Prof. Urban Alehagen
- Reduced risk of cardiovascular disease by daily supplementation of coenzyme Q10 and selenium
- Improved quality of life and anti-aging markers with daily supplementation of coenzyme Q10 and selenium
Reduced risk of cardiovascular disease by daily supplementation of coenzyme Q10 and selenium
In a large and very well-controlled study supplementation with selenium and coenzyme Q10 or similar placebo each day for four years lowered the risk of dying from cardiovascular (CV) disease significantly. The participants were healthy elderly persons, however, with more heart issues than found in a group of younger persons. In addition, measurements of heart function showed a significant improvement compared to placebo. Furthermore, there was an improvement in a biochemical marker for heart disease, NT-proBNP.
An analysis found very low selenium blood levels among the participants at baseline. When dividing the participants in three groups based on blood selenium baseline levels, the lowest third had the highest reduction in cardiovascular mortality, while the reduction among participants with the highest levels was non-significant.
In a follow up on the original study an evaluation of the cardiovascular effects of the intervention was performed ten years after the introduction of the supplementation period. The reliable Swedish national register of mortality that is based on death certificates and autopsy reports was used. Surprisingly, a lasting significant protection of the selenium and coenzyme Q10 treatment was seen versus placebo, with significantly reduced CV mortality even after ten years. There was also a significant reduction in all-cause mortality which supported the findings.
Additional analyses of biochemical indicators also correlated the treatment with lower CV mortality.
Improved quality of life and anti-aging markers with daily supplementation of coenzyme Q10 and selenium
To follow up on a well-controlled study showing substantial cardiovascular benefits after supplementing elderly persons with selenium and coenzyme Q10, psychological data from questionnaires and blood sample data collected over 5 years were examined.
In an ordinary analysis the treatment had no significant effect on quality of life (QoL) and hospitalisations, but if patients were matched for age, gender and heart function at start more persons were admitted to the hospital in the placebo group. Persons in the active group declined less in QoL during the study; especially physical performance, vitality, and cognative functions were positively affected.
NT-proBNP was used in this study as a biochemical marker at baseline of cardiac wall tension, or the heart functionality. An analyse of this marker showed that an effect of CoQ10 and selenium was found only for those with slight to moderately decreased heart function at baseline. More precisely, the treatment slowed the normal increase in NT-proBNP seen with increasing aging for those with moderately decreased heart function, while those with no or more severe dysfunction of the heart at baseline had no effect.
Also the inflammatory marker C-reactive protein (CRP) and sP-Selectin (sP-Sel), a marker for oxidative stress, normally increase with aging. An analyse showed that CRP rose in the placebo group but was reduced by about 50% in the active group. sP-Sel increased in both groups, but only slightly in the active group and much more so in the placebo group. A significantly smaller increase of both indicators was demonstrated in those on active treatment, indicating a slower progression than normally seen during aging.
This encouraged a blood sample analysis for the biochemical marker insulin like growth factor (IGF-1) that is high in the younger years during active cell growth and decline steadily during aging. IGF-1 did decline in the placebo group during 48 months of intervention; but contrary to the normal progression it increased in the active group which was highly significant compared to the placebo group.