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Common Supplement May Help Patients Fight Heart Failure
Date:5/27/2013

By Dennis Thompson
HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, May 24 (HealthDay News) -- Regular doses of the dietary supplement Coenzyme Q10 cut in half the death rate of patients suffering from advanced heart failure, in a randomized double-blind trial.

Researchers also reported a significant decrease in the number of hospitalizations for heart failure patients being treated with Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10). About 14 percent of patients taking the supplement suffered from a major cardiovascular event that required hospital treatment, compared with 25 percent of patients receiving placebos.

In heart failure, the heart becomes weak and can no longer pump enough oxygen- and nutrient-rich blood throughout the body. Patients often experience fatigue and breathing problems as the heart enlarges and pumps faster in an effort to meet the body's needs.

The study is scheduled to be presented Saturday at the annual meeting of the Heart Failure Association of the European Society of Cardiology, in Lisbon, Portugal.

"CoQ10 is the first medication to improve survival in chronic heart failure since ACE inhibitors and beta blockers more than a decade ago and should be added to standard heart failure therapy," lead researcher Svend Aage Mortensen, a professor with the Heart Center at Copenhagen University Hospital, in Denmark, said in a society news release.

While randomized clinical trails are considered the "gold standard" of studies, because this new study was presented at a medical meeting, the data and conclusions should be viewed as preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

American cardiologists greeted the reported findings with cautious optimism.

"This is a study that is very promising but requires replication in a second confirmatory trial," said Dr. Gregg Fonarow, a professor of cardiology at the University of California, Los Angeles, and a spokesman for the American Heart Association.

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