Supplements of coenzyme Q10 may increase the vascular health of people with diabetes who take statin drugs, according to a new study from Australia. Following 12 weeks of supplementation with CoQ10 (200 milligrams per day) an improvement in the blood flow was observed, according to findings published in the journal Diabetes Care.
It is well known that cholesterol-lowering statins deplete the body's natural stores of CoQ10, and this has boosted use of CoQ10.
The new findings indicate that, in addition to redressing the balance of CoQ10, supplementation may also improve endothelial dysfunction in statin-treated type 2 diabetic patients.
In order to test their hypothesis that CoQ10 supplementation would improve the vascular health in statin-treated diabetics, the researchers recruited 23 type 2 diabetic patients with endothelial dysfunction. The volunteers were randomly assigned to receive either CoQ10 or placebo for 12 weeks.
The study analyzed by brachial artery flow-mediated dilatation (FMD), a measure of endothelial dysfunction since a low value is indicative of a blood vessel's inability to relax, and nitrate-mediated dilation (NMD), which relates to nitric oxide, a potent endothelium-derived relaxing factor.
The researchers report a 2.7-fold increase in blood levels of CoQ10 following supplementation, and an increase in FMD of 1 per cent. However, no changes in NMD were recorded, nor were any changes in levels of oxidative stress observed, assessed by measuring levels of compounds called F2-isoprostanes in the blood and urine.
"Impaired FMD is a consistent predictor of adverse cardiovascular events," wrote the researchers. "Several interventions that improve FMD also improve cardiovascular outcomes.
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