(Natural News) The medical establishment places a heavy emphasis on heart health. Every year, adults are urged to have their cholesterol levels checked to look for signs of cardiovascular disease, and countless people are put on medications that are intended to keep their heart healthy. Whether all of this is truly necessary is up for debate, but one fact is certain: Cardiovascular disease is one of our nation’s top killers.
As prescription medications continue to attract all the wrong kinds of attention for their scary side effects and doctors’ tendencies to overprescribe them, natural treatments are waiting patiently in the wings to step in and do what they’ve always done: keep people healthy and treat problems in the way nature intended. In this spirit, researchers have recently followed up on a groundbreaking 2003 study out of Sweden that showed how effective one natural therapy can be when it comes to preventing cardiovascular disease.
The famous double-blind, placebo-controlled study was originally published in the International Journal of Cardiology. The researchers looked at 443 healthy Swedish people whose average age at the start of the study was 78. They were given either a placebo or a combination of 200 micrograms of selenium and 200 milligrams of CoQ10 each day for four years.
Risk of cardiovascular disease death remained lower for years after stopping supplements
At the end of the study, the researchers found that the group taking the CoQ10 and selenium had less than half the risk of death due to heart disease than those who took the placebo; just 5.9 percent of the group taking the supplements died of heart disease, while 12.6 percent of those in the control group succumbed to the illness. In addition, the group taking the supplement had lower heart failure biomarkers and better cardiac function. They also spent fewer days in the hospital and had a better quality of life. Eight years after stopping the nutrients, they still enjoyed a similar reduction in heart disease death risk.
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Recently, researchers decided to take another look. In a study published in PLOS One, they reported that the people who had taken the combination supplements from 2003 to 2007 in the original study still enjoyed a lower risk of dying from cardiovascular disease than those who didn’t take the supplements a dozen years after stopping them! It wasn’t just a small difference, either; those taking CoQ10 and selenium had a remarkable 41 percent lower risk of cardiovascular mortality!
The vitamin-like compound CoQ10, or coenzyme Q10, is naturally produced by the body. Researchers say it benefits the heart by producing new mitochondria to power cells while regulating blood pressure and helping the body recycle antioxidant vitamins C and E.
Selenium is an essential trace mineral that is known for its antioxidant properties. It boosts blood flow and reduces inflammation. Selenium and CoQ10 work in conjunction with one another to enhance their antioxidant effects and fight free radicals. In fact, selenium helps in the production and storage of coenzyme Q10.
Even though CoQ10 is produced naturally by the body, your levels decrease with age to the point that an 80-year-old will generally have half the amount a young adult does. This is unfortunate when you consider that low CoQ10 levels are associated not only with heart disease but also diabetes, fibromyalgia, cancer and cognitive impairment.
If you’d like to boost your CoQ10 intake, consider eating more eggs, sardines, poultry and beef. If you’re a vegetarian, you can turn to sources like sesame seeds, oranges, strawberries, and pistachios. Don’t forget the selenium; you can find it in foods like sunflower seeds, Brazil nuts, tuna, shrimp, and eggs.
The discovery that taking these two natural supplements for four years gave people more than a dozen years of protection from cardiovascular death is a thrilling one that could help us make a big dent in the prevalence of this problem. Don’t you owe it to yourself to start taking proven, proactive steps to preserve your health?
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