Natural Healing: Coenzyme Q10 and Heart Health

A new study contradicts earlier findings and shows that CoQ10 has no effect on heart health.

| March/April 2000

Coenzyme Q10, a popular supplement said to improve heart function, was shown ineffective as a heart helper in a University of Maryland study. The study contradicts findings of earlier trials.

This new research surprised Judy Martin, fifty-one, who has taken 30 mg of CoQ10 daily for nearly ten years.

“I always took it for the fact that it would strengthen my heart muscle,” says Martin, who learned about the then lesser-known supplement in 1989 and began taking it as a preventive measure. Her family has a history of heart disease.

Martin and others with a risk for heart problems could pay up to $50 a month for CoQ10, a natural enzyme produced by our bodies. Found in the mitochondria, the enzyme is responsible for producing adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the cell’s basic energy source.

CoQ10 has been shown in previous trials to improve heart function and relieve the symptoms associated with congestive heart failure, the inability of the heart to pump adequate amounts of blood to the lungs and body. CoQ10 is thought to strengthen the health of the cardiac muscle, and has been found in depleted concentrations in the cardiac cells of advanced heart-failure patients.

Stephen Gottlieb, M.D., lead researcher for the study, chose to evaluate CoQ10 when many of his patients began self-prescribing the supplement. He and other researchers presented their findings in November 1999 at the American Heart Association’s Seventy-second Annual Scientific Sessions.

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