age-related disorders [Aaseth 2021].

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