Cardiovascular diseases are widespread and one of the major causes of death. The risk is increased by factors such as ageing, diabetes, and overweight. One of the underlying causes is oxidative stress, which is an imbalance between free radicals and antioxidants. Q10, which is involved in cellular energy turnover, happens to be one of the most powerful antioxidants. According to a review article that is published in the scientific journal Antioxidants, supplementation with Q10 can reduce oxidative stress and cardiovascular mortality. It can also improve quality of life and increase the chances of survival. Generally speaking, Q10 has a huge potential for anyone with a desire to remain healthy, and it is important to choose a supplement with documented quality and bioavailability.
Nearly one in 10 Europeans has problems with the heart or circulatory system, and cardiovascular disease is the number one killer worldwide. Chronic diseases like diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease that are associated with poor circulation contribute to the massive mortality. Ageing is the major cause of cardiovascular ailments because it results in changes in the structure and function of blood vessels and the heart. One of the primary reasons is impaired oxygen turnover in the mitochondria, which are the cellular powerhouses. This generates free radicals and increases the risk of oxidative stress, where free radicals attack the cholesterol in our blood, causing oxidized and damaged cholesterol to become embedded in the vessel walls. This eventually leads to atherosclerosis, typically in the coronary arteries, the brain, and the legs.
Atherosclerosis also affects the endothelial cells that line the inside of the heart and the blood vessels, generating an increased presence of proinflammatory cytokines and oxidative stress. Progressive atherosclerosis may lead to stiff arteries and a host of different symptoms, where myocardial infarction and stroke are the leading causes of death.
Q10 improves the circulatory system and heart function in several ways
Q10 is a coenzyme which all cells need in order to produce energy. We have the highest Q10 concentrations in the heart, the hard-working muscle that pumps around the clock. Q10 is also a very important antioxidant that protects cells and their mitochondria against oxidative stress.
Humans are able to synthesize most of their own Q10 but the endogenous production decreases with age, as do the Q10 concentrations in the heart and other organs. This results in an impaired oxygen metabolism in the cells and a subsequent increase in the number of free radicals. Lack of Q10 for antioxidant protection sets the stage for oxidative stress and cardiovascular disease.
It has been observed that heart failure patients have less Q10 in their plasma. Furthermore, cholesterol-lowering statins can inhibit the body’s endogenous Q10 synthesis. In their review article, the scientists address Q10’s profound potential in the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular diseases, namely due to the fact that it:
- Increases the Q10 concentrations in blood, cells, and tissues
- Improves mitochondrial function and energy metabolism
- Increases vitality
- Reduces oxidative stress
- Improves the function of endothelial cells
- Counteracts inflammation
- Reduces arterial stiffness
- Prevents atherosclerosis
- Lowers blood pressure
- Improves cardiac function in heart failure patients
- Lowers the mortality rate in heart failure patients
- Reduces the need for heart medication following surgery
- Improves the clinical results in patients that have undergone by-pass surgery
- Lowers levels of HbA1c (glycosylated hemoglobin) in diabetes patients
- Reduces the side effects of cholesterol-lowering medicine
- Reduces healthcare costs
Selected studies of heart failure patients, seniors, and diabetics
In the review article, the scientists refer to 112 published articles and an array of studies that show how Q10 supplementation significantly lowers cardiovascular mortality. One of the studies they mention is Q-Symbio. Here, heart failure patients received placebo or daily supplementation with 300 mg of Q10 as add-on therapy with their conventional drug regimen. After two years, the Q10 group had 43 percent fewer heart-related deaths compared with the placebo group. Also, the hospitalization rate was lowered by 43 percent in the Q10 group.
The researchers also mention the KiSel-10 study where Q10 was given in combination with selenium yeast to a group of healthy seniors. The reason for combining the nutrients is that Q10 depends on selenium in order to function optimally. Also, selenium deficiencies are rather common in Europe. The KiSel-10 study lasted around five years and showed that the participants in the supplemented group had a 54 percent lower risk of cardiovascular death and substantially fewer hospitalizations.
A 12-year follow-up study even showed that the intervention with Q10 and selenium yeast had a pronounced long-term effect on heart function and life expectancy.
A new meta-analysis reveals that Q10 supplementation has a positive effect on the endothelial cells and lowers cholesterol in diabetics, which reduces their risk of cardiovascular disease. Moreover, diabetics who take Q10 can reduce their levels of glycolysated hemoglobin (HhA1c), which is an indicator of improved carbohydrate metabolism.
Choose the right quality of Q10 and take an optimal dose
Q10 has a great potential in the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease, but it only works properly if the supplement has the right quality. It is essential that the Q10 is formulated in such a way that it is bioavailable and able to reach the cells. In most studies of heart failure patients, researchers use doses of 200 and 300 milligrams. The body’s absorption of Q10 reaches a cut-off point at 100 milligrams, so in order to get the full benefit of doses higher than 100 mg, one should divide the high dose into several smaller doses.
Yoana Rabanal-Ruiz, Emilio Lianos-Gonzáles and Francisco Javier Alcain. The Use of Coenzyme Q10 in Cardiovascular Diseases. Antioxidants 10 May 2021
David Mantle and Iain Hargreaves. Coenzyme Q10 and Degenerative Disorders Affecting Longevity: An Overview. Antioxidants (Basel) Published online 2019 Feb
Mortensen, Svend A. Overview on coenzyme Q10 as adjunctive therapy in chronic heart failure. Rationale, design and endpoints on “Q-symbio –A multinational trial. Biofactors 18 (2003) IOS Press
Alehagen U, et al. Cardiovascular mortality and N-Terminal-proBNP reduced after combined selenium and coenzyme Q10 supplementation. Int J Cardiol. 2012
Dludla,P.V. et al. The impact of coenzyme Q10 on metabolic and cardiovascular disease profiles in diebetes patients: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Endocrinol Metab 2020
Pernille Lund. Q10 – fra helsekost til epokegørende medicin. Ny Videnskab 2014