Coenzyme Q10; an adjunctive therapy for congestive heart failure?
N Z Med J. 2009 Oct 30;122(1305):74-9. PMID: 19966871
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is essential for electron transport within the mitochondria and hence for ATP generation and cellular energy production. We recently demonstrated that plasma levels of CoQ10 are an independent predictor of survival in a cohort of 236 patients with chronic heart failure (CHF) followed for a median of 2.69 years. This is consistent with previous studies which have shown myocardial CoQ10 depletion in CHF, and correlated with the severity of the underlying disorder. Several intervention studies have been undertaken with CoQ10 in CHF, including randomized controlled trials with mostly positive outcomes in relation to improvement in plasma levels of CoQ10. A meta-analysis showed that CoQ10 resulted in an improvement in ejection fraction of 3.7% (95%CI 1.59-5.77) and the mean increase in cardiac output was 0.28 L/minute (95%CI 0.03-0.53). In a subgroup analysis, studies with patients not taking ACE inhibitors found a 6.7% increase in ejection fraction. The ongoing Q-SYMBIO trial will address whether CoQ10 supplementation improves survival in CHF patients. CoQ10 depletion may also be a contributory factor for why statin intervention has not improved outcomes in CHF. There is an emerging evidence base in support of CoQ10 as an adjunctive therapy in CHF.