Life Extension Update
Tuesday, August 7, 2012. A four year trial of coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) and selenium has revealed a significant reduction in the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease among supplemented men and women. The study, which was reported in an article published online on May 22, 2012 in the International Journal of Cardiology, also uncovered a reduction in the cardiac biomarker N-terminal proBNP (NT-proBNP, a biomarker of cardiomyocyte wall tension), which is elevated in congestive heart failure and left ventricular dysfunction.
In a randomized, double-blinded trial, 228 Swedish citizens between the ages of 70 and 88 received a placebo or 200 micrograms selenium per day plus 100 milligrams CoQ10 twice daily for 48 months. NT-proBNP and echocardiographic changes were assessed at regular intervals. Over 5.2 years of follow-up (which included the four year treatment period), 5.9 percent of the supplemented group and 12.6 percent of the placebo group died of cardiovascular causes, which indicated a 54 percent adjusted risk reduction. When deaths from all causes were analyzed, a lower risk of mortality was observed among those who received CoQ10 and selenium compared to the placebo group; however, the difference was not considered significant. Those in the treatment group also had lower levels of NT-proBNP compared to placebo, and better cardiac function as determined by echocardiography.
Authors Urban Alehagen and colleagues remark that selenium is essential for the optimal activity of TrxR1, a protein necessary for the effectiveness of CoQ10, which, in turn, is active in several metabolic pathways in the heart. Thus, having insufficient levels of either nutrient increases the risk of cardiovascular events.
"Supplementation with selenium and coenzyme Q10 resulted in a significant reduction of cardiovascular mortality in a cohort of Swedish elderly persons," the authors conclude. "We suggest that the results of this study can provide a basis for extended analyses of the effects of selenium/coenzyme Q10 on various conditions, and that further supplementation studies in larger populations involving diverse age groups should be initiated."
This supplement should be taken in conjunction with a healthy diet and regular exercise program. Individual results are not guaranteed and results may vary.
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