Research Summary: Effects of coenzyme Q10 supplementation (300 mg/day) on antioxidation and anti-inflammation in coronary artery disease patients during statins therapy: a randomized, placebo-controlled trial.
At the May 2013 Heart Failure Congress a randomized double blind trial was presented showing that CoQ10 caused a 50% decrease in mortality from all cardiac events. As this was the first treatment in over a decade to improve heart failure mortality, the news made headlines in the scientific community. Other CoQ10 studies were bound to follow.
The most recent study to focus on the benefits of CoQ10 for heart health comes from Taiwan, where a group of researchers in Taichung studied the effects of CoQ10 supplementation on patients receiving statins (cholesterol-reducing drugs). Statins have been shown to reduce the biosynthesis of CoQ10, a powerful antioxidant found in nearly all cells of the human body. (CoQ10 works to produce energy in mitochondria, and is the only antioxidant that humans can synthesize.) The researchers investigated the effects that supplementation with CoQ10 might have on patients during statin therapy, particularly its effect on inflammatory markers which are directly correlated with coronary artery disease.
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A cohort of 54 patients with 50% stenosis of at least one coronary artery was divided into two groups. Twenty-seven patients were randomly chosen to receive 300mg of CoQ10 daily for twelve weeks, while twenty-four received placebo. Concentrations of coenzyme Q10 and vitamin E were measured in the two groups, as well as the activity of the antioxidant enzymes superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase, and glutathione peroxidase. Inflammatory markers – C reactive protein (CRP), tumor necrosis factor-alpha and interleukin-6 – were measured in the 42 subjects who completed the study.
At the end of twelve weeks, the researchers found that plasma levels of CoQ10 as well as antioxidant enzyme activity were significantly higher after CoQ10 supplementation. In addition, the subjects in the CoQ10 group had significantly higher levels of vitamin E than the placebo group. Levels of the inflammatory markers tumor necrosis factor-alpha and interleukin-6 dropped in the CoQ10 group, indicating a decrease in oxidative stress.
The authors concluded that “Coenzyme Q10 supplementation at 300 mg/d significantly enhances antioxidant enzymes activities and lowers inflammation in patients who have CAD [coronary artery disease] during statins therapy.” They also found that regarding the safety of COQ10 “there were no clinically significant changes in the subjects’ vital signs, serum chemical values, or hematological values, and there were no serious adverse events, no complaints of myalgia or muscle weakness, and no withdrawals due to adverse events. Thus, coenzyme Q10 at a dose of 300 mg/d is safe for co-administration with statins therapy.”