Science Update: Selenium and CoQ10 for Improved Health Quality of Life

A recent study from Sweden, published in the Journal of Nutrition Health Aging, studied the health benefits of a combined supplement of organically bound selenium and CoQ10 in a group of 443 elderly participants. The 48-month study measured health-related quality of life (Hr-QoL), which a group or individual's perceived mental and physical health in a community setting over a period of time.*

Results: Half of those studied took a selenium and CoQ10 combination, while the other half took a placebo. The study measured the admissions to the Department of Internal Medicine or Cardiology among the study participants. Researchers measured Hr-QoL, a Cardiac Health Profile (CHP) and one item overall-quality of life (overall-QoL).

The mean number of days out of hospital was 1779 for those taking the active substance of organically bound selenium and CoQ10, as compared to 1533 for those taking the placebo (p=0.03). Those with active substance declined significantly less in the HR-QoL domains of physical role performance (p=0.001), vitality (p=0.001), physical component score (p=0.001), overall QoL (p=0.001), somatic dimension (p=0.001), conative dimension (p=0.001) and global function (p=0.001).



In a match-group analysis selenium and CoQ10 increased the number of days out of hospital and slowed the deterioration in Hr-QoL.*

What is Hr-QoL?

The Center's For Disease Control (CDC) measures Hr-QoL by asking for information regarding the number of "Healthy Days" an individual or group experiences. It is based on the World Health Organization's (WHO) definition of health: "Health is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity."

According to the CDC and WHO, "Healthy days are the positive complementary form of unhealthy days. Healthy days estimates the number of recent days when a person's physical and mental health was good (or better) and is calculated by subtracting the number of unhealthy days from 30 days." For instance, here are four questions that determine a person's status as a health or unhealthy day.

  • Would you say that in general your health is excellent, very good, good, fair or poor?
  • Now thinking about your physical health, which includes physical illness and injury, how many days during the past 30 days was your physical health not good?
  • Now thinking about your mental health, which includes stress, depression, and problems with emotions, how many days during the past 30 days was your mental health not good?
  • During the past 30 days, approximately how many days did poor physical or mental health keep you from doing your usual activities, such as self-care, work, or recreation?
Reference: Johansson P, Dahlström Ö, Dahlström U, Alehagen U. Improved Health-Related Quality of Life, and More Days out of Hospital with Supplementation with Selenium and Coenzyme Q10 Combined. Results from a Double Blind, Placebo-Controlled Prospective Study. J Nutr Health Aging. 2015 Nov;19(9):870-7. doi: 10.1007/s12603-015-0509-9. PubMed PMID: 26482687. Study Link
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