Taking CoQ10 for Blood Pressure

Herbal supplement CoQ10 laying on a table

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Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is a substance that can help boost the conversion of food to energy. Found in most cells in the body, CoQ10 is a very powerful antioxidant. Antioxidants are chemicals that oppose free radicals, damaging oxygen ions that damage cell membranes and DNA, sometimes causing cell death.

Free radicals are widely believed to contribute to aging, in addition to a number of health conditions like cancer and heart disease. The use of an antioxidant can neutralize free radicals, reducing or preventing cellular damage.

CoQ10 is thought to improve heart-related conditions, like high blood pressure, by increasing the production of energy in cells, neutralizing free radicals that cause cell harm, and preventing the formation of blood clots.

CoQ10 and Blood Pressure

Among the cardiac conditions that may be prevented or treated with the use of CoQ10 supplements are heart failure, heart attacks, and high blood pressure. In fact, The Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database has rated CoQ10 as “possibly effective” for the treatment of hypertension.

Some experts believe hypertensive patients may have a deficiency of the enzyme. There have been several clinical studies of CoQ10 that suggest a beneficial effect in lowering blood pressure, although these studies suggest a period of treatment lasting 4 to 12 weeks is necessary before a benefit is evident.

A review of studies in the Journal of Human Hypertension suggested that CoQ10 may help lower systolic blood pressure by up to 17 mm Hg and diastolic blood pressure by up to 10 mm Hg without significant side effects.

Possible Side Effects

No major side effects have been reported with CoQ10 use. Some users have reported an upset stomach.

Since studies have not determined safety during pregnancy, CoQ10 supplements are not recommended for use by pregnant women. People with diabetes should be aware of the potential of CoQ10 to lower blood sugar and should consult their healthcare provider before using this supplement.

Interactions

People who take blood thinners like Coumadin (warfarin) and Plavix (clopidogrel) should alert their doctor before taking CoQ10 supplements as the supplement may increase the risk of bleeding and easy bruising.

CoQ10 may decrease the efficacy of certain chemotherapy drugs, so people undergoing cancer treatment should consult with their oncologist before using CoQ10.

On the other hand, a number of small studies have shown that CoQ10 may reduce cardiac toxicity associated with daunorubicin and doxorubicin, two chemotherapy drugs are known to have a high risk of heart damage.

If you decide to take CoQ10 to lower your blood pressure, you should be aware that some medications can lower CoQ10 levels in your blood. These include statin drugs used for the treatment of high cholesterol, fibrates like Lopid (gemfibrozil), and tricyclic antidepressants like Elavil (amitryptiline), Sinequan (doxepin HCl), and Tofranil (imipramine).

Dosage and Preparation

If you are taking a blood pressure medication, the addition of CoQ10 supplements may allow you to decrease your dosage of other antihypertensive medications. It’s important to talk with your doctor before adding CoQ10 or any supplement to your regimen. Careful monitoring will help you safely optimize the use of this supplement.

COQ10 should only be taken by adults 19 years of age or more. Recommended dosages range from 30 mg to 200 mg daily. Most experts agree that soft gel capsules are absorbed better than other types of supplements.

CoQ10 is fat-soluble, meaning that it needs fat in order to be absorbed and metabolized. For optimal results, take the supplement with a fat-containing meal rather than on an empty stomach.

A Word From Verywell

If you have hypertension, supplements may be helpful in reducing your blood pressure numbers. Although extensive research is still lacking on the effects of many supplements on blood pressure, there is evidence to show improvement with the use of CoQ10 supplements.

If you are considering the use of a supplement, be sure to tell your healthcare provider. Some supplements may interact with medications you currently take. It's important to have all the facts and to monitor your blood pressure carefully when making any changes in your treatment regimen.

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