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CoQ10 and heart disease
The heart has the highest concentration of CoQ10 of all the tissues in our body and it seems logical because of its high energy needs. It is therefore not surprising that the early clinical trials on the therapeutic potential of CoQ10 focused on heart disease as the target. Congestive heart failure (CHF) was one of the first conditions to be studied using CoQ10 supplements. CHF can result from a variety of causes and can be related to either primary cardiomyopathies or secondary forms of heart failure.
Dr. Yuichi Yamamura in Japan was the first to demonstrate the clinical efficacy of CoQ10 in heart failure as far back as in 1967 (Yamamura et al, 1967), when the mechanism of action of CoQ10 was still being elucidated. Dr. Karl followed this up and in 1985, he along with Dr. Svend Mortensen and his colleagues demonstrated a strong correlation between CHF and the tissue levels of CoQ10 (Mortensen et al, 1985). The original Japanese findings on the clinical efficacy of CoQ10 in CHF have now been confirmed in numerous clinical trials carried out in several other countries.
In the US, Dr. Karl Folkers along with Dr. Per Langsjoen pioneered research on CoQ10 in heart disease (Langsjoen et al, 1985). Dr. Per Langsjoen’s son Dr. Peter Langsjoen collaborated with his father on this important research, and he along with his wife Alena is now continuing the work and have gathered an impressive amount of data. They have numerous publications on the therapeutic value of CoQ10 in heart disease (Langsjoen and Langsjoen, 1998; 1999).
Data gathered from all the research to date show that the best results with adjunctive CoQ10 supplementation can be expected when the heart patients have a NYHA class I or II diagnosis of duration under one year.
In addition to CHF, there are other cardiovascular diseases that have been successfully treated with CoQ10 supplementation. Among these are diastolic dysfunction, angina pectoris, hypertension, ventricular arrhythmias, mitral valve prolapse and also drug induced cardiotoxicities (Sinatra, 1998). In most of these studies, CoQ10 treatment was employed as an adjunct to standard medical therapy.
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