Q. My nurse practitioner suggested that I start taking Coenzyme Q10 because I am also on simvastatin to control cholesterol. She said it would be beneficial for my muscles and my heart. When I asked my cardiologist, though, he didn’t have a clue what I was talking about. What can you tell me about this nutrient?
A. Coenzyme Q10, also known as ubiquinol, is a natural compound made by the body. It is essential for mitochondria, the energy factories of our cells.
Statin-type drugs deplete this crucial nutrient and many doctors now recommend it for patients on such medications (Nutrition Reviews, March, 2013). A new study presented at the European Society of Cardiology in May showed that Coenzyme Q10 reduced heart failure mortality by about half. The lead author encouraged his cardiology colleagues to add Coenzyme Q10 to standard heart failure therapy.
This is not the first time we have heard that CoQ10 could help against heart failure. A meta-analysis was published late last year (2012) in the peer-reviewed American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showing that the supplement can improve the heart’s ability to pump blood.