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Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is a fat-soluble nutrient that helps convert food into energy and protects cells against damage from reactive oxygen species. It is produced by the body and is particularly abundant in the heart, liver, kidneys, and pancreas. Findings from a 2014 studied demonstrated that CoQ10 is beneficial in treating heart failure.
People who have heart failure often have low levels of CoQ10 in their heart tissue. Low levels correlate with the severity of symptoms and the extent of left ventricular dysfunction – the inability of the ventricle to fill appropriately. Low plasma CoQ10 levels are independent predictors of death among people with heart failure.
The study, called Q-SYMBIO, was a prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter trial involving 420 heart failure patients at 17 European, Asian, and Australian hospitals. Roughly half of the participants took 100 milligrams of CoQ10 three times daily for two years, while the remainder took a placebo. The authors of the study monitored the patients for changes in their changes in New York Heart Association (NYHA) functional classification, capacity to perform a six-minute walk test, and levels of N-terminal pro–B type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) after 16 weeks of the intervention. NT-proBNP is a pro-hormone that increases as heart failure worsens and decreases when the condition is stable. The authors also tracked whether the participants experienced a major cardiovascular event during the two-year period.
No changes in the participants' NYHA classification, walk test, or NT-proBNP were noted after 16 weeks of the intervention. However, after two years, 26 percent in the placebo group experienced a major cardiovascular event, whereas only 15 percent of the patients in the CoQ10 group did. Those who took CoQ10 were less likely to die from cardiovascular-related causes or other causes of premature death and were less likely to require hospitalization. Those who took CoQ10 also saw significant improvements in their NYHA classification after two years.
These findings suggest that CoQ10 is beneficial in the treatment of heart failure and may reduce the risk of cardiovascular-related or other causes of premature death.
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