Coenzyme Q10 For A Healthy Heart

February is designated as American Heart Month by the American Heart Association. According to the CDC, over 600,000 Americans die of heart each year and heart disease is the #1 killer of women in the US. Authorities also estimate that 90% of women have one or more heart disease risk factors.

During Healthy Heart Month, I will be writing posts with my nutritional suggestions for heart health. In my opinion, coenzyme Q10 is the most important nutrient for heart health. CoQ10 is required for cellular energy production, and the heart muscle is the most energy demanding muscle in the entire body.

One of the most frequent causes of hospital admissions in older adults is the devastating condition known as congestive heart failure. Congestive heart failure is a condition in which there is weakening of heart muscle. When the heart can not pump efficiently, fluid backs up and causes swelling or edema in the liver, lungs, the lining of the intestine, and the lower legs and feet. The weakening of the heart is primarily due to a lack of coenzyme Q10. Commonly prescribed drugs such as the statins, medications for diabetes, oral contraceptives and menopausal hormone replacement therapy (HRT) all block the body's ability to produce CoQ10, which means these people are at a much higher risk of developing heart disease.
Coenzyme Q10 is so effective in the treatment of heart disease that the author of one study felt compelled to call CoQ10 a scientific breakthrough. (1)

I recommend that people take 50-100 mg of CoQ10 daily for prevention. For people with heart disease risk factors, or who are taking medications that deplete CoQ10, I recommend taking 100-200 mg daily. CoQ10 should be taken at the largest meal of the day to optimize absorption. 
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