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Should You Take CoQ10 for Atrial Fibrillation?

Some evidence suggests that there could be benefits in taking CoQ10 for atrial fibrillation. Be sure to check with your doctor about possible interactions.

The use of supplements has been controversial for years. Could supplements slow aging and prevent heart disease? Are supplements useless for promoting health? To get an answer, we need to examine the evidence on a case-by-case basis. What does science say about taking CoQ10 for atrial fibrillation? That is what one reader would like to know.

CoQ10 for Atrial Fibrillation:

Q. Is Coenzyme Q10 helpful in treating atrial fibrillation?

What Is Atrial Fibrillation?

A. Let’s start with atrial fibrillation (AFib). This irregular heart rhythm occurs when the upper chambers of the heart are beating fast and out of sync with the lower chambers. Blood clots can form and may pose a risk for stroke. Obviously, a specialist should be treating such an arrhythmia. You should not attempt to treat it yourself with a supplement unless you and your doctor have agreed on this approach.

Coenzyme Q10:

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is a natural antioxidant that is crucial for the energy factories of the cells called mitochondria. Statins, among other drugs, can deplete the body of CoQ10.

There is very little research on the effect of supplementation with CoQ10 for atrial fibrillation. The few studies that have been published suggest that there may be some benefit in preventing or treating this condition (Journal of Investigative Medicine, June, 2015). In addition, cardiologists have proposed that CoQ10 might be useful in reducing atherosclerosis (International Journal of Molecular Sciences, Oct. 20, 2019).

A Word of Warning on Using CoQ10 for Atrial Fibrillation:

CoQ10 can reduce the effectiveness of the anticoagulant warfarin. This drug is used to prevent blood clots. Before considering CoQ10 please check with your physician to make sure it won’t interact with medicines you are taking for your AFib.

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies..
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  • Zhao Q et al, "Effect of coenzyme Q10 on the incidence of atrial fibrillation in patients with heart failure." Journal of Investigative Medicine, June, 2015. DOI: 10.1097/JIM.0000000000000202
  • Suárez-Rivero JM et al, "Atherosclerosis and Coenzyme Q10." International Journal of Molecular Sciences, Oct. 20, 2019. DOI: 10.3390/ijms20205195
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