Co-Enzyme Q Shown to Extend Lives of Heart Failure Patients

Heart failure patients may have had a difficult time convincing their physicians of the benefits, but a newer study again supports Co-enzyme Q for increasing life span of patients suffering from congestive heart failure - a condition caused by congenital defects, heart attack, enlarged heart (cardiomyopathy) high blood pressure and heart rhythm problems. Congestive heart failure means the heart can’t pump sufficient amounts of blood to all the organs, leading to fluid accumulation. Symptoms include swelling, weight gain and difficulty breathing - symptoms that decrease quality of life and shorten lifespan.

There is no cure for congestive heart failure. Management includes the use of medications and lifestyle interventions including exercise, stress reduction, treatment of depression, weight loss, and low salt, heart healthy diet. Co-enzyme Q, according to recent findings, provides energy to the heart cells, helping it pump more efficiently and with less effort.

Studies conducted in New Zealand involved men and women, aged 32 to 89, who were hospitalized for treatment of congestive heart failure. The study revealed that patients whose CoQ10 levels greater than .73 micromoles per liter experienced twice the likelihood of being alive two-and-a-half years later, when compared to those with levels below the chosen cut-off point. The study took into account all other risk factors.

This is the first study that actually measured CoQ10 enzyme levels in patients. Study co-author Christopher M. Florkowski, MD, a consultant in clinical biochemistry at Canterbury Health Laboratories in Christchurch, says more studies will be available to completely answer the question of how the enzyme might increase survival, but not for a couple of years.

For now, there is no set standard for using CoQ10. The longest studies performed lasted six months, involving 60 to 200 mg. daily.

More about CoQ10

Co-enzyme Q normally occurs in the body. We deplete it as we age. We need it for optimal cell function. Past research regarding the benefits of supplementation has been controversial. Preliminary studies find several associations between the potential for disease treatment by increasing our levels of Co-enzyme Q, including high blood pressure, dementia, macular degeneration, asthma, and chronic fatigue syndrome. Small, but “inconclusive” studies also show that kidney failure patients may benefit from boosting co-enzyme Q levels in the body. The best evidence available shows that we definitely need it for good cellular function.

Food sources of co-enzyme Q (aka ubiquinone) include fish, organ meats and the germs of whole grains. Diseases like congestive heart failure and heart disease, stomach ulcers, and hypertension deplete our stores, making it reasonable to assume that replenishment might be beneficial.

Speak with your doctor if you’re interested in supplementing with Co-enzyme Q for heart failure. It’s possible that supplements, as a complement to your current medical regimen, could extend your life, and improve your ability to enjoy beneficial activities.

Source: Journal of the American College of Cardiology, Oct. 2008.

You can order Co-enzyme Q10 from HBC protocols; their company has provided research needs to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda Maryland, Columbia University Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology in New York, New York University at Buffalo, and Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland because of their high standards for production.