Coenzyme Q10, or CoQ10, is an antioxidant the human body makes naturally to help neutralize free radicals. Research continues to build indicating that coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) provides significant support for heart health.
Coenzyme Q10, or CoQ10, is an antioxidant the human body makes naturally to help neutralize free radicals. Coenzyme Q10 is lipid soluble and provides antioxidant activity in cell membranes, including mitochondrial membranes. Also an important factor in mitochondrial respiration, cells use CoQ10 to generate energy. The highest levels of CoQ10 are found in the heart, liver, kidneys, and pancreas. It decreases in concentration over time with age, and can be depleted by both acute and chronic illness.
In the early 2000s, studies were being published showing that statin medications reduced circulating levels of CoQ10, and theorized that this could be the cause of some adverse effects associated with statin use. It was not long before integrative practitioners and medical doctors began to recommend CoQ10 supplementation for patients using statin medications.
Research continued to build indicating that coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) provides significant support for heart health. Over the past several years there have been some well-designed studies and review articles published looking at CoQ10 for cardiac support including a 2018 systematic review published in the Indian Heart Journal. In the 2018 review, the authors conclude that CoQ10 supplementation may be a useful tool when it comes to supporting heart health. This is consistent with a similar conclusion from a 2016 review published in Circulation Heart Failure, which also featured a discussion about the physiological role of CoQ10, side effects, contraindications, and safety.
A 2018 meta-analysis published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology showed that CoQ10 specifically provided support to the heart’s left ventricle. This is significant because the left ventricle is responsible for pumping oxygenated blood to the rest of the body.
CoQ10 is a powerful antioxidant that has been shown to support endothelial function and cardiac ATP production. This mechanism was confirmed in a 2018 randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial published in the journal Hypertension which showed CoQ10 supplementation provided vascular support in healthy older adults. This benefit was achieved after only six weeks at a dose of 20 mg per day.
According to the highly respected Cleveland Clinic, CoQ10 has been shown to:
Significantly increase HDL-C and ApoA1 levels
Support healthy inflammation
Provide important support to individuals taking statin medications
Help support people with blood pressure concerns†
The Cleveland Clinic also reports that there is an inverse correlation between heart health and lower levels of CoQ10, and it is well known that CoQ10 levels decrease with age.
CoQ10 is a very popular dietary supplement recommended not only by integrative practitioners, but by mainstream medical doctors as well. A 2014 report by Grand View Research Inc. estimated that global sales of CoQ10 will reach nearly $850 million by 2020. Certainly, a key aspect of CoQ10’s popularity is the impressive research demonstrating its importance to heart health.
- Jafari M, Mousavi SM, Asgharzadeh A, Yazdani N. Indian Heart Journal. 2018;70(Suppl1):S111-S117.
- Mortensen SA, Rosenfeldt F, Kumar A. Journal of the American College of Cardiology Heart Failure. 2014;2(6):641-9.
- Rossman MJ, Santos-Parker JR, Steward C, et al. Hypertension. 2018;71(6).
- Sharma A, Fonarow GC, Butler J, et al. Circulation Heart Failure. 2016;9.
- Trongtorsak A, Kongnatthasate K, Susantitaphong P, et al. Journal of the American College of Cardiology. 2017;79(11).