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.
Journal of the American College of Cardiology has recently released an article on the so-called Q-symbio study providing strong evidence that a daily supplement of coenzyme Q10 can almost halve the risk of major cardiac events (MACE). These results were obtained using the well documented Myoqinon Q10 (Bio-Quinone GOLD) which is the oxidized form of Q10 in an oil solution, and NOT the reduced form of Q10 called ubiquinol or QH. Now, try to compare such a result with the results from all other treatments of heart disease, and you will understand why this scientific study has attracted so much attention worldwide.
It is well established that coronary artery disease (CAD) is associated with inflammatory processes and coenzyme Q10 may hold a promising role in reducing this inflammation by way of different mechanisms. A group of Taiwanese researchers from Chung Shan Medical University and the Intensive Care Unit of Taichung Veterans General found in a recent study that the nutrient successfully lowered levels of the inflammatory marker IL-6 (interleukin-6) in patients who were given a daily dose of 150 mg coenzyme Q10 for 12 weeks.
The study was conducted on 40 patients with coronary artery disease who were randomly assigned to three groups: a placebo group, a 60 mg/day coenzyme Q10 group, or a 150 mg/day coenzyme Q10 group. All groups followed the prescribed intervention for 12 weeks. Levels of inflammatory markers, including IL-6, C-reactive Protein, and homocysteine, plus superoxide dismutase (an endogenous antioxidant enzyme) were measured before and after.
Subjects in the 150 mg coenzyme Q10 group had significantly lower levels of IL-6 and malondialdehyde (a marker of lipid peroxidation). At the same time, subjects in both Q10 groups had increased superoxide dismutase activity, which is a sign of improved antioxidant protection.
On behalf of these findings, the researchers conclude that coenzyme Q10 taken at a dosage of 150 mg/day appears to decrease the inflammatory marker IL-6 in patients with coronary artery disease.
Source: Nutrition. 2012 Feb 16.
Coenzyme Q10 can restore quality of life in patients with chronic heart failure.
Several published studies show that patients with chronic heart failure (CHF) benefit from taking supplements of the vitamin-like compound coenzyme Q10. The treatment enables their heart muscle to contract with greater force, their exercise tolerance increases, and they can generally enjoy life in a different way because they are less likely to feel the limitations of their condition.
CHF patients are normally categorized according to the New York Heart Association (NYHA) Functional Classification (see below), which places patients in one of four groups based on how limited they are during physical activity (in terms of breathing, shortness of breath, chest pain etc.
There are documented examples of CHF patients who have improved 1-2 NYHA classes as a result of receiving coenzyme Q10 supplementation in the range of 100-300 mg/day.
NYHA Class Symptom description
I No symptoms and no limitations in ordinary physical activity, e.g. shortness of breath when walking, climbing stairs, etc.
II Mild symptoms (mild shortness of breath and/or angina) and slight limitation during ordinary activity
II Marked limitation in activity due to symptoms, even during less-than-ordinary activity, e.g. walking short distances (20-100 meters). Comfortable only at rest.
IV Severe limitations. Experience symptoms even while at rest. Mostly bed-bound patients.
(Reference: The Criteria Committee of the New York Heart Association. Nomenclature and Criteria for Diagnosis of Diseases of the Heart and Great Vessels. 9th ed. Boston, Mass: Little, Brown & Co; 1994:253-256.)
People with chronic heart failure have 43 % lower risk of dying if they take supplements of a natural compound called coenzyme Q10, according to a large international heart study that was published recently.
Improved survival, reduced need for heart transplants and hospitalization, and potential savings on healthcare expenditure could be some of the advantages of treating chronic heart failure patients with a natural compound called coenzyme Q10. Q-Symbio is the name of a groundbreaking international heart study that was led by Danish researchers and published online in the October issue of Journal of the American College of Cardiology, HEART FAILURE, one of the world’s most frequently cited cardiology journals. The results showed that daily supplementation with coenzyme Q10 reduces all-cause mortality by 43%.
“I definitely think that the results we have seen are extremely positive and promising. In fact, I would extend that to saying that with this new therapy form, we are looking at a shift of paradigm in the treatment of chronic heart failure,“ says lead investigator, Chief Physician, MD, Svend Aage Mortensen from the Heart Center at Copenhagen University Hospital.
Safe and money-saving
In addition to lower cardiovascular and all-cause mortality, chronic heart failure patients who took coenzyme Q10 had fewer hospitalizations due to heart failure and fewer side effects than patients who were given identical dummy capsules (placebo). Based on the outcome of Q-Symbio, coenzyme Q10 appears to be a safe and seemingly effective therapy with the potential to become a future adjuvant to conventional drug therapy used in heart failure. This could lead to cuts in health care costs.
Largest study of Q10
The study, a double-blind, randomized trial of 420 chronic heart failure patients with severe heart failure recruited from nine different countries, is the largest placebo-controlled study of coenzyme Q10 and has already created quite an interest among cardiologists worldwide.
“Conventional heart failure therapy focuses on inhibiting various hormonal factors that are predominant in heart failure and which strain the heart. With coenzyme Q10, on the other hand, you support cellular processes that relate to the energy metabolism. This provides extra strength to the failing heart muscle,” Dr. Mortensen explains.
“Results with other heart-stimulating drugs used in the treatment of heart failure have been disappointing,” he adds.
300 mg daily
Initiated in 2003, the Q-Symbio study aimed at investigating how long it took before the participants in the treatment group and the placebo group encountered heart problems defined as unplanned hospitalizations due to heart failure, fatal heart attack, need for cardiac transplantation, or need for a heart-lung machine. All patients were randomly assigned to treatment with either soft gelatin capsules with CoQ10 (one 100 mg capsule three times daily) or identical placebo, which was given in addition to their prescribed regimen of conventional heart failure medicine.
Energy for the heart
What makes CoQ10 therapy so interesting is that it is a compound which the body is able to synthesize itself and depends on for normal cellular energy turnover. Chronic heart failure is characterized by energy starvation of the heart caused by depleted levels of CoQ10 in cardiac tissue.
“Other heart failure medications block rather than enhance cellular processes and may have side effects,” Dr. Mortensen noted. “Supplementation with CoQ10, which is a natural and safe substance, corrects a deficiency in the body and blocks the vicious metabolic cycle in chronic heart failure called the energy-starved heart.”
Source: Journal of the American College of Cardiology