Purpose of review: This review examines recent randomized clinical trials evaluating the role of coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) in the management of coronary heart disease.
Recent findings: CoQ10 is one of the most commonly used dietary supplements in the USA. Due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, CoQ10 has been studied extensively for possible use in managing coronary heart disease. One of the most common applications of CoQ10 is to mitigate statin-associated muscle symptoms (SAMS) based on the theory that SAMS are caused by statin depletion of CoQ10 in the muscle. Although previous studies of CoQ10 for SAMS have produced mixed results, CoQ10 appears to be safe. Because CoQ10 is a cofactor in the generation of adenosine triphosphate, supplementation has also recently been studied in patients with heart failure, which is inherently an energy deprived state. The Q-SYMBIO trial found that CoQ10 supplementation in patients with heart failure not only improved functional capacity, but also significantly reduced cardiovascular events and mortality. Despite these positive findings, a larger prospective trial is warranted to support routine use of CoQ10. Less impressive are the effects of CoQ10 on specific cardiovascular risk factors such as blood pressure, dyslipidemia, and glycemic control. Current evidence does not support routine use of CoQ10 in patients with coronary heart disease. Additional studies are warranted to fully determine the benefit of CoQ10 in patients with heart failure before including it in guideline-directed medical therapy.
Keywords: Cardiovascular disease; Coenzyme Q10; Heart failure; Myalgia; Statins.