February is Healthy Heart Month
IN THE NEWS
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Risk Factors & Lifestyle Changes
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VITAMINS & MINERALS
CoQ10 Brings Down Blood Pressure
Guggul Gets At Triglycerides
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
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
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?
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
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