– A New Website

Dr. Urban Alehagen, new website
Research done at the Linköping University in Sweden by Dr. Urban Alehagen and his colleagues has shown a relatively high mortality rate in elderly Swedish citizens with low selenium status. Daily supplementation with selenium and Coenzyme Q10 for five years significantly reduced the risk of death from heart disease in home-living healthy elderly Swedish citizens.

What is the idea behind a new website called

For the most part, what we want to do with this website is to present clinical research results from published, peer-reviewed studies of the safety and efficacy of selenium supplements.

A cousin website to the website
We want to try to do the same thing with that we have been doing with website.

We want to report the results of human studies that have been done as randomized controlled clinical trials.  We want to present the following types of information about selenium supplementation studies and selenium status:

  • the study design
  • the sample size
  • the composition of the sample
  • the selenium form and dosage
  • the length of the study
  • the confounding factors in the study
  • the study results
  • the researchers’ interpretation of the results

Intervention studies about selenium supplementation
Basically, there are two types of human studies: observational studies and intervention studies.  The big difference between observational studies and intervention studies is that the researchers control the use of the independent variable in intervention studies but do not do so in observational studies.

The independent variable is the variable that is being tested.  It is the input that the researchers investigate to see if its use produces a significant outcome.  The dependent variable is, then, the outcome that is measured.  Usually, the outcome that is measured is some level of increased or decreased risk of disease.

The intervention: supplementation with selenium
In the studies that we want to examine, the intervention is the supplementation with selenium, and the investigators control the form of the supplement and the dosage of the supplement and the frequency of the supplementation.  They then analyze the data to see whether the intervention, the selenium supplement, has had statistically significant effects on some aspect of human health that the placebo supplement has not had.

The randomized controlled trial
Not even randomized controlled trials (RCTs) are fail-proof and capable of producing unbiased results every time, but RCTs do represent the most scientific methodology that we have for testing the safety and the efficacy of nutritional supplements.

Basic idea behind the RCT: eliminate bias
Randomizing the sample increases the likelihood of assigning study participants to two different samples, an active treatment sample and a placebo control sample, that are similar in terms of age, diet, ethnicity, exercise activity, gender, health status, medical condition, and other relevant but potentially confounding variables.  The independent variable, the selenium supplementation, is the only variable that should be significantly different between the active treatment group and the placebo control group.

Double-blinding the study means that neither the researchers nor the study participants know which participants are taking the active supplement and which participants are taking the placebo supplement until the study has been concluded and the seal has been broken on the study protocol.  Double-blinding the study decreases the likelihood of fulfilled prophecy effects or placebo effects on the outcome.  Double-blinding a study involving selenium supplements is not always easy because some selenium supplements have a distinctive odor and taste.

A controlled study is a study in which some of the study participants take a matching placebo supplement that does not contain the active ingredient.  The data from the placebo control group should show what would have happened if the participants in the active treatment group had not taken the active selenium supplement.

Single supplement or antioxidant cocktail
It is, of course, easiest to isolate the effect of the selenium supplement if selenium is the only active treatment substance.  If all other variables have been controlled for, then the selenium supplement is thought to be the cause of the different outcome in the treatment group as compared with the placebo group.

Of course, the researchers always want to give their patients the treatment that they think is the best possible treatment, and, in some studies, they combine the selenium supplementation with other antioxidant substances in an antioxidant cocktail.  A typical antioxidant cocktail may contain vitamins C and E and beta-carotene and zinc as well as selenium.  One beneficial supplement combination is the combination of daily doses of Coenzyme Q10 and selenium (more about this below).

Potential health benefits of selenium supplementation
There is plenty of material from intervention studies about the possible benefits of selenium supplementation in the following areas of study:

  • Cancer
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Thyroid disorders
  • Mercury, cadmium, and lead detoxification
  • Pregnancy
  • Diabetes

Selenium’s special inter-relationship with Coenzyme Q10
The Swedish KiSel-10 study completed and published in 2013 with follow-up publications in 2015 is a good example of a large, well-controlled study.  The researchers assigned elderly home-living citizens aged 70 – 88 years to a placebo group or to a supplementation group receiving 200 micrograms of SelenoPrecise® organic selenium yeast tablets and 200 milligrams of Bio-Quinone Gold Coenzyme Q10 capsules daily for five years.

The active supplement combination reduced the risk of dying from heart disease significantly by 54%.  In addition, the study participants in the active selenium/Coenzyme Q10 group showed a significant improvement in a biochemical marker, NT-proBNP, that is a reliable indicator of the presence and severity of heart failure.

These are exciting results for middle-aged and elderly adults who want to delay as long as possible the onset of the symptoms of heart failure and coronary artery disease: shortness of breath, fatigue, palpitation, angina pains.

We will report more on the published results of the KiSel-10 study in subsequent articles on this website.

Thank you for your attention to this website and to the website



Alehagen, U., Johansson, P., Björnstedt, M., Rosén, A., & Dahlström, U. (2013). 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. International Journal Of Cardiology, 167(5), 1860-1866.


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