Taking Coenzyme Q10 supplements may help prevent heart disease in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus, according to a new published study. Because the study was conducted in an animal model, the effect of the supplements on humans is not yet certain, however, the researchers note.
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 catheterization and ventricular tissue was sampled for histological, genetic and protein analysis.
It was found that untreated db/db diabetic mice exhibited hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) along with diastolic dysfunction and adverse structural remodeling 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 remodeling 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 26 million Americans. There is no cure for the disease, but the disease is manageable or treatable.
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.
Diabetologia Sept 2012