Live Longer with CoQ10 and SeleniumAugust 20, 2023
Live Longer with Selenium and CoQ10
This sounds like a little fluff study that doesn't have much relevance. Let me argue that it is quite an important study in that it reveals important principles that are quite interesting. We are looking at one of the core "Hallmarks of Aging", namely telomere shortening. Your telomeres are the DNA sequencing that isn't copied into useable proteins, but which marks the end of the chromosome and from which there is a steady loss off the end with each duplication of DNA. It is as though the DNA duplicating enzyme occupies so much space on the end of telomere DNA template that can't be copied. That explains the Hayflick limit that holds that we can only live through so many generations of divisions of cells.
Confounding that is an enzyme called telomerase that actually lengthens the telomere. Lengthening your telomeres is a hot topic of current aging research and there are many labs around the world doing just that. We do know that stress, emotional, and oxidative can hasten telomere shortening. Throw that whole salad together and look at some of the key mechanisms of calming oxidative stress and see what pops out.
That's what this study is about. Europe, in general, tends to have low selenium intake. Selenium plays a huge role in generating glutathione, your ultimate antioxidant/mitochondrial protector. This study was done in Sweden with 118 folks aged 70-80 low in selenium. They were given CoQ10 (an important mitochondrial agent that helps reduce oxidative stress and selenium, that helps neutralize oxidative stress. The intervention period was 4 years with 10 years follow-up to monitor those who died. Telomere length was measured by PCR before and after the study.
The results were very interesting, and not expected. Those two supplements resulted in less telomere shortening. Those who died, particularly from cardiovascular disease had dramatic telomere shortening. Their conclusion was that preservation of telomere length after selenium and coenzyme Q10 supplementation was associated with statistically significant reduced cardiovascular mortality. With just 118 subjects, statistical significance from the major cause of death in such a small number of subjects is a big deal.
We have talked about NRF-2 activation for having a significant impact on telomere shortening and virtually all the hallmarks of aging. Fahy, in Aging Cell, reported that DHEA, Metformin, and Growth Hormone can lengthen your telomeres. This adds to that body of work. We will continue to refine this idea.
www.What will Work for me. Well, I've measured selenium in some 100+ folks and if you aren't on the supplement, you are likely low if you live in the midwest. Just like Swedes in Sweden. I'm going to kill myself with choking on supplements, but there isn't another way to get selenium and CoQ10. We just make less CoQ10 as we age. Dr Sinatra used CoQ10 15 years ago as the cornerstone of his congestive heart failure program. He was ahead of his time.
1. Why is selenium important for longevity? Answer: We have some 25 "seleno-proteins" that use selenium as their active core. Five of those are involved in making glutathione, your most important internal antioxidant.
2. Why is selenium a problem? Answer. There isn't much selenium in American soils in many areas. Along the Great Lakes is one of them. Most plants don't have much anyway.
3. What percentage of Americans are selenium deficient? Answer: Depends where you live. Along the Great Lakes, it's quite low in our soils. One billion people worldwide are low.
4. CoQ10 does what? Answer: It plays a huge role in making energy in mitochondria. Without sufficient CoQ10, electrons aren't passed on properly and thereby escape, making reactive oxygen species and starting the oxidative stress pathway.
5. Why does the combination of CoQ10 and selenium result in less telomere shortening and longer lifespan? Answer. The whole portfolio of oxidative stress and NRF-2 activation is still shrouded in some mystery. Selenium and CoQ10 are intricately intertwined. Sirtuin proteins are meant to be the guardians of your epigenome. What's their role? Its complexity and interconnectedness is daunting. One of the mysteries to be elucidated with more science. I want to live long enough to see it understood. Stay tuned. When I took Tartary Wheat supplements for 6 months, my epigenetic age dropped 8 years. This is all part of the same puzzle. This is like a 2000-piece, pure white jigsaw puzzle.