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Coenzyme Q10 may protect against heart disease in type 2 diabetes patients

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By David Liu, PHD

Saturday Sept 8, 2012(foodconsumer.org) -- Taking Coenzyme Q10 supplements may help prevent heart disease in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus, according to a study most recently published in Diabetologia.  It is a possibility only because the study was conducted in an animal model.

K. Huynh of Monash University in Clayton, Vic. Australia and colleagues conducted the study in six-week-old non-diabetic db/+ mice and diabetic db/db mice and found addition of the antioxidant Coenzyme Q10 to the ACE inhibitor ramipril treatment protects against the development of diabetic cardiomyopathy in mice with type 2 diabetes.

Diabetic cardiomyopathy is caused by the increased production of reactive oxygen species.  Huyng et al. conducted the study in hopes to demonstrate how coenzyme Q10 would protect the diabetic heart against dysfunction and remodeling in the db/db mouse model of type 2 diabetes.

For the study, six-week-old non-diabetic db/+ mice and diabetic db/db mice were given either normal drinking water or water supplemented with coenzyme Q10 for 10 weeks. Cardiac function was assessed by echocardiography and catheterisation and ventricular tissue was sampled for histological, genetic and protein analysis.

It was found that untreated db/db diabetic mice exhibited hyperglycaemia (high blood sugar) along with diastolic dysfunction and adverse structural remodelling like cardiomyocyte hypertrophy, myocardial fibrosis and increased apoptosis. An increase was observed in systemic lipid peroxidation and myocardial superoxide in db/db mice.

In another group of db/db mice, coenzyme Q10 and ramipril treatment reduced superoxide formation, ameliorated diastolic dysfunction and reduced cardiomyocyte hypertrophy and fibrosis. Phosphorylation of Akt was restored with coenzyme Q10 administration where it was depressed in untreated mice with type 2 diabetes. 

The researchers postulated that coenzyme Q10 protected against pathological cardiac hypertrophy in db/db mice by preserving cardioprotective Akt signaling.

They concluded  "coenzyme Q10 attenuates oxidative stress and left ventricular diastolic dysfunction and remodelling in the diabetic heart. Addition of coenzyme Q10 to the current therapy used in diabetic patients with diastolic dysfunction warrants further investigation."

Type 2 diabetes affects an estimated 24 million Americans.  There is no cure for the disease, but the disease is manageable or treatable.   There are many things people can do to prevent the disease from developing in the first place.  For example, curcumin and cinnamon have been proved to be every effective in protecting against the disease.  Vitamin D is another supplement people may take to prevent the disease and many other medical conditions.

Coenzyme Q10, also known as ubiquinone, ubidecarenone, coenzyme Q, and abbreviated at times to CoQ10, CoQ, or Q10 is a 1,4-benzoquinone, according to wikipedia.org

Coenzyme Q10 supplements can help the heart, migraine headaches, cancer, high blood pressure, periodontal disease, lifespan, radiation injury and Parkinson's disease.  It may also help weight loss.

People who are on statins may better off taking coenzyme Q10 because statins inhibits synthesis of coenzyme q10.

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