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Coenzyme Q10 in hypertension

Coenzyme Q10 is one of those universal food supplements that is recommended for just about every ailment, without much, if anything, in the way of evidence. For hypertension, though, there is a small amount of evidence, and a systematic review [1] pulls the results together.

Systematic review

The review used a number of databases to find studies published up to 2005 that described therapy of hypertension with coenzyme Q10. The main outcome was the change in systolic and diastolic blood pressure between start and end of the trial.

Results

Twelve studies were found. Three randomised trials (130 patients) compared 100 or 120 mg coenzyme Q10 daily with placebo for eight or 12 weeks. Mean systolic blood pressure was about 166 mmHg and diastolic about 92 mmHg, either with or without other antihypertensive treatments.

Coenzyme Q10 resulted in mean decreases in systolic blood pressure of about 15 mmHg more than placebo (Figure 1), and of about 3-7 mmHg more than placebo in diastolic blood pressure.



Figure 1: Reduction in systolic blood pressure with coenzyme Q10 and placebo in randomised trials





Eight open observational studies reported on four to 109 patients (214 total) taking 30 mg to 225 mg coenzyme Q10 daily for 1 to 56 weeks. The weighted mean decrease in systolic blood pressure was 13 mmHg (range 10-21 mmHg), and in diastolic blood pressure of 9 mmHg (range 6-16 mmHg).

Comment

The consistency between these studies gives a certain weight to these results, despite the small numbers. Moreover, another randomised trial in 74 patients with type 2 diabetes [2] compared 200 mg coenzyme Q10 daily with placebo over 12 weeks. It also achieved significant reductions in both systolic blood pressure by 6 mmHg more than placebo, and in diastolic blood pressure by 3 mmHg more than placebo.

Interestingly, HbA1c levels fell by about 0.4% more with coenzyme Q10 than with placebo, from initial moderate levels of about 7%.

Not a huge amount of information to go on, but better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick. Right now there seem to be no new trials in this area, so that's all there is to go on to make any decisions on this topic.

References:

  1. FL Rosenfeld et al. Coenzyme Q10 in the treatment of hypertension: a meta-analysis of the clinical trials. Journal of Human Hypertension 2007 21: 297-306.
  2. JM Hodgson et al. Coenzyme Q10 improves blood pressure and glycaemic control: a controlled trial in subjects with type 2 diabetes. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2002 56: 1137-1142.

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