CoQ10 Improves Endothelial Function
Chronic oxidative stress is one of the main factors reducing the functioning of the endothelium, the thin layer of cells lining arteries that controls blood flow and pressure.21 Endothelial dysfunction is a major precursor to hypertension, coronary heart disease, and strokes. Since CoQ10 is a unique antioxidant, it makes sense that it would have beneficial effects on endothelial function.
That has proven to be the case. In patients with known coronary artery disease, who are at high risk for heart attack, and who need every bit of functioning endothelium, supplementation with 300 mg of CoQ10 a day significantly improved their natural endothelial antioxidant levels, improved their arterial relaxation, and improved their oxygen utilization.22
Similar improvements were seen in patients with New York Heart Association grade II to III heart failure, who experienced a 9% improvement in oxygen utilization and a 38% improvement in endothelial function when they used the same dose of CoQ10, with no side effects.23
CoQ10 has subsequently shown value in improving endothelial dysfunction caused by diabetes and by high LDL-cholesterol, two major contributors to cardiovascular disease.24,25 In addition, it reduces blood vessel stiffness, a consequence of endothelial dysfunction.26,27
CoQ10 Lowers Blood Pressure
Oxidative stress and endothelial dysfunction are major causes of elevated blood pressure, which affects about 67 million US adults.28,29 CoQ10 supplementation is showing promise in reducing blood pressure in hypertensive patients, without producing dangerous abrupt drops in pressure.
A multitude of studies have shown that doses of CoQ10 as low as 60 mg twice daily can lower blood pressure by up to 17.8 points systolic (top number) and 7 points diastolic (bottom number).30-32 None of these studies reported significant side effects, and CoQ10 is now recommended by some researchers for use in addition to standard drug treatment for hypertension, especially in elderly patients.33
CoQ10 Reduces Heart Attack Damage
CoQ10 is especially valuable in reducing the damage caused by a heart attack. Never is your heart in greater need of efficient bioenergetics than during and immediately after a heart attack. CoQ10 is sharply diminished in heart attack victims. In fact, low CoQ10 levels are associated with an increased risk of dying in post-cardiac arrest patients.34
The main damage in survivors of a heart attack doesn’t come from the loss of blood flow itself (ischemia), but rather from the restoration of oxygen-rich blood to tissues that have lacked oxygen for the critical minutes before circulation is restored (reperfusion).35
CoQ10 reduces the impact of ischemia-reperfusion injury by optimizing the heart muscle’s bioenergetics and providing antioxidant support during this crucial period.36 Supplementation reduces markers of extreme oxidative stress and poor mitochondrial function, while reducing the rates of post-reperfusion arrhythmias and improving heart musclefunctioning.37,38
Studies show that CoQ10 at doses of 100 to 120 mg/day reduced total arrhythmias and other cardiac events, increased left ventricular (main pumping chamber) function, and reduced the death rate from repeat heart attacks.39,40
CoQ10 is powerful enough that it has been given intravenously during bypass grafting procedures, where it improved left ventricular functioning 6 to 10 hours after the operation, compared with control patients, and reduced blood markers of heart muscle damage.37 Similar beneficial effects have now been shown in patients who take 150 to 180 mg of CoQ10 per day for 7 to 10 days prior to elective bypass surgery.41
Your mitochondria pump out a steady supply of energy derived from the food you supply them with. Like any finely-tuned machine, however, they need help maintaining top-level efficiency and performance.
CoQ10 is the main molecule your body requires to keep mitochondrial energy production, or bioenergetics, running smoothly. Declining CoQ10 levels cause tissues to burn fuel inefficiently, eventually producing oxidative damage and ultimately losing their function.
CoQ10 deficiency and the resulting bioenergetic collapse is the underlying cause of heart failure, one of the largest causes of death and disability in Americans today. Studies show that CoQ10 supplementation at 300 mg/day not only restores normal CoQ10 levels, but prevents progression of heart failure and in fact can reverse that progression and extend survival and improve quality of life.
Similar beneficial effects have now been shown in patients with endothelial dysfunction, hypertension, and coronary artery disease, the precursors of heart attacks and ultimately heart failure.
Since we all require efficient and uninterrupted energy supplies, we all need to be thinking about optimizing our bioenergetic status with CoQ10 supplementation.
If you have any questions on the scientific content of this article, please call a Life Extension® Health Advisor at 1-866-864-3027.