British Heart Foundation: Understanding blood clots
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It is not always possible to get all the nutrients we need from diet alone. Many people rely on supplements as a way to ensure their bodies are healthy. However, there is reason to take them with caution.
One supplement in particular has the potential to reduce the effects of certain medications if taken together.
Coenzyme Q10, also known as CoQ10, is an antioxidant naturally produced by the body.
It is needed for the growth and maintenance of cells.
However, as you get older your CoQ10 levels will reduce.
A certain amount can be consumed in food such as meat, dairy and nuts, but this might not be enough.
For this reason it is also available as a supplement, in tablet or powder form.
Evidence suggests it could help improve symptoms of heart disease and lower blood sugar levels, alongside other benefits.
But it is worth speaking to your doctor before taking the supplement, health bodies have warned.
The Mayo Clinic explains that CoQ10 should not be taken alongside anticoagulants if you are at risk of a blood clot.
It says: “CoQ10 might make blood-thinning drugs, such as warfarin (Jantoven), less effective.
“This could increase the risk of a blood clot.”
Blood clots are potentially dangerous as they can result in strokes, heart attacks and pulmonary embolisms if not treated.
US healthcare provider, Mount Sinai, adds: “There have been reports that CoQ10 may make medications such as warfarin (Coumadin) or clopidogrel (Plavix) less effective at thinning the blood.
“If you take blood thinners, ask your provider before taking CoQ10.”
It also advises seeking medical advice before taking CoQ10 if you are on diabetes medication or undergoing chemotherapy.
“CoQ10 may lower blood sugar, so people with diabetes should talk with their provider before taking it to avoid the risk of low blood sugar,” Mount Sinai says.
“Some suggest that it may also lower blood pressure.”
It adds: “Researchers are not sure whether CoQ10’s antioxidant effect might make some chemotherapy drugs less effective.
“Ask your oncologist before taking antioxidants or any supplement along with chemotherapy.”
It is also worth speaking to your doctor before taking CoQ10 if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
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