CoQ10 shows protective effect in heart attack study

CoQ10 shows protective effect in heart attack study

Life Extension Update

Tuesday, June 23, 2015. An article published online on March 20, 2015 in the International Journal of Physiology, Pathophysiology and Pharmacology reveals a benefit for pretreatment with coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) in rats in which myocardial infarction (MI, or heart attack) was experimentally induced.

The study involved groups of rats that underwent sham surgery, no surgery, experimental MI alone, or experimental MI that followed a week of treatment with resveratrol, CoQ10 or both compounds. Infarct area, hemodynamic factors, inflammation and markers of oxidative stress were assessed 24 hours following the surgery.

Among animals that received CoQ10 alone or in combination with resveratrol, left ventricular infarct area was significantly reduced and left ventricular hemodynamic parameters were normalized. Serum brain natriuretic peptide, which can be elevated in heart failure, and markers of inflammation, including tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-a) and interleukin-6 (IL-6), were also lower among animals pretreated with CoQ10. While thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (a byproduct of lipid peroxidation) were lower in CoQ10-treated animals, indicating decreased oxidative stress, the endogenous antioxidants superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase were found to have increased.

"The mechanism of the cardioprotective action of CoQ10 involved blocking exaggerated oxidative stress and inflammation post MI, resulting in normalized/optimized hemodynamics and reduced infarct area of the left ventricle," write Mahmoud Alkhateeb of King Khalid University and colleagues. "The mechanism of the cardioprotective action of CoQ10 involved blocking exaggerated oxidative stress and inflammation post MI, resulting in normalized/optimized hemodynamics and reduced infarct area of the left ventri-cle," write authors Samy M. Eleawa and colleagues. "DNA damage to the heart following MI was likely also reduced with CoQ10, as supported by reduced Bax and p53 gene expression in the left ventricle."

"We propose that CoQ10 is an effective antioxidant/anti-inflammatory agent to combat against acute cardiac changes induced by MI and can be an attractive therapeutic option in patients undergoing cardiac changes post MI," they conclude.

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CoQ10 may reduce Afib in heart failure patients
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An article appearing ahead of print on April 27, 2015 in the Journal of Investigative Medicine reports the outcome of a randomized trial of patients being treated for heart failure which found a benefit for coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) in reducing atrial fibrillation, a common cardiac arrhythmia that occurs in up to 27% of heart failure patients.

The trial included 128 men and women treated for heart failure with ACE inhibitors, beta-blockers, statins and/or other drugs. Sixty-two subjects received 30 milligrams CoQ10 daily for one year. Twenty-four hour ambulatory electrocardiogram monitoring, echocardiography, and blood measurement of inflammatory markers and malondialdehyde (MDA, a marker of oxidative stress) were performed upon enrollment and at six and twelve months.

At the end of the trial, three participants who received CoQ10 and 12 members of the control group had experienced atrial fibrillation episodes. Malondialdehyde levels were reduced at 12 months in the CoQ10 group while remaining unchanged among untreated patients.

"There is an increasing body of evidence linking inflammation and oxidative stress to a broad spectrum of cardiovascular conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, and hypertension," write Quingyan Zhao, MD, PhD, and colleagues. "In addition, there are emerging data to support the association between inflammation and atrial fibrillation. This has created exciting potential opportunities to target inflammatory and oxidative stress processes for the prevention of atrial fibrillation and heart failure."

"The present study suggests that CoQ10 as adjuvant treatment attenuates the incidence of atrial fibrillation," they conclude. "The mechanisms of the effect perhaps have relation with the reduced levels of MDA."

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Health Concern

Atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease

CoQ10 is critically important for vascular health, as it is directly involved in the production of ATP, the "energy currency" of the human body. Because the heart is a muscle that never rests, it needs a substantial amount of CoQ10. CoQ10 levels in heart tissue decline disproportionately with age. At age 20, the heart has a higher CoQ10 level than other major organs. At age 80 this is no longer true, with heart levels cut by more than half (Kalen, 1989). CoQ10 pioneer Karl Folkers (1985), in agreement with other Japanese studies, found lower CoQ10 levels in patients with more severe heart disease and showed that CoQ10 supplements significantly raised blood and heart tissue levels of CoQ10 in these patients.

In addition to its involvement in energy production, CoQ10 is also a potent antioxidant. CoQ10 is the first line of defense against LDL oxidation; oxidized LDL is a major contributor to endothelial dysfunction (Thomas, 1995).

CoQ10, in combination with vitamins C, E and selenium, was shown in a randomized controlled trial to significantly improve arterial elasticity in patients with multiple cardiovascular risk factors. The authors found that the antioxidant-induced increases in arterial elasticity were associated with improved glucose and lipid metabolism, as well as decreased blood pressure (Shargorodsky, 2010).

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