Selenium and Coenzyme Q10 for Senior Citizens

Professor Urban Alehagen, Linköping University, Sweden, was one of the key researchers on the Q-Symbio clinical trial and has been the lead researcher on the KiSel-10 clinical trial. He has shown that joint selenium and Coenzyme Q10 supplementation of senior citizens with low selenium status reduces the risk of cardiovascular mortality and improves heart function.

The Swedish KiSel-10 Study provides randomized controlled trial evidence that a daily combination of an organic high-selenium yeast supplement and a pharmaceutical-grade Coenzyme Q10 supplement can reduce cardiovascular mortality, improve heart function, and increase health-related quality of life in senior citizens [Alehagen 2013].

Low blood selenium concentrations and higher risk of heart disease

Professor Urban Alehagen and a team of researchers from Linköping University investigated the blood selenium levels in 688 Swedish senior citizens.  The mean blood selenium level was 67.1 micrograms per liter, which is quite low but not surprising, given that Sweden is a country with selenium-low soil and selenium-poor foodstuffs [Alehagen 2016].

When the researchers adjusted for gender, smoking, coronary artery disease, diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and impaired heart function, they found that the quartile of senior citizens with the lowest level of blood selenium had a 43% higher risk of all-cause mortality and a 56% higher risk of cardiovascular mortality [Alehagen 2016]. read more

Blood selenium concentrations and high-grade prostate cancer

A 2012 meta-analysis and systematic review has shown an inverse association between plasma/serum selenium levels and prostate cancer advanced prostate cancer in particular. Denmark is in a low-selenium region of the world, and the Danish population as a whole has low selenium intakes and sub-optimal blood selenium levels. Danish researchers have, accordingly, investigated the association between pre-diagnostic selenium levels and the risk of total, advanced, and high-grade prostate cancer. Pictured here: the Dannebrog, Denmark’s national flag.

Higher blood selenium concentrations and higher blood selenoprotein P concentrations are significantly associated with reduced risk of high-grade prostate cancer [Outzen].

The researchers defined “advanced” prostate cancer as ≥T3 or with a Gleason-score ≥7.  They defined “high-grade prostate cancer” as cancers having a Gleason score equal to or greater than 8.

Furthermore, in survival analyses, a higher pre-diagnostic level of plasma selenium is significantly associated with a lower risk of all-cause mortality in prostate cancer patients [Outzen].

Selenium and prostate cancer in the “Diet, Cancer, and Health” cohort

These are the conclusions from an analysis of the data from the Danish “Diet, Cancer, and Health” cohort.  The cohort consists of 27,179 men living in the greater metropolitan areas of Copenhagen and Aarhus who were recruited into the study.  They were aged 50 – 64 years and had no previous record of cancer at the time of recruitment [Outzen]. read more