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

oted that earlier, smaller trials with Coenzyme Q10 have produced mixed results. "Some studies have shown no effect, while other studies have shown some improvement, but not nearly the impressive effects displayed in this trial," he said.

Coenzyme Q10 occurs naturally in the body. It functions as an electron carrier in cellular mitochondria (the cell's "powerhouse") to help convert food to energy. It also is a powerful antioxidant, and has become a popular over-the-counter dietary supplement.

CoQ10 levels are decreased in the heart muscle of patients with heart failure, with the deficiency becoming more pronounced as the severity of their condition worsens, Mortensen said in the news release.

In this study, 420 patients with moderate to severe heart failure were tracked during two years. About half received 100 milligrams of CoQ10 three times a day, while the other half received a placebo.

By the end of the study, 18 patients from the CoQ10 group had died versus 36 deaths in the placebo group. Major adverse cardiovascular events requiring hospitalization had taken place in 29 CoQ10 patients, compared with 55 patients in the placebo group.

"It seems to be the largest trial so far to look at it in a rigorous way, to see if Coenzyme Q10 therapy affects outcomes in heart failure," said Dr. Margaret Redfield, head of the circulatory failure research group at Mayo Clinic. "As far as outcome trials go, it's still a pretty small trial. We have to interpret it cautiously. But it did seem to show a decrease in heart failure related events."

The potential of Coenzyme Q10 to treat heart failure patients has been a story told for more than two decades, added Dr. Michael Givertz, medical director for heart transplant and mechanical circulatory support at Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, and an associate professor of medicine for Harvard Medical School.

Studies have shown that Coenzyme Q10 does no harm and produces no side effects, G
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