Coenzyme Q10

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), one of the better-studied supplements with regard to hypertension, also plays a crucial role in energy protection and performance of the myocardium. The clinical literature reports on the hypertensive benefits of CoQ10 go back as early as the mid 1970s, with an early study on five patients with essential hypertension who also had deficient activity of the CoQ10-dependent enzyme, succinate dehydrogenase-CoQ10 reductase.6 Four of the five patients experienced significant reductions in blood pressure when given CoQ10 for three to five months. In a more recent trial, 26 patients with essential hypertension were given 50 mg of CoQ10, two times per day for 10 weeks.7 At the end of the 10 weeks, the subjects' average systolic blood pressure had dropped from 164 mmHg to 146 mmHg, and their average diastolic blood pressure had decreased from 98 mmHg to 86 mmHg, a significant and relevant decrease. As an indication of this supplement's effect on total heart health, total cholesterol decreased from about 223 mg=dL to 213 mg=dL, while their average high-density lipoprotein (HDL) increased from approximately 41 mg=dL to 43 mg=dL. Several other studies corroborate the effectiveness of CoQ10 for reducing blood pressure.

In an observational study of 109 patients seen in a private cardiology practice and who had essential hypertension, the patients added an average of 225 mg per day of CoQ10 to the antihypertensive medications they were already taking.8 The dose of CoQ10 was adjusted individually according to the subjects' responses and, as needed, the pharmaceuticals in the patients' hypertensive regimens were altered. In this study, not only was the New York Heart Association functional class significantly improved in these patients—51% were able to discontinue from one to three of their other antihypertensive medications over the course of several months. Furthermore, a randomized, double-blind trial on 59 patients already receiving antihypertensive medications also showed reductions in systolic and diastolic blood pressures when they received CoQ10 supplementation.9 In this study's CoQ10 group there

were also reductions in plasma insulin, glucose, and triglyceride levels, as well as an increase in HDL, suggesting the appropriateness of CoQ10 for patients with diabetes and metabolic syndrome who also have hypertension. Finally, researchers who did a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial on CoQ10 in 82 patients with isolated systolic hypertension found that, over 12 weeks, subjects who consumed 60 mg of CoQ10 twice daily had an average drop of 17.8 7.3 mmHg.10 What is clinically noteworthy is that, although CoQ10 frequently works well as an isolated therapy, combining it with allopathic regimens often provides synergistic benefits as well. In addition, CoQ10 and L-carnitine have also produced improved clinical benefit for patients with a number of cardiovascular maladies, which was likely, in part, the result of their combined role in supporting adenosine triphosphate production and myocardial energy performance.

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