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COQ10 and cardiomyopathy

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  • VHess2000@cs.com
    Dear List - Several people have mentioned that they ve heard that CoQ10 Strengthens or thickens the heart wall, hence is bad for HCM. CoQ10 doesn t act
    Message 1 of 3 , Jul 12, 2001
      Dear List - Several people have mentioned that they''ve heard that CoQ10
      "Strengthens" or "thickens" the heart wall, hence is bad for HCM. CoQ10
      doesn't act on the heart in that direct fashion, but allows cell mitochondria
      to better utilize energy, reducing the load on the heart. Its' use has been
      studied in human patients with all forms of cardiomyopathy, including
      hypertropic. One study followed 424 patients for an eight-year period.

      CoQ10 is found in small amounts in organ meats, soy oil, sardines, mackeral
      and peanuts. The body can produce it from the amino acid, tyrosine, through
      a 17-step process that requires the presence of at least 8 different vitamins
      and several minerals. A deficiency in any one of these, hinders production
      of CoQ10. Patients suffering from cardiac disease have very low levels of
      COQ10 in their blood.

      One study showed that supplementation with CoQ10 REDUCED the septal thickness
      of the heart by 24%, and the posterior wall thickness by 26% in patients
      with HCM (Langsjoen, PH, et al., 1996). Additional studies have shown that
      it increases survival time, improves systolic and diastolic pressures,
      lessons fatigue, reduces dyspnea, improves ejection fraction rates,
      palpitations, edema and pulmonary rales, and reduces homocystiene levels.
      The largest study, also conducted by Langsjoen treated 424 patients from 1985
      - 1993. Patients on average, were taking from one - five cardiac
      medications. After supplementation with CoQ10, 43% stopped between one and
      three drugs, and only 6% required the addition of one drug. (An abstract of
      this study is available at http://www.md-phc.com/nutrition/useful.html)

      Please see: http://www.allvita.net/coq10_study.html
      for a collection of approximately 20 abstracts of published papers related to
      the efficacy of CoQ10 supplementation in cardiac patients.

      Also for info on CoQ10, Taurine and Crataegus:

      Many of the authors of these studies, use the the term "breakthrough" to
      describe CoQ10's place in the treatment of cardiac disease, yet this
      information is not widely disseminated in either human or veterinarian
      medicine. My own roommate was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy and congestive
      heart failure 18 months ago, and her cardiologist, a reknowned transplant
      surgeon, merely shrugged when she asked him about CoQ10, saying it couldn't
      hurt. She takes about eight different prescribed med's, many of which
      further zap her already-limited energy. She started taking CoQ10 about 3
      months ago, and notes that her level of energy has doubled. Normally she
      wouldn't be able to get out of bed until noon, but is now able to get up in
      the morning, and has increased the number of hours she works.

      Dr. Ray Strand, a nutritional M.D., takes an interesting position on the
      failure to get the word out about CoQ10 in an article found at:
      http://www.raystrand.com/case_studies/cardiomyopathy.asp .

      CoQ10, like all vitamins, elements and minerals, cannot be patented, hence
      there is no financial incentive for pharmaceutical companies to promote their
      use. Moreover, promoting the use of COQ10 is a financial disincentive,
      because it reduces the need for other drugs. He relates that in his 25 years
      of practice, he has never heard a lecture on CoQ10 (at medical education
      programs sponsored, by, of course, the pharmaceutical industry),nor known of
      a cardiologist who prescribed it, despite the fact that some patients with
      heart disease advanced enough to qualify them for transplantation under NY
      Heart Assoc. guidelines, improved enough from COQ10 supplementation, that
      they would no longer have been considered for the heart transplant list.

      In my own experience, I've found that many doctors, and as I'm learning,
      vet's, have remarkably little knowledge of the dangers of some
      pharmaceuticals or the benefits of some nutritional supplements. A few years
      ago I was treated by a team of 3 physicians, who used a potent diuretic to
      relieve fluid build up on my brain and optic nerves, that resulted in violent
      mood swings, blackouts, cardiac arrhymia, and extreme fatigue. After nine
      months of this I discovered from another doctor, that I was supposed to have
      my electrolytes, and enzymes and blood sugar tested regularly while on this
      medication (which was never done.) Luckily I stopped the med's and doc's
      before I had a heart attack.

      Under the best of circumstances, each of us would be able to rely on our
      vet's and MD's to provide us with the most up-to-date information, and to be
      able to discuss the benefits and threats of any particular therapy. Sadly
      this is often impossible, meaning that you may have to take the time to
      locate published research on the net, and then armed with information, make
      those decisions which are best for you and your pet. Based on my own
      experience, I would never take rely solely on a doctor's opinion (Board
      Certified or not).

      One final note on CoQ10: A study was done on a small group of heart failure
      patients who had all been stabilized on their heart med's, and who had shown
      a positive response to long-term ( 3- 8 months) supplementation of CoQ10.
      Within 2 -3 weeks of stopping CoQ10, 5/9 patients experienced deterioration
      severe enough to require hospitalization and two patients died of,
      respectively, pulmonary embolism and myocardial infarction. Those who
      relapsed after COQ10 withdrawal, recovered after the supplementation was
      reinitiated. The researchers concluded that," withdrawal may be dangerous,
      especially in Class III-IV failure... that COQ10 is a lifetime therapy, and
      probably lifesparing therapy, particularly for potential heart transplant
      candidates." [Mortensen, SA, et al.]

      I was unaware of this last study, when I cut back on CoQ10 supplementation
      for my own cat, who developed a sudden aversion to med's after her initial
      recovery. Immediately after this reduction, she exhibited some subtle
      behavioral changes, which I now know should have been a warning sign. A few
      weeks after cutting her dosage back from daily to 1x or 2x a week, she
      suffered an embolism and died, without exhibiting any classic symptoms of
      heart failure (lethargy, cough, etc). It is difficult to say that there was
      a direct cause and effect relationship between the reduction in CoQ10 use and
      her death, but if I knew then what I know now, I would never miss giving it
      for even a day or two. But hindsight is always 20:20.

      Sorry for the length of this message, but knowledge is meaningless if not
      shared freely. Good luck to you all.

    • the chunns
      Dear Victoria, Thank you so much for this very clear and concise explanation of COQ10. I think you have made a very good argument for its use. I wonder if you
      Message 2 of 3 , Jul 12, 2001
        Dear Victoria,

        Thank you so much for this very clear and concise explanation of COQ10.
        I think you have made a very good argument for its use. I wonder if you
        know the best form and strength to take it. I heard someone on a radio talk
        show - and of course, he was selling his own product, who said it was more
        usable in a liquid form. I can't recall seeing it in a liquid - have you?
        I am so
        sorry now that I did not give COQ10 to my cat after he was diagnosed.
        Actually, I did try, but he was able to sniff out anything different in his
        food. I should have tried harder.

        Thanks again.

        ----- Original Message -----
        From: <VHess2000@...>
        To: <feline-heart@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Thursday, July 12, 2001 5:36 AM
        Subject: [feline-heart] COQ10 and cardiomyopathy


      • gea@alumni.duke.edu
        Victoria, Thank you SO MUCH for this excellent post about CoQ10. That s exactly what I was looking for, and really helps. (I ve also heard CoQ10 helps reduce
        Message 3 of 3 , Jul 12, 2001

          Thank you SO MUCH for this excellent post about CoQ10. That's exactly
          what I was looking for, and really helps. (I've also heard CoQ10 helps
          reduce bad cholesterol in addition to all the other great things it
          does for heart function.)

          I'm so sorry your kitty died. There is so much we don't know and so
          much we can't control in taking care of our babies... we just do the
          very best we can with what we know, as I'm sure you did. Yeah, that's
          my vet's usual reaction when I suggest a supplement: "can't hurt".
          (Which, apparently some, like garlic, can.)

          Thanks again!

          Gail & Malcolm
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