Atrial fibrillation is a quivering or irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia) that can lead to blood clots, stroke, heart failure and other heart-related complications. At least 2.7 million Americans have  atrial fibrillation. Often it starts as brief periods of abnormal beating which become longer and possibly constant over time. Most episodes have no symptoms. Occasionally there may be heart palpitations, fainting, lightheadedness, shortness of breath, or chest pain.

There is evidence that oxidative stress and inflammation is linked to both heart failure and atrial fibrillation. A study that appeared in the Journal of Investigative Medicine (2015 Jun;63(5):735-9) looked at the use of CoQ10, which is an antioxidant (among other things), as a possible adjunct treatment for atrial fibrillation in patients with heart failure.

Subjects of the study were 102 patients who were randomly divided into two groups. One receiving CoQ10 with their usual drug therapy and the control group receiving their medications only. Ambulatory electrocardiogram Holter monitoring (24 hours), doppler echocardiography, and evaluation of inflammatory cytokines were performed before treatment and 6 and 12 months after treatment.

There was significant reduction in the level of malondialdehyde  in the CoQ10 group, but not in the control group after 6 and 12 months. Three patients  in the CoQ10 group and 12 patients in the control group had episodes of atrial fibrillation after 12 months’ treatment. Researchers concluded, ” CoenzymeQ10 as adjuvant treatment in patients with HF may attenuate the incidence of AF. The mechanisms of the effect perhaps have relation with the reduced levels of malondialdehyde.”