Coenzyme Q10 is an antioxidant produced naturally by the body. Although it is found in a variety of foods such as meat, fish, and nuts, levels in the body tend to decrease with age. Because of its well-defined role in energy (ATP) generation, coenzyme Q10 is a popular dietary supplement. Coenzyme Q10 also acts as an antioxidant, protecting cells against DNA damage and oxidative stress. The high metabolic demand of coenzyme Q10 within cardiac muscle is of particular interest. Research has focused on the usage of coenzyme Q10 as adjunctive therapy to conventional management of cardiovascular disease and hypertension.
Previous studies and meta-analyses have sought to pinpoint ideal dosing, bioavailability, and dose timings in relation to the efficacy of coenzyme Q10, but conclusive evidence is still lacking. To examine the impact of coenzyme Q10 supplementation on older adults with cardiovascular disease or hypertension, researcher Carolyn Sue-Ling (University of South Carolina) and colleagues conducted a systematic review. These reviews are used to synthesize and critically evaluate scientific evidence and have been used extensively in the medical community to develop clinical guidelines to determine therapeutic efficacy.
The study, which searched four computerized databases for relevant studies meeting the inclusion criteria, included a total of 14 studies (1067 participants). The effect of coenzyme Q10 supplementation was examined among predominantly older adult males with heart failure and ischemic heart disease, and preoperatively in patients scheduled for cardiac surgery.
Coenzyme Q10 supplementation in patients with heart failure improved functional capacity, increased levels of coenzyme Q10 in the blood, and led to fewer major adverse cardiovascular events. Coenzyme Q10 had positive quantifiable effects on inflammatory markers in patients with ischemic heart disease. Blood flow associated with cardiac output improved in patients who received coenzyme Q10 supplementation before cardiac surgery. Effects on hypertension were inconclusive. Coenzyme Q10 supplementation as an adjunctive therapeutic approach showed positive clinical applications in patients with chronic cardiovascular disease and hypertension, but results remain inconclusive. There is a critical need to address coenzyme Q10 deficiency, safety, efficacy, and formulation challenges. This study, published in The Journal of Nutrition, demonstrated that dosages of coenzyme Q10 and duration of treatment varied widely, which undoubtedly affected clinical outcomes. The randomized clinical trials in this review indicate that coenzyme Q10 is safe, well tolerated, and has the potential to improve functional status and quality of life in patients with major adverse cardiovascular events. However, due to the limited number of studies and participants included in this review, the results should be viewed with caution.
Carolyn B Sue-Ling, Willie M Abel, Keith Sue-Ling, Coenzyme Q10 as Adjunctive Therapy for Cardiovascular Disease and Hypertension: A Systematic Review, The Journal of Nutrition, Volume 152, Issue 7, July 2022, Pages 1666–1674, https://doi.org/10.1093/jn/nxac079.
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