LMU 31 – Reducing Cardiovascular Risk with CoQ10 and Selenium: A 5-Year Study
Source: International Journal of Cardiology (2013)
Lifestyle Medicine Update (November 20, 2016)
In September 2013, The International Journal of Cardiology unveiled a groundbreaking research paper that casts a spotlight on the remarkable potential of Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) and selenium in slashing cardiovascular disease risk. This study embarked on an unprecedented journey, meticulously tracking the health of 443 Swedish citizens aged 70 to 88 over a span of 5 years, with biannual evaluations. The study embraced a rigorous scientific methodology, adopting a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial design. Half of the subjects were administered a supplement regimen of 200 mg CoQ10 and 200 mcg selenium, while the other half received a placebo.
CoQ10 and Selenium: Guardians of Cardiovascular Health
The findings of this groundbreaking study resonated profoundly. After half a decade, the group enriched with CoQ10 and selenium exhibited a staggering 50% reduction in deaths attributed to cardiovascular disease. The supplements seemed to cast a protective shield, resulting in lower levels of NT-proBNP, a marker associated with congestive heart failure. Furthermore, evidence gleaned from electrocardiographs (ECGs) testified to improved heart function among those supplementing with CoQ10 and selenium. At the culmination of the study, a mere 5.9% of the supplement group had succumbed to cardiovascular disease, a stark contrast to the placebo group where 12.6% met the same fate. This tangible reduction, surpassing 50%, underscores the profound impact of this supplement regimen in thwarting cardiovascular disease-related deaths. In unequivocal terms, the researchers concluded, “long-term supplementation of selenium/CoQ10 reduces cardiovascular mortality. The positive effects could also be seen in NT-proBNP levels and on electrocardiography”.
Unveiling the Mechanisms: CoQ10 and Selenium’s Symphony
Delving into the intricacies of this groundbreaking study, one cannot help but ponder over the mechanisms through which CoQ10 and selenium work to curtail the risk of cardiovascular disease. With advancing age, the body’s CoQ10 production dwindles. This enzyme plays a pivotal role in converting food into energy within our cells, particularly those nestled in the heart muscle. The gradual depletion of CoQ10 in heart muscle cells can trigger an energy crisis, culminating in a weakened pumping action. By reintroducing CoQ10 as one ages, the heart muscle’s vitality is sustained, enabling it to generate sufficient energy for its pumping role and counteracting muscle weakening. The net result is a bolstered defence against heart failure.
Selenium enters the narrative as a guardian against free radical assault on the heart muscle. Earlier studies have spotlighted selenium’s significance in fending off Keshan Disease, a type of heart failure worsened by low selenium levels. The reversal and prevention of this ailment is accredited to optimizing selenium intake.
Dosing Recommendations and Considerations
While the study administered a robust dosage of 200 mg CoQ10 to individuals aged 70 to 88, the ideal dosing strategy for cardiovascular prevention remains a matter of contemplation. As individuals advance towards the age of 45, a prudent approach might involve initiating a CoQ10 regimen at around 30 mg per day. By the age of 60, upping the dosage to 60-90 mg per day might align with the progressive changes within the body. However, the best dosage might not necessitate reaching the lofty heights of 200 mg, especially when considering the associated costs. It’s crucial to bear in mind that cholesterol-lowering statin medications, like Lipitor, contribute to the depletion of CoQ10 synthesis. Those reliant on such medications should consider supplementing with at least 90 mg of CoQ10 to counterbalance this depletion.
Selenium, a partner in this cardiovascular defence, can be judiciously incorporated into a comprehensive supplement strategy. High-quality multiple vitamins boast 100-200 mcg of selenium. Opting for this integrated approach ensures that selenium collaborates synergistically with other nutrients, thereby maximizing its potential benefits.
Harmony in Heart Health: A Comprehensive Approach
As the tapestry of cardiovascular health continues to unravel, the significance of targeted supplementation emerges as a compelling ally. Beyond the realm of dietary choices, exercise, stress management, and tobacco cessation, the marriage of CoQ10 and selenium stands as a beacon of hope. The orchestration of these supplements echoes a symphony of prevention and protection, diminishing the risk of cardiovascular disease. This 5-year study serves as an enlightening testament to the role that these supplements can play in sculpting a heart-healthy future.
Alehagan U, Johansson P, et al. Cardiovascular mortality and N-terminal-proBNP reduced after combined selenium and coenzyme Q10 supplementation: A 5-year prospective randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial among elderly Swedish citizens. Int J Cardiology, 2013, 167(5):1860-1866
Dr. James Meschino
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dr. James Meschino, DC, MS, ROHP, is an educator, author, and researcher having lectured to thousands of healthcare professionals across North America. He holds a Master’s Degree in Science with specialties in human nutrition and biology and is recognized as an expert in the field of nutrition, anti-aging, fitness, and wellness as well as the author of numerous books.