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February is Healthy Heart Month

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Brandied Cherry Scones

VITAMINS & MINERALS
CoQ10 Brings Down Blood Pressure

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Guggul Gets At Triglycerides

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Is There a Diet Specifically Targeted at Hypertension?
CoQ10 Brings Down Blood Pressure

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is used by the body to transform food into adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the energy on which the body runs.

Both preliminary and double-blind trials have reported that supplementation with CoQ10 leads to a significant decrease in blood pressure in people with hypertension. Much of this research has used 100 mg of CoQ10 per day for at least ten weeks.

More heart help from CoQ10
CoQ10 also contributes to the energy-making mechanisms of the heart and has been reported to lower lipoprotein(a), a risk factor for heart disease. Animal studies confirm CoQ10’s ability to protect heart muscle against reduced blood flow. In one double-blind trial, either 120 mg of CoQ10 or placebo was given to people who had recently survived a heart attack. After 28 days, the CoQ10 group had experienced significantly fewer repeat heart attacks, fewer deaths from heart disease, and less chest pain than the placebo group. In another double-blind study of people suffering a heart attack, supplementation with 60 mg of coenzyme Q10 twice a day for one year significantly reduced the incidence of recurrent cardiac events (fatal or non-fatal heart attack). Treatment was begun within 72 hours of the onset of the heart attack.

Angina patients given 150 mg of coenzyme Q10 each day have experienced greater ability to exercise without experiencing chest pain. This has been confirmed in independent investigations.

As is true for several other heart conditions, coenzyme Q10 has been reported to help people with congestive heart failure, sometimes dramatically. Positive effects have been confirmed in double-blind research and in an overall analysis of eight controlled trials. However, some double-blind trials have reported modest or no improvement in exercise capacity or overall quality of life. Most CoQ10 research used 90–200 mg per day. The beneficial effects of CoQ10 may not be seen until after several months of treatment. Discontinuation of CoQ10 supplementation in people with CHF has resulted in severe relapses and should only be attempted under the supervision of a doctor.

Where is it found?
CoQ10 is found primarily in fish and meat, but the amounts in food are far less than what can be obtained from supplements.

Who is likely to be deficient?
Deficiency is poorly understood, but it may be caused by synthesis problems in the body rather than an insufficiency in the diet. Low blood levels have been reported in people with heart failure, cardiomyopathy, gingivitis (inflammation of the gums), morbid obesity, hypertension, muscular dystrophy, diabetes, AIDS, and in some people on kidney dialysis. People with phenylketonuria (PKU) may be deficient in CoQ10 because of dietary restrictions. CoQ10 levels are also generally lower in older people. The test used to assess CoQ10 status is not routinely available from medical laboratories.

Which form of coenzyme Q10 is best?
Some, but not all, research suggests that a fat-soluble form of CoQ10 is absorbed better than CoQ10 in granular (powder) form.

How much is usually taken?
Adult levels of supplementation are usually 30–90 mg per day, although people with specific health conditions may supplement with higher levels (with the involvement of a physician). Most of the research on heart conditions has used 90–150 mg of CoQ10 per day. Most doctors recommend that CoQ10 be taken with meals to improve absorption.

Are there any side effects or interactions?
Congestive heart failure patients who are taking CoQ10 should not discontinue taking CoQ10 supplements unless under the supervision of a doctor.

 


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