The use of coenzyme Q10 and certain other micronutrients prior to and after cardiac surgery seems to be feasible. Not only does it improve measurable cardiac endpoints, it also helps to reduce healthcare costs.
Australian cardiologists at Alfred Hospital in Melbourne, headed by Professor Franklin R. Rosenfeldt, have demonstrated the effect of their Integrative Cardiac Wellness Program (CWP), a metabolic regimen including coenzyme Q10, magnesium, alpha-lipoic acid, and fish oil.
The supplements, adding up to approximately 290 Dollars (Australian Dollars) for each patient, can lead to a 4,400 Dollar per patient savings in healthcare costs, simply by shortening the patients’ hospital stay and increasing the attendance rate of cardiac rehabilitation programs.
The metabolic regimen is given three times daily, starting two weeks before admission to the hospital. During their hospital stay and four weeks after surgery, patients continue on the regimen. In addition, they receive a bedside educational wellness visit and a follow-up phone call after being discharged in order to encourage compliance with wellness goals.
The primary aim of the study was to observe whether the regimen could reduce 24-hour levels of troponin I (a marker of cardiac tissue damage) and reduce the incidence of post-operative atrial fibrillation. Atrial fibrillation is a type of irregular heartbeat that interferes with normal cardiac function.
When comparing to patients who underwent the normal surgical procedure but without the metabolic regimen, there was a notable drop in troponin I levels and atrial fibrillation among patients attending the Integrative Cardiac Wellness Program.
It is worth noting that Rosenfeldt challenged the assumption that large doses of fish oil may increase bleeding time during surgery. He pointed out that no problems had been detected with the 4-5 grams/day of fish oil (Bio-Marine) that were used in the study.