Fish oil and coenzyme Q10 are dietary supplements that may benefit patients with heart disease. Fish oil is the best source of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, whereas coenzyme Q10, also known as ubiquinone or CoQ10, is a vitamin-like substance that plays a key role in energy production in the human body. In addition to supplements it is found in a wide variety of foods and is also synthesized in all human tissues, particularly in heart muscle.
Benefits of Fish Oil
The omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil are associated with many cardiovascular health benefits. They reduce the risk of high blood pressure, sudden cardiac death and stroke. In addition, omega-3 fatty acids increase the levels of beneficial LDL cholesterol in the blood. Other possible benefits are still under investigation and may include reduced risk of rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, arrhythmias and certain cancers.
Benefits of CoQ10
Low levels of CoQ10 are often seen in elderly patients as well as those with heart conditions, muscular dystrophy, Parkinson's disease, cancer, diabetes, and HIV/AIDS. Studies have shown that patients with heart failure and hypertension improve when CoQ10 is administered in addition to conventional therapies.
The American Heart Association recommends eating at least two servings of unfried cold-water fish a week. One serving consists of 3.5 ounce of cooked fish. Fatty cold-water fish such as mackerel, herring, salmon, lake trout, sardines and albacore tuna have the highest levels of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. CoQ10 is highest in organ meats such as heart, liver and kidney, and is also found in beef, soybean oil, sardines, mackerel and peanuts.
Most fish oil capsules contain between 600 mg and 1 g of fish oil. Always follow the manufacturer's instructions on the package or talk with a health care professional to determine your correct dose. Do not consume more than 3 g of fish oil per day unless advised by a health care professional, because adverse side effects may occur.