A CoQ10 and Selenium Supplement May Cut Heart Disease Deaths by Half
Cardiovascular illness presently rates as the most deadly illness. Heart disease alone is the cause of more than 17 million deaths per year. Heart attacks claim more lives than even cancer. A sedentary lifestyle, poor diet, diabetes, smoking, obesity, stress, and high blood pressure are some of the factors that cause the arterial plaque, known as atherosclerosis, which leads to cardiac arrests. However, according to a recent scientific study conducted by Swedish researchers, taking a selenium supplement can slash the mortality risks from heart disease by half. The study, published in the International Journal of Cardiology, further connects the benefits to taking a selenium and CoQ10 combo. Several recent studies already explain the importance of these nutrients in protecting tissues from the effects of oxidative stress.
Selenium and CoQ10 Combo for Superior Heart Health
The study took five years and included 443 healthy individuals between 70 and 80 years of age. Researchers divided the people into two groups. One group received placebo, while the other was given a selenium supplement in combination with 200mg of CoQ10.
After rigorous observation at the end of five years, they found that the group taking supplements experienced only a 5.9% mortality rate, while the placebo group experienced a mortality rate of over 12.5%. The study indicated that the group receiving supplements displayed healthier cardiac function on an echocardiogram. They also had reduced levels of biomarker NT-proBNP, indicating a lower risk of heart disease.
Overall, the group receiving supplements had a lower risk of heart failure than those taking a placebo. The supplements appeared to protect both genders against cardiac illness equally. Further, researchers were surprised to note the long-term benefits of the supplements even after the study participants stopped taking them.
The research also found that selenium and CoQ10 may hold diverse health benefits, including aiding heart function, improving health over the long-term, and reducing hospitalizations.
Researchers concluded that the blend of selenium and CoQ10 could slash the mortality rate of heart attacks by 50%.
Several other recent studies were conducted on CoQ10 alone. According to one study conducted by the University Of Maryland Medical Center, people receiving a CoQ10 supplement within three days of a cardiac arrest were less prone to chest pain and less vulnerable to fatal heart illness. Another study suggested that CoC10, when given prior to surgery, could help to minimize free radical damage and strengthen overall heart function.
However, it appears that selenium and CoQ10 in combination deliver the best results.
How Adrenal Fatigue Affects Heart Health
Day to day commitments, hectic schedules, and personal problems can gradually invite stress into your life. Stress eventually takes a toll on your entire system, including your heart. In fact, stress is the root cause of numerous health problems, including an increasingly common condition known as Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome (AFS). Experiencing high levels of fatigue is a major problem.
Many people struggle to cope with their daily activities due to acute tiredness. Those with AFS can experience fatigue, brain fog, difficulty waking, insomnia, trembling, reduced concentration, and low energy levels. Numerous people suffering from adrenal fatigue are unaware of the problem they are confronting. In the later phases of AFS, adrenal exhaustion occurs, and there can be an abrupt onset of anxiety attacks, heart palpitation, dizziness, and fluctuating blood pressure.
The body’s natural self-regulatory system, known as the NeuroEndoMetabolic (NEM) Stress Response, helps protect the body from excess stress. There are six major circuits within the NEM response, including the cardionomic circuit. All of these circuits can develop problems due to too much stress. The autonomic nervous system can become dysfunctional, leading to an excess of adrenaline which in turn can trigger heart palpitations. Studies show that anxiety attacks and heart attacks are closely related.
According to a study at the University of Adelaide, people with panic attacks were found to be more likely to develop heart disease by 47% and had a 36% higher risk of heart attack. The study suggested that people with panic attacks need to keep a close watch on their heart health. Thus, managing stress and reducing anxiety levels is an important part of recovering from AFS and reducing the risk of heart attack.
Apart from stress, selenium deficiency is also known to cause adrenal issues. Supplying your body with adequate selenium benefits the adrenals. This may be due to the ability of a selenium supplement to act as an antioxidant, thus helping AFS and reducing the risk of heart issues.
Benefits of a Selenium Supplement
U.S epidemiological studies have shown that getting the recommended intake of selenium reduces the risk of developing heart attack and certain forms of cancer. These studies also indicated that countries with low average selenium intake displayed higher mortality rates from cancer and heart attack.
Thus, a selenium supplement shows the ability to provide important health benefits. It is used to help improve hardened arteries and heart and blood vessel issues including stroke. Selenium also appears to help protect from various types of cancer. It is also used on people with chronic fatigue syndrome, thyroid disorder, arsenic poisoning, hay fever, rheumatoid arthritis, infertility, mood disorders, and to prevent miscarriage.
The other selenium supplement benefits include:
- Reducing oxidative stress
- Helping correct adrenal gland disorders
- Enhancing blood flow
- Reducing risks of heart illness
- Ensuring proper functioning of CoQ10 in the body
- Protecting cells from the harmful effects of free radicals
- Helping protect against cancer and atherosclerosis
- Reducing side effects caused by cancer chemotherapy
- Supporting a stronger immunity system
- Promoting healthy nails and hair
It’s important to note, however, that your intake of a selenium supplement needs to be within recommended amounts, as excess can lead to an overdose.
The Antioxidants Selenium and CoQ10
Selenium is a trace mineral with antioxidant properties. This important mineral plays a vital role in the synthesis of several selenoproteins in your body, which are required for proper body functioning. Selenium also assists certain enzymes with their antioxidant effect in helping to protect your body from oxidative stress. Selenium plays a role in regulating your thyroid as well. As such, it is important to have adequate selenium in your body to balance and regulate the hormonal circuit of the NEM stress response, which includes the thyroid.
CoQ10 is a powerful antioxidant and a vitamin-like substance. The body produces CoQ10 so it cannot be properly called a vitamin, but a large percentage of the body’s energy is produced by CoQ10 alone. The human body is capable of producing approximately 5 mg of CoQ10 every day. As you age though, the production of C0Q10 gradually diminishes, thus giving rise to the need for supplements.
CoQ10 supports sick cells by protecting the outer membrane of a cell’s mitochondria. With age, almost 50% of mitochondria depletes. CoQ10 replenishes the lost compounds in mitochondria. This makes cells healthier and helps to efficiently release energy, improving energy output overall. The heart requires a continuous supply of energy to continue pumping. CoQ10 plays a major role in utilizing and managing the required energy. It boosts the energy levels within the body, reducing your vulnerability to adrenal fatigue.
The Power of Selenium and CoQ10 Combined
Selenium and CoQ10 are known to offer several health benefits individually. However, the combination of selenium and CoQ10 is known to produce an outcome much better than either alone. When combined, they work more effectively to achieve the desired results. Selenium is a water soluble antioxidant, whereas CoQ10 is fat soluble. This lets them have an effect throughout the body, and research shows a selenium and CoQ10 combo can powerfully reduce oxidative stress among the elderly.
Selenium helps to activate and enhance the antioxidant property of CoQ10. An improved antioxidant effect means that cells receive greater protection from stress-causing free radicals. This improves the overall health and efficacy of cells. Healthy, efficient cells are better able to produce adequate energy, which is essential for heart health, relieving adrenal fatigue, and the healthy function of the entire body.
Apart from protecting the cell mitochondria by reducing damage, CoQ10 also helps generate new mitochondria, resulting in enhanced “fuel-efficiency”. This is beneficial for the heart as it requires a high level of energy to function. Selenium works hand in hand with CoQ10 in effectively reactivating and recycling the exhausted CoQ10 molecules. On the other hand, CoQ10 produces enzymes that enable selenium to carry out its restorative function. Studies show that selenium and CoQ10 are interrelated. People with selenium deficiency have been found to produce less CoQ10.
It is important to take these supplements at the recommended dose, however, as overdose is possible. The normal recommended dose for a selenium supplement is 200 mg daily. The recommended dose for CoQ10 is 30-300 mg per day.
Excess selenium can lead to nausea, diarrhea, and hair loss. In people in advanced stage AFS, CoQ10 and selenium need to be administered with care, or they can trigger adrenal crashes due to the inherent stimulatory nature of these two compounds.
Sources of Selenium and CoQ10
Your body gets selenium from the food you eat. Selenium is found in wheat germ, Brazil nuts, and brewer’s yeast. Other sources of selenium include whole grains, liver, fish, and sunflower seeds. Eating unprocessed, whole, organic foods is important because the refining process destroys selenium in foods.
The selenium content in foods also greatly depends on the amount of selenium in the soil. Crops grown in soil with high levels of selenium have been known to contain higher quantities of selenium. The Pacific Northwest and Eastern Coastal plain in the U.S have selenium-poor agricultural soils. It may be necessary to address this deficiency by taking a selenium supplement.
CoQ10 is produced by the body, but the amount produced drops with age. Liver, whole grains, and oily fish such as tuna or salmon are all great sources of CoQ10. You can take supplements as well, but be sure to consult your doctor.
Reducing the risk for heart disease and AFS largely comes back to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Eating nutrient-rich foods, getting adequate sleep, exercising regularly, and practicing yoga and meditation are all great ways to support healthy body function. Other methods include:
- Eating a well-balanced diet
- Ditching refined sugar and coffee
- Saying no to soft drinks
- Including nutrient-dense foods such as whole grains and leafy vegetables
- Avoiding refined and processed foods
- Swapping unhealthy fats with healthier ones such as olive oil
- Practicing relaxation techniques
The world we live in comes with challenges that make stress an inevitable part of our lives. With time, this excess stress and anxiety can lead to a myriad of health issues including adrenal fatigue and heart problems. The NEM stress response system is not equipped to handle constant stress.
Fortunately, nutritional supplements can help maintain proper body function and minimize illness. Selenium and CoQ10 are known to help adrenal fatigue and reduce heart problems. However, proper care should be taken to consume the recommended daily allowance of selenium and CoQ10, as there is a possibility of overdose. In addition to nutritional supplements, a healthy lifestyle and balanced diet are important steps to take towards achieving optimal health and well-being.
© Copyright 2017 Michael Lam, M.D. All Rights Reserved.
Dr. Lam’s Key Question
What precautions need to be taken when using a selenium supplement?
A selenium supplement should be taken within the recommended dosage of 200 mg per day for adults with the guidance of a medical professional. This dosage needs to be adjusted according to age. The safe upper limit is 400 mg per day in adults. Taking amounts above this can lead to an overdose. Pregnant and lactating women are advised not to take the supplement. People at risk for skin cancer or prostate cancer should not take selenium supplements. People with diabetes are advised to take the supplement under medical supervision.