Does CoQ10 Lower Blood Pressure?
One out of every three people in the United States has high blood pressure, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).1 It is one of the major risk factors for stroke, heart attack, and heart failure. Hypertension, another word for high blood pressure, is a major public health concern because only about half of those diagnosed patients have it under control. This means many people could use help in controlling their blood pressure more effectively.
What Does it Mean to Have High Blood Pressure?
You’ve probably heard the terms high blood pressure and hypertension before, but what do they actually mean for you? Blood pressure is a measure of how hard your heart has to work to pump blood through your body, or how well blood can travel through your arteries. Low blood pressure levels mean your body isn’t moving enough blood, while high blood pressure levels mean your body has to work extra hard to move your blood through your arteries. This is why ‘blocked’ or ‘clogged’ arteries go hand in hand with high blood pressure, it’s just harder to get through!
It’s important to have a normal blood pressure because it’s crucial for blood to carry oxygen to every part of your body. Without regular blood flow, your body is at risk for adverse conditions ranging from lowered quality of life to a stroke or heart attack. Regulating blood pressure is vital to a happy, healthy life.
What is CoQ10 and How Can it Help?
Coenzyme Q10, or CoQ10 is a naturally occurring antioxidant found in almost every cell in the body. It is believed to have the potential to help manage blood pressure and mitigate unwanted risks. There have been several clinical trials on CoQ10 and hypertension and although at this time the research remains inconclusive, there are some promising results.
How Does CoQ10 Lower Blood Pressure?
Right now, CoQ10 is theorized to lower blood pressure through a few different mechanisms. First, it is an antioxidant, meaning it helps reduce oxidative stress, which may in turn lower blood pressure. Antioxidants are known for the neutralization of free radicals that can prevent cellular damage, so CoQ10 may help keep your cells healthy. And since cells make up every part of your body, overall health begins at the cellular level.
Second, CoQ10 has been shown to improve the function of the mitochondria, or energy source of the cells, which has been associated with a decrease in blood pressure.
Finally, it has a slight vasodilation effect, relaxing the blood vessels, and in turn lowering blood pressure. In other words, it is easier for your body to move blood through the relaxed blood vessels than the constricted ones.2
The best part is, CoQ10 has very few side effects, so adding CoQ10 to your diet can bring in benefits, without an annoying down side. CoQ10 is considered safe to use, but like any supplement, should always be supervised by a trusted physician.
Research on CoQ10 for High Blood Pressure
Looking at the current research, there have been several studies supporting the use of CoQ10 as a way to help manage blood pressure, including two meta-analyses that showed statistically significant improvements.
A 2007 meta-analysis of 12 clinical trials concluded that supplementation with CoQ10 lowered systolic blood pressure by up to 17 mm Hg and diastolic by 10 mm Hg.3 Then in 2018, a meta-analysis of 17 studies found that CoQ10 significantly decreased systolic blood pressure, but not diastolic blood pressure.4 Based on findings of these two meta-analyses, CoQ10 does seem to have some effect on helping lower blood pressure.
Similar results have been found in pregnant women with preeclampsia, a dangerous form of hypertension that only happens during pregnancy. Women who took a CoQ10 supplement during pregnancy had a significantly lower chance of developing preeclampsia.5
But, not all trials have been as conclusive as those mentioned above. A 2016 review identified two small studies, including about 50 subjects, that found no evidence that supplementation of CoQ10 helped lower hypertension.6
If you have high blood pressure, should you try a CoQ10 supplement? The research is mixed, but promising. One thing to note is that in all the studies mentioned, there were very few side effects found with CoQ10 supplements. The important thing with any supplement regimen is to always ask your doctor before starting to make sure it is safe for your specific health condition. Your doctor can also help you understand possible interactions between a CoQ10 supplement and your current medications, like blood thinners, thyroid prescriptions, and certain chemotherapy drugs.
- Tags: Heart Health
- Blog Contributor