Swedish researchers have found elderly people taking selenium and coenzyme Q10 supplements experienced reduced cardiovascular-related deaths for more than a decade after they stopped taking them.
The study was a 12-year follow-up of a group of 443 healthy elderly participants that were supplemented with selenium and coenzyme Q10 for four years. Even after twelve years, researchers observed a significantly reduced risk for cardiovascular (CV) mortality in this group, as well as in subgroups of patients with diabetes, hypertension, ischemic heart disease or impaired functional capacity.
Mortality rates were only 28.1% in the active treatment group, compared with 38.7% in the placebo group.
The 12-year study’s results thus validate the findings of an earlier 10-year randomised double-blind placebo-controlled study.
The main publication reported reduced cardiovascular mortality as a result of the intervention. The latest sub-study’s objective was to determine whether reduced CV mortality persisted after 12 years, in the supplemented population or in subgroups with diabetes, hypertension, ischemic heart disease or reduced functional capacity due to impaired cardiac function.
Selenium and coenzyme Q10 are both necessary for optimal cell function in the body. There are low selenium levels in European (and New Zealand) soils. Naturally produced coenzyme Q10 decreases as age increases.
Alison Quesnel, Public Affairs Director of Natural Health Products NZ, describes the study’s findings as “exciting”.
“Vitamin and mineral deficiencies can be severe and potentially life-threatening, so it is interesting to note just how long the CV benefits are lasting even after selenium and coenzyme Q10 supplementation ceases,” she says.