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Coenzyme Q10 and Its Potential in anti-Hypertensive Therapy

Hypertension represents an increasing global burden of disease.  It is currently managed by the use of a variety of medications.  These medications are effective in reducing blood pressure, but many have undesirable side effects such as renal or cardiac dysfunction, cough and depression.  Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), also known as ubiquinone, is an antioxidant and an integral component of the mitochondrial respiratory chain for energy production.  It is found in all tissues and organs of the body but in highest concentration in the heart.  There is evidence of CoQ10 deficiency in hypertension, heart failure and in statin-treated hypercholesterolemic individuals.

To assess the overall efficacy of Coenzyme Q10 supplementation in the treatment of hypertension and the incidence of side effects, A meta-analysis was performed in 12 clinical trials (362 patients in total) comprising three randomized controlled trials, one crossover study and eight open label studies.  In most of the 12 clinical trials, a daily dosage of 100-120mg of Coenzyme Q10 was used for a period of 4-20 weeks.

All three types of study (randomized controlled, crossover and open label) showed decreases in systolic blood pressure ranging from 11 to 17mm Hg, and in diastolic blood pressure ranging from 8 to 10mm Hg, without significant side effects.

An increase in oxidative stress is well documented in hypertensive states.  In blood vessels, oxidative stress impairs the ability of endothelium to induce NO-mediated relaxation of underlying smooth muscle with resultant vasoconstriction and increased blood pressure.  The study author postulated that the primary action of CoQ10 in clinical hypertension is vasodilatation, via a direct effect on the endothelium and vascular smooth muscle.  CoQ10 may also have a particular therapeutic role in hypertensive patients with consistently increased levels of oxidative stress.

Source: Journal of Human Hypertension (2007) 21, 297–306

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