Coenzyme Q10 is a compound found naturally in the human body; we all create it because it is vital to our cells. Coenzyme Q10 is also present in very small amounts in many foods we eat. But coenzyme Q10 levels are not consistent in everyone; some people have lower levels of coenzyme Q10, whether due to insufficient diet, the use of some prescription drugs, and diseases including those affecting the heart. When coenzyme Q10 deficiency is detected in a patient with a heart condition, it is difficult to say whether the deficiency is cause or consequence of the condition.
Though Coenzyme Q10 can be found in every cell of our bodies, it seems particularly important to the heart, probably because this organ requires so much energy. Coenzyme Q10 might help improve heart health by wrestling with many heart conditions. Study results in many cases are not yet conclusive with regard to the full effectiveness of coenzyme Q10 as a supplement to improve heart health, but results are definitely promising.
- Antioxidant. As an antioxidant, coenzyme Q10 can bring great health benefits in many parts of your body, including your heart. Oxidation of "bad" cholesterol (LDL) by free radicals leads to plaque accumulation along artery walls and ultimately heart disease.
- Blood pressure. It is possible that coenzyme Q10 can bring about a modest drop in blood pressure. One problem is that there currently is no clear recommended dosage for treating hypertension with coenzyme Q10.
- Heart failure. Coenzyme Q10 may slow down the progression of heart failure. Congestive heart failure patients elsewhere in the world are quite often given coenzyme Q10 to combat their disease. Studies yield mixed results, with some results positive and others neutral. There are no negative results, however, and more research must be done.
- Administered after heart attack. If given coenzyme Q10 within a period of a couple days after a heart attack, the patient may have a lower risk of death from a second heart attack or cardiac arrhythmia. But more study of its effect is needed before the medical community can make a solid conclusion about coenzyme Q10 in this case.
- Recovery from heart surgery. Some data would indicate that a patient will recover better from major heart surgery if given coenzyme Q10 during or prior to surgery.
- Cardiomyopathy. Coenzyme Q10 has never been shown to harm people with cardiomyopathy. In some cases, coenzyme Q10 seems to help the person fight the disease, while in other cases there seems to be no effect whatsoever. Undoubtedly more studies will be conducted, since the potential benefit of coenzyme Q10 is evident. In fact, some studies suggest that using coenzyme Q10 can reduce the risk of developing cardiomyopathy when using chemotherapy drugs like doxorubicin..
- Ability to exercise. Patients with clogged arteries often suffer chest pain when they exercise. Study results, though not definitive, indicate that their ability to exercise will be strengthened by taking coenzyme Q10.
You might hear about coenzyme Q10 as a miracle supplement, but before you buy some and try it out, you should definitely talk to your doctor. Supplements are not all equally beneficial at this point and the use of coenzyme Q10 can complicate some existing conditions or react negatively with prescriptions. Some of the studies of coenzyme Q10 have been too small to produce sufficient, conclusive results; further studies are needed in order to fully comprehend the benefits and possible risks of using coenzyme Q10.