The Role of Coenzyme Q10 in Heart Failure

Author(s): Weant KA, Smith KM


Objective: To review the clinical data demonstrating the safety and efficacy of coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) in heart failure (HF).

Data sources: Pertinent literature was identified through MEDLINE (1966-January 2005) using the search terms coenzyme Q10, heart failure, antioxidants, and oxidative stress. Only articles written in the English language and evaluating human subjects were used.

Data synthesis: HF impairs the ability of the heart to maintain its normal cardiac output. Following an initial insult, cardiac remodeling ensues, resulting in left ventricular dilation and hypertrophy. Oxidative stress is also increased, while CoQ10 levels are decreased in patients with HF. This has led to the hypothesis that CoQ10, an antioxidant, may decrease oxidative stress, impair remodeling, and improve cardiac function.

Conclusions: Large, well-designed studies on this topic are lacking. The limited data from well-designed trials indicate there may be some minor benefits with CoQ10 therapy in ejection fraction and end diastolic volume. CoQ10 therapy has been shown to be relatively safe with a low incidence of adverse effects.

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