Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the developed world, killing more than 17 million per year, which is more lives than cancer claims. This is due to arterial plaque caused by poor diets, lack of exercise, obesity, and smoking. A remarkable study to come out of Sweden shows that taking two supplements (CoQ10 and selenium) in combination may slash mortality risks by almost 50%. Researchers found that these nutrients may have many benefits including:
- overall improved heart function
- reduction of hospital stays due to surgeries
- protection lasts years after stopping supplements
Swedish researchers published the study in the International Journal of Cardiology that revealed the health benefits of CoQ10 and selenium. Current studies already show these nutrients have the ability to protect damaged tissue from oxidative stress.
The Health Benefits of CoQ10 and Selenium
A study lasting five years was conducted on 443 healthy adults between the ages of 70 and 80. Half received placebos, and the other half received 200mg of CoQ10 and selenium supplements. After the five-year study was concluded, 12.6% of the placebo group had died of cardiovascular disease, while only 5.9 percent of those taking the supplements had died. The group who took the supplements also scored higher on cardiac functions after an echocardiogram examination. More importantly, they had lower levels of a biomarker NT-proBNP known as an indicator of heart failure, which is good because lower levels reduce the risks of cardiovascular disease.
The team of researchers did a 4-year follow-up study on the participants and found that the group taking the supplements reported two positive results:
- a higher quality of life compared to the placebo group
- 246 fewer days of hospitalization
More astonishing is that after 10 years, CoQ10 and selenium seemed to still deliver health benefits, including a reduction in cardiovascular deaths, this despite the group having stopped taking the supplements. At this 10 year mark, participants had a 49% lower risk of heart attack, stroke, or heart failure compared to the placebo participants. Both genders received the same level of protection.
What are CoQ10 and Selenium & How do They Work
CoQ10 and selenium work together to improve cell efficiency. CoQ10 is a type of antioxidant that helps protect the outer membrane (mitochondria) of sick cells, thereby making cells more efficient at releasing energy. Selenium is a mineral that assists certain enzymes in the body that have an antioxidant effect against free radicals.
Oxidative stress is known to accelerate the aging process and chronic disease, and both CoQ10 and selenium have been well known by researchers for their ability to protect people, especially the elderly. As we reach old age around 80 years or so, almost half the mitochondria in our cells have been depleted. CoQ10 is known to replenish the compounds in the mitochondria thus giving a boost in energy output. Because the human heart requires so much energy it is easy to see why CoQ10 is so beneficial.
Good sources of CoQ10 include salmon, tuna, liver, and whole grains. Good sources of selenium include wheat germ, brewer’s yeast, shellfish, sunflower seeds, and brazil nuts. In addition to the goal of life extension, the researchers wanted to improve people’s lives as they grow older. It appears that CoQ10 and selenium supplementation has an appreciable impact on both. In combination, these nutrients may be the answer to reducing the number one cause of death – cardiovascular diseases.