Can Nutritional Supplementation Result in Healthier Aging?
There are many ways to try to resolve this question. But it’s complicated. Which supplements? What dosage? How do you measure healthy aging? In this study, doctors chose to choose days spent in the hospital as the way to measure healthy aging, and they chose to look at two specific supplements, CoQ10 and selenium.
Doctors wanted to know if nutrients could help keep older adults out of the hospital. In this study, 206 independently-living older adults took a daily dose of CoQ10 plus organic selenium yeast, or a placebo, for 48 months.
During a year of follow-up, doctors compared a subset of participants from the nutrient and placebo groups who were of similar age and gender, and who had similar heart health and function, which doctors determined by measuring the tension of the cardiac wall at the start of the study.
Those who had taken CoQ10 plus selenium had 1,779 total days out of the hospital compared to 1,533 for placebo, or 16 percent more hospital-free days. Also, the CoQ10-selenium group reported better physical performance and greater vitality.
Reference: Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging; 2015, Vol. 19, No. 9, 870-7
Additional Comments by Don Goldberg
No one study will answer the question–are supplements a waste of money, or a valuable adjunct to optimizing health? Here is one study that says yes. I think it obvious that common sense also says yes.
A good, broad spectrum multivitamin/multimineral (such as Willvite) along with a phyto-antioxidant (PhytoTech Antiox Phyto Complex), fish oil, etc–has to be beneficial. How much more do you need? Well, in this study, the amount of CoQ10 used was 200 mg per day (100 mg twice daily) and the amount of selenium was 200 mcg per day.
That level of selenium, whether derived from yeast or other sources, is easily attained by taking a good multivitamin/multimineral supplement. But check the label, as many formular have reduced the level of selenium. Willvite now contains 100 mcg selenium per four tablets, or 50 mcg per two tablets. To get 200 mg of CoQ10, you will most likely need to take a separate CoQ10 supplement. I take 100 mg of CoQ10 as ubiquinol daily.
Note: A version of this article appeared in the Summer 2016 Willner Window Newsletter/Product Catalog.