Here in the US, cardiovascular disease and other heart problems are scarily common. According to the CDC, nearly 50% of all adults have hypertension, and more than half a million deaths were caused by high blood pressure in 2019 alone. Those are scary figures, but they’re real, and the trends only seem to be getting worse as the years pass us by. For a quick reference, read our CoQ10 and Cardiovascular Health, Does CoQ10 Lower Cholesterol, and Is CoQ10 Good for Reducing Blood Pressure? articles.
The ultimate goal is to undo some of the behaviors that contribute to hypertension and, even more importantly, end the inequalities and environmental issues that make said decisions so prevalent. But the reality is we won’t get there overnight, and blood pressure issues will always be around. We still need solutions that can help people manage their blood pressure and improve their quality of life.
Many consider supplements like CoQ10 to be a great option. But is it really all it’s cracked up to be? Is CoQ10 good for reducing blood pressure? Are there any safety concerns you should be aware of, and how can you help it be the most effective? We’re here to answer all those questions and more.
The #1 CoQ10 for Heart Health
What is CoQ10?
Before we get into the thick of it, we should probably clarify what CoQ10 actually is. The Cliffnotes version is that CoQ10 (short for coenzyme Q10) is a naturally-occurring antioxidant used by our bodies’ cells for general growth and maintenance. It also assists with converting food into useable energy, fights free radicals, and is suggested to potentially reduce the possibility of several diseases.
Admittedly, it sounds a little bit like a cure-all when laid out in black and white, so we’ll be very clear. This enzyme is definitively not that. Just like any other enzyme or nutrient that we’re aware of, it won’t solve all of your problems or cure the world of every condition. However, it does certainly have its uses, and one of its most popular is as a way to help reverse the effects of hypertension.
Most people seek its assistance by taking CoQ10 supplements, which are usually in the form of soft gels or regular capsules. Although, since it’s a substance naturally found in our bodies, there are other ways to modestly increase your levels, including increasing your consumption of meats, nuts, and fish.
CoQ10’s Benefits for Hypertension
As we said before, CoQ10 is a natural nutrient. Our bodies already produce it, and a certain amount can be acquired simply by the foods we consume. It’s not a specialty drug. It affects our entire system, and our cells use it for their most basic of processes. That being said, though, research is finding that it holds a lot of promise as a way to supplement the treatment of hypertension.
The mechanisms behind this are complicated and still being studied. Yet it appears to be because of CoQ10’s effect on free radicals -- uncharged molecules that cause extensive damage to our cells.
Essentially, free radicals are believed to either cause or contribute to most cases of high blood pressure. Their presence alters key proteins and harms our DNA, producing oxidative stress that in turn lowers our levels of something called ‘nitric oxide.’ This can then induce or trigger hypertension. Meanwhile, hypertension caused by high sodium diets is further worsened by free radicals since they increase inflammation and encourage the kidneys to hold onto more salt than necessary.
But CoQ10 supplements, including OPA Heart, can prevent this from occurring as they actively kill the free radicals that are the root of the problem. No free radicals, no oxidative damage, and when there’s no oxidative damage, there’s less hypertension -- at least in theory.
The real-world results aren’t always so cut and dry, but this does seem to be the general gist. CoQ10 can thus be a good way to reduce blood pressure, possibly decrease dependence on BP drugs, and improve symptoms related to some of the heart/cardiovascular conditions that have proven to be so deadly within our country and around the world.
Safety Concerns and Dosing
That’s fantastic news, but that doesn’t mean CoQ10 is suitable for every single person concerned about their BP, nor do these results suggest that the antioxidant substance is a one-stop-shop for all your anti-hypertensive needs. While generally considered safe and beneficial for most people, CoQ10 can have a few side effects here and there that you might want to watch out for.
One of the more common and mild effects reported by users is digestive upset. It’s the fairly standard trio of nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea that can come with practically any supplement, so it’s nothing to be too concerned about. Taking CoQ10 with a meal usually keeps this at bay, but if it doesn’t, it’s a good idea to discontinue use until talking with a medical professional.
Beyond some normal digestive discomfort, you might run into other side effects such as headaches/migraines, fatigue, decreased appetite, or skin rashes/irritation. Luckily, most of these only occur as your body becomes accustomed to the supplement.
Want to make the transition as smooth as possible? Always be sure to buy your supplement from a reputable company and keep an eye on the amount of CoQ10 included in its formula. Supplements such as OPA Heart use 200 mg for a reason: it typically gives fast results but also absorbs well while causing less irritation. Any dosage over this is probably better off avoided for most.
Although, it's a good idea to talk to your doctor about what will work best for you and your body. They know your unique health situation and can best guide you to the dosage and supplementation right for you. They can also monitor you for any unexpected effects and triple-check that there are no potential medication interactions to worry about, keeping you happy, healthy, and safe.
Final Thoughts on Is CoQ10 Good for Reducing Blood Pressure
In conclusion, CoQ10 may be a great natural solution to help manage hypertension and reduce blood pressure. Although it is not a cure-all, the naturally occurring antioxidant could be used in conjunction with other BP medications or even as a sole treatment option. However, it is important to remember that supplements like CoQ10 do come with some side effects, and it's always best to speak to your doctor before starting a new supplement. With the right dosing and supervision, CoQ10 could be a valuable addition to anyone looking to improve their cardiovascular health and overall well-being.