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Chronic heart failure, also called congestive heart failure, occurs when the heart muscle is no longer strong enough to pump enough blood to meet the body’s demands. This can lead to fatigue, shortness of breath, dizziness, inability to enjoy usual activities, and health complications, including increased risk of death.
For all of these reasons, preliminary trial results may be encouraging to the more than 20 million adults living with congestive heart failure worldwide. Coenzyme Q10 supplements reduced risk of death by half in those with the disease, and decreased the likelihood of negative health events and hospitalization over a two-year period.
CoQ10, an antioxidant produced naturally in the body, enables mitochondria—the power factories of our cells—to produce energy for cellular activity. Researchers randomly selected 420 adults with moderate to severe heart failure to receive their usual medication plus 100 mg of CoQ10 three times per day, or no CoQ10 (placebo).
Participants were followed for two years, and researchers recorded time to first occurrence of major adverse cardiovascular events, including unplanned hospitalization due to worsening heart failure, cardiovascular disease-related death, urgent cardiac transplantation, and need for mechanical support, such as use of a ventricular assist device (VAD), to replace failing heart function.
Compared with placebo, people receiving 100 mg of CoQ10 three times daily experienced improvement in heart failure severity, and were significantly less likely to:
These study results were presented in May at the Heart Failure 2013 conference in Lisbon, Portugal, and are considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed medical journal. Still, lead researcher, Dr. Svend Aage Mortensen noted that, “CoQ10 is a natural substance that’s virtually without side effects.”
Our tips can help you integrate the new information into your existing care plan:
(Eur J Heart Failure 2013;15[S1], S20)