How To Reduce Your Probability of Getting Heart Disease By 50%

You can reduce your probability of getting heart disease — the number one killer — by 50% with two supplements, reports a recent five-year study. Here’s what you need to know.

heart-disease

IT MIGHT be unsurprising to you that the leading cause of death in America is heart disease, but do you know that the probability that you will die of some kind of cardiovascular dysfunction dramatically increases as we age, and that a simple combination of supplements could cut that possibility by half?

According to the American Heart Association (as depicted in the bar chart below) even as the rate of deaths due to heart disease is steadily dropping, in 2014 a tad over 23% of the U.S. population met their maker because of heart disease.

heart-disease-leading-cause-mortality

Before you get all comfy with the thought that – all other things being equal – you still have a 77% chance of finding some other way to die, consider how the numbers grab you as you age.

Look at the following bar chart courtesy of an Aging and Long Term Care course. It’s easy to accept that heart disease is the number 1 killer of Americans when by age 60, American men and women have more than a 70% chance of having cardio vascular disease (“CVD”, aka “heart disease”), climbing to 80+% by age 80.

 

chart_prevlence_of_cvd

If those numbers aren’t scary-high, consider blood pressure. The next chart (found here) indicates, more than half of the American population has high blood pressure by age 55 and winds up exceeding 75% for women by age 75.

 

chart_prevalence_of_high_blood_pressure

As Harvard Medical School’s Patient Education Center tells it:

Heart disease becomes more prevalent with age in both men and women… More than four in five people who die from heart attacks are over age 65. In men, risk begins to mount beyond age 45, whereas women’s risk rises after age 55.

So, dear reader, we’ve established that, statistically speaking, your very own self is likely to face some level of risk of heart disease during your lifetime, a likelihood that will only increase as you age.  Now we need to find out what to do about it.

In this article, you’ll discover:

  • What’s your probability of getting heart disease;
  • What are your personal risk factors; and
  • What you can do about it.
Note: This is long article, but don't despair. Just scroll down till you find something that grabs you and then dig in. Do not leave till you read about CoQ10 and selenium.

 

What’s Your Probability of Getting Heart Disease?

johnny-hawkins-heart-disease-cartoon

There’s a tendency we humans have when faced with unsavory statistics to consider ourselves outside the dictates of probability. All that bad stuff happens to others, not us, right?. And when it comes to heart disease, that sentiment might be true for you if:

  • There’s no family history of heart disease
  • Your diet is healthy
  • You’re consistently active
  • You don’t smoke
  • Your relevant heart health biomarkers are in the healthy range

How many on that list apply to you?

Are you sure?

Well, let’s dig into this a bit, courtesy of the aforementioned Harvard Medical source, from which the following information is distilled about how your health is affected by ethnicity/genetics, diet, activity, tobacco, body composition, sugar, blood pressure, cholesterol, triglycerides and inflammation.

Here are nine factors that influence your probability of getting heart disease:

(1) Family history, race, and ethnicity

It’s not fair, but Latinos, Asian Americans, and American Indians are less likely to have coronary artery disease than whites and blacks.

People with a parent who developed coronary artery disease before age 55 have a much higher risk than others of developing heart disease themselves. Estimates of the risk vary and not every family history is equally worrisome. For instance, it takes a rather somber history to increase your risk, like a father or brother afflicted before age 55 or a mother or sister stricken before age 65

Blacks are more likely to develop heart disease and to die from it than whites, Latinos, and Asian Americans. Death rates from heart disease are 30% higher in black men than white men and 40% higher in black women than in white women.

(2) Unhealthy diet

You’ve heard the expression, “You are what you eat”, and so it is when it comes to heart disease risk. A poor diet contributes to elevated cholesterol and triglycerides, high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity.

You diet also affects the likelihood of progressing to full-blown coronary artery disease and having a heart attack. The Lyon Diet Heart Study, for instance, reported that people who regularly adhere to a Mediterranean-style diet are 50% to 70% less likely to have a heart attack, stroke, or other type of cardiovascular problem or to die from heart disease.

Here’s a checklist of what’s included in the Mediterranean Diet:

  • An abundance of fruits, vegetables and beans;
  • Ample amounts of nuts;
  • Some whole grains, fish and poultry;
  • Modest amounts of red meat and red wine; and
  • Double extra virgin, cold pressed olive oil and omega-3-fatty acids.
(3) Sedentary lifestyle

How many hours of each 24-hour day do you either sit, lie down and sleep?

If you do not do physical labor for work, the number of hours each day that you’re active is pitifully low. In fact, even when not working (aka sitting), only one in three American adults regularly engage in any kind of leisure-time physical activity. That’s a problem, because sedentary living roughly doubles the risk for coronary artery disease, making it as risky as smoking, high cholesterol, or high blood pressure.

More than 50 years of research shows that the people who are the most physically active are only half as likely to develop coronary artery disease as the most sedentary people. It’s quite simple:

The more physically active you are, the lower your risk for heart disease.

Moreover, regular physical activity raises HDL cholesterol levels (high HDL/low LDL is desired), reduces triglycerides, lowers blood pressure, burns body fat, and lowers blood sugar levels. When combined with weight loss, exercise can also lower LDL levels. It also helps alleviate mental stress, which can be a trigger for heart problems.

(4) Tobacco use and exposure

This one’s a no-brainer.

I used to make a pain in the ass of myself when I was younger and at parties where a few people would inevitably head outside for a social smoke. “Hey, let’s go out for a smoke”, someone would say, and I would condescendingly reply: “You mean go breathe smoke into your lungs”.

Yeah, a real buzz kill.

You know that smoking can eventually cause cancer and you may know that it’s the leading preventable cause of death in the United States. But do you know that breathing smoke into your lungs via smoking is among the most significant risk factors for heart disease?

People who smoke are two to four times as likely to die from heart disease as nonsmokers.

Passive exposure to other people’s smoke also puts you at risk. A report issued by the U.S. Surgeon General in 2006 warned that nonsmokers exposed to secondhand smoke at home or work increased their risk of developing heart disease by 25% to 30%.

(5) Overweight and obesity

This risk factor stayed cloaked for a while.

Scientists took a long time to determine that obesity is a cardiac risk factor because it’s so closely linked to high blood pressure, unfavorable cholesterol levels, lack of exercise, and diabetes, which are all risk factors. Now we know that weight increases your risk for heart disease independent of these other conditions.

In the past, experts thought that carrying most of your fat above the waist in your upper body (the “apple shape”) was more dangerous to the heart than fat stored lower in the body, in the hips and thighs (the “pear shape”). Current evidence suggests that the location of excess weight doesn’t seem to make a difference — extra pounds harm the heart regardless of where they accumulate.

(6) Diabetes

The focus here is on type 2 diabetes, also referred to as “adult-onset diabetes”. This disorder takes some time to foment; meaning, you have to consistently consume a lot of sugary foods (like processed carbs) until the insulin produced by your pancreas to make energy from the sugar that gets absorbed into the blood becomes insufficient. The pancreas tries to adjust to the sugar by producing more insulin, but over time – often well into adulthood – the sugar wins out.

(Plow into these articles about blood sugar.)

Some troubling stats:

  • About 24 million Americans have type 2 diabetes, and the number one risk factor for it is excess body fat.
  • An adult diagnosed with diabetes has the same high cardiac risk as someone who has already had a heart attack.
  • At least 65% of people with diabetes will die from some type of cardiovascular disease — a death rate that is two to four times that of the general population.

People with diabetes should aim for LDL cholesterol levels of less than 100 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) and a blood pressure of less than 130/80 (ideally, less than 120/80).

If increasing daily activity and eating a low complex carb diet is insufficient to control your blood sugar, medications may be the next step, particularly one called Metformin, a long-time diabetic drug that’s currently under study to assess its anti-aging capabilities.

(7) High blood pressure

Your blood pressure reading has two parts, systolic and diastolic. The first and higher number is “systolic” and represents the pressure while the heart is beating and shows how hard the heart works to push blood through the arteries. The second and lower number is diastolic, which represents the pressure when the heart is relaxing and refilling with blood between beats and shows how forcefully arteries are being stretched most of the time.

The higher your blood pressure, the greater your risk of suffering a heart attack, heart failure, stroke, or kidney disease. The good news is that treating high blood pressure can reduce the incidence of stroke by 35% to 40%, the incidence of heart attack by 20% to 25%, and the incidence of heart failure by more than 50%.

Here are some blood pressure guidelines to consider:

Category Systolic BP (mm/Hg) Diastolic BP (mm/Hg) Treatment recommendations
Normal Less than 120 Less than 80 None
Prehypertension 120–139 80–89 Lifestyle changes necessary. Drugs for compelling indications*

 

Stage 1 hypertension 140–159 90–99 Lifestyle changes necessary. Thiazide diuretic for most people. May also consider other blood pressure drugs alone or in combination

Drugs for compelling indications*

 

Stage 2 hypertension 160 or higher 100 or higher Lifestyle changes necessary. Two or more blood pressure drugs for most people. Drugs for compelling indications*

 

*Compelling indications: diabetes, chronic kidney disease, previous heart attack, heart failure, previous stroke, high cardiac risk.Note: When systolic and diastolic pressures fall into different categories, physicians rate overall blood pressure by the higher category. For example, 150/85 mm Hg is classified as stage 1 hypertension, not prehypertension.

Source: Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure (JNC7), December 2003.

(8) Unfavorable blood lipids

A lipid is a fancy term for “fat”, and many different forms of them circulate through your bloodstream, including various forms of cholesterol and triglycerides. About one in five Americans has high total cholesterol (HDL + LDL), defined as 240 mg/dL or higher.

The good news is that you get disproportional returns for dropping your cholesterol level — the chance of having a heart attack drops by 20% to 30% for every 10% drop in total cholesterol.

The National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) has created the following cholesterol level guidelines based on your risk for heart disease:

LDL cholesterol treatment goals and options

Use this table to get an overview of your goals and options for treatment. (Scroll down to calculate your heart disease risk category.)
Risk category Your LDL cholesterol goal (mg/dL) When to start lifestyle changes (mg/dL) When to consider drug therapy (mg/dL)
Very high risk below 70* at or above 100 at or above 100 (optional: below 100*)
High risk below 100 (optional: below 70*) at or above 100 at or above 100 (optional: below 100*)
Moderately high risk below 130 (optional: below 100*) at or above 130 at or above 130 (optional: 100–129*)
Moderate risk below 130 at or above 130 at or above 160
Low risk below 160 at or above 160 at or above 190 (optional: 160–189*)
*Optional goal. Many experts anticipate revision of the NCEP guidelines and the possibility of lower LDL targets in some settings. If treatment brings your lipid levels substantially below the values listed above, you shouldn’t worry about being overtreated unless you’re having adverse side effects from the medication.

Realize that it’s more important to look at levels of different types of cholesterol, particularly LDL and HDL then the total cholesterol level. The NCEP recommends that everyone age 20 or older undergo a fasting lipid profile test (also called a full lipid profile or lipoprotein analysis) every five years. This test measures not only total cholesterol, but also LDL, HDL, and triglyceride levels.

Total cholesterol is the sum of cholesterol carried in all cholesterol-bearing particles in the blood, including HDL, LDL, and very-low-density lipoprotein (VLDL). Although the total cholesterol level closely parallels the LDL level in most people, there are enough exceptions to that rule to make it useful to test separately for LDL, HDL, and triglycerides. The NCEP guidelines advise aiming for a total cholesterol level below 200 mg/dL.

LDL is the so-called “bad cholesterol” because of it’s role in raising your risk for heart disease; therefore lowering elevated LDL should be the primary target of therapy. The NCEP cites data from clinical studies indicating that for every 1% reduction in LDL levels, there is a corresponding 1% drop in the chance of suffering a heart attack, stroke, or some other type of cardiac event. This is significant given that the proper combination of lifestyle changes and heart medications can help lower LDL levels by 30% to 40% in many people at risk for heart disease (and in some people, lower it even further), creating a corresponding drop in the risk for cardiac events.

How low you should try to get your LDL is dependent on your cardiovascular health and your odds of having a heart attack in the next 10 years. Targets range from below 70 mg/dL for those at very high risk up to 160 mg/dL for people with the least overall risk.

You can lower LDL levels by:

HDL is the “good cholesterol” that you actually want more of, not less such as with LDL. The more HDL in your bloodstream, the lower your chances of having a heart attack. Results from the Framingham Heart Study and elsewhere suggest that every one-point rise in HDL lowers the risk for heart attack by 2% to 3%. The NCEP guidelines consider HDL levels of 60 mg/dL or above protective against heart disease, while levels of less than 40 mg/dL are regarded as too low and increase your risk.

To boost your HDL, do this:

  • Lose body fat,
  • Eat healthy,
  • Engage in more physical activity,
  • Stop smoking, and
  • Drink alcohol in moderation (no more than one drink a day for women and two for men).

The Ratio of total cholesterol to HDL is used by some clinicians to help identify people who need cholesterol-lowering therapy. The rule of thumb: the lower the ratio, the better. To determine your ratio, simply divide total cholesterol by HDL cholesterol. Reports from the Framingham Heart Study suggest that for men, a total cholesterol–to-HDL ratio of 5 signifies average heart disease risk; for women, average risk is signified by a ratio of 4.4.

Triglycerides are the main form of stored fat in the food we eat and in the body’s adipose (fat) tissue. The chylomicron, the largest and least dense of the lipoprotein particles, carries most of the triglycerides in the bloodstream. Typically, triglyceride levels have less impact on heart disease risk than LDL or HDL levels; however, when triglyceride levels are very high, risk for heart disease does increase. Often people with low HDL cholesterol levels also have high triglycerides, and this combination seems an especially important predictor of heart disease risk.

Triglyceride level Triglyceride category
Less than 150 mg/dL Normal
150–199 mg/dL Borderline high
200–499 mg/dL High
500 mg/dL and above Very high

The NCEP guidelines define normal fasting triglyceride levels as below 150 mg/dL. High triglyceride levels can result from obesity, physical inactivity, tobacco exposure, alcohol abuse, uncontrolled diabetes, and even certain medications, as well as some genetic disorders. Often, triglycerides can be lowered using the same steps that help bring down LDL cholesterol: choosing healthful foods, exercising more often, losing weight, avoiding tobacco in all its forms, and, if necessary, taking medications.

(9) Inflammation

This is a biggie. Inflammation is now thought to be both a cause and effect of the aging process, and is significant enough to have it’s own name coined, “inflammaging”.   Human aging can be characterized by chronic, low-grade inflammation, and scientist are hard at work identifying pathways that control age-related inflammation across multiple biochemical systems, says the Gerontologicial Society of America.

For heart disease, the two inflammation-indicated biomarkers studied for their potential to improve early diagnosis of heart disease are C-reactive protein and homocysteine.

C-reactive protein (CRP) is a protein produced by the liver in response to infection, inflammation, or tissue injury anywhere in the body. Doctors measure blood CRP levels to monitor diseases such as pneumonia, rheumatoid arthritis, and lupus. Mounting evidence that inflammation is an integral part of atherosclerosis led researchers to develop a new, more sensitive test to measure CRP, called the high-sensitivity CRP (hsCRP) or cardiac CRP (cCRP) test, which measures blood vessel inflammation.

Studies indicate that people with the highest CRP levels are about twice as likely to develop coronary artery disease and suffer a heart attack or other cardiac event as people with the lowest levels. As a result, CRP is now used along with other markers (such as cholesterol and blood pressure) to estimate cardiovascular risk.

In 2008, a Harvard study showed that people without a history of heart disease who had average LDL cholesterol levels (less than 130 mg/dL) but elevated CRP (equal to or greater than 2 mg/L) who received a cholesterol-lowering statin medication had a 54% decrease in their risk of heart attacks, a 48% reduction in stroke risk, and a 43% decrease in venous blood clots compared with their counterparts who got a placebo pill.

Standards for using CRP in clinical practice are still evolving; for instance, it’s not yet clear what CRP target levels should be for healthy men and women of different racial and ethnic groups. For now, risk assessment is based on the following three levels of CRP:

  • Below 1 mg/L = Low risk
  • 1–3 mg/L = Average risk
  • Above 3 mg/L = High risk

The high-sensitivity CRP (hsCRP) test is recommended to ensure that you get the most accurate reading.

If you are already being treated for heart disease or are considered at high risk for cardiovascular disease (greater than 20% in the next 10 years, based on risk methodology below presented), a CRP test is not necessary.

If you have a moderate risk of heart attack (10% to 20% in the next 10 years), an hsCRP test might help to more accurately place you in a high- or low-risk category. Studies indicate that people at moderate risk based on the conventional risk factors might move into the high-risk category if they also have elevated CRP. Such people might need more aggressive treatment to prevent a heart attack. In particular, your doctor may recommend a lower LDL goal — under 100 mg/dL rather than under 130 mg/dL.

If your cholesterol levels are fine but you have other risk factors (such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or a family history of heart disease), ask your doctor whether an hsCRP test would help to better assess your risk and decide how to reduce it. Think of the results as a “tiebreaker” to help you decide whether to take medications, if you’re on the fence about doing so.

Homocysteine is an amino acid found in our blood that studies conducted in the mid-1980s showed a link between it and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Research also reveals that many people with high homocysteine levels are deficient in certain B vitamins: folic acid, B6, and B12. Supplements of these vitamins can reduce homocysteine levels within weeks.

That said, there’s a curve ball here — lowering homocysteine levels does not appear to benefit people with normal homocysteine levels who already have heart disease. Two large studies found that B vitamin treatment in heart disease patients did not reduce the risk of heart attacks or other forms of cardiovascular disease, even though homocysteine levels in patients taking B vitamins dropped by 27%.

The bottom line: while it’s still a good idea to get plenty of B vitamins in your diet (fruits and vegetables — especially dark leafy greens — are good sources) for overall health, there’s no reason to take B vitamin supplements to stave off heart disease.

 

Calculate Your Risk for Heart Disease

In addition to providing us with a fine education about various biomarkers for heart disease that we’ve explored above, the Harvard Medical School’s Patient Education Center goes the extra mile and gives us a methodology to calculate our risk for heart disease that was developed by researchers with the Framingham Heart Study.

This approach presumes that you do not already have a history of heart disease. If you’re already wrestling with heart disease, hopefully you have a wrestling coach in the visage of a cardiologist who is helping you assess various risk factors.

To calculate your risk for heart disease using the method presented in the table below, you’ll need to know your:

  • LDL,
  • HDL,
  • Total cholesterol, and
  • Systolic blood pressure reading (before and after you started taking blood pressure medications, if relevant).
How to do the heart disease risk assessment calculation

Add up the number of points that apply to you from the table below. Points are given to different risk factors for heart disease (age, total cholesterol, smoking, and so on). Protective factors such as young age and high HDL reduce the total. The higher the total points, the greater your risk and the more aggressive the recommended treatment.

I’ll use my biomarkers from a blood test administered by the Life Extension Foundation as an example once we take a look at the risk factors and associated points designated to them.

Your 10-year risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD)

 

Step 1: Calculate your cardiovascular risk points

Tally up your points from the six categories below.

Risk factor Points
Men  Women
1. Age
30 – 34 0 0
35 – 39 2 2
40 – 44 5 4
45 – 49 6 5
50 – 54 8 7
55 – 59 10 8
60 – 64 11 9
65 – 69 12 10
70 – 74 14 11
75+ 15 12
2. Total cholesterol
<160 0 0
160 – 199 1 1
200 – 239 2 3
240 – 279 3 4
280+ 4 5
3. HDL cholesterol
<35 2 2
35 – 44 1 1
45 – 49 0 0
50 – 59 –1 –1
60+ –2 –2
4. Choose A or B.
A. Systolic blood pressure (not treated)
<120 –2 –3
120 – 129 0 0
130 – 139 1 1
140 – 149 2 2
150 – 159 2 4
160+ 3 5
B. Systolic blood pressure (treated)
<120 0 –1
120 – 129 2 2
130 – 139 3 3
140 – 149 4 5
150 – 159 4 6
160+ 5 7
5. Smoker?
No 0 0
Yes 4 3
6. Diabetes?
No 0 0
Yes 3 4
Your total

 

Step 2: Convert points to risk

Find your total points in the left column of the appropriate gender table below to find your 10-year risk of CVD and your vascular age.

Points for men 10-year risk of CVD Vascular age (years)
–3 or below Less than 1 % Under 30
–2 1.1 % Under 30
–1 1.4 % Under 30
0 1.6 % 30
1 1.9 % 32
2 2.3 % 34
3 2.8 % 36
4 3.3 % 38
5 3.9 % 40
6 4.7 % 42
7 Joe’s score (see below) 5.6 % 45
8 6.7 % 48
9 7.9 % 51
10 9.4 % 54
11 11.2 % 57
12 13.2 % 60
13 15.6 % 64
14 18.4 % 68
15 21.6 % 72
16 25.3 % 76
17 29.4 % 80+
18+ Above 30% 80+
Points for women 10-year risk of CVD Vascular age (years)
–2 or below Less than 1 % Under 30
–1 1.0 % Under 30
0 1.2 % Under 30
1 1.5 % 31
2 1.7 % 34
3 2.0 % 36
4 2.4 % 39
5 2.8 % 42
6 3.3 % 45
7 3.9 % 48
8 4.5 % 51
9 5.3 % 55
10 6.3 % 59
11 7.3 % 64
12 8.6 % 68
13 10.0 % 73
14 11.7 % 79
15 13.7 % 80+
16 15.9 % 80+
17 18.5 % 80+
18 21.5 % 80+
19 24.8 % 80+
20 28.5 % 80+
21+ Above 30% 80+

Note that a 3% risk means that three out of 100 people with your risk profile will have a heart attack in the next 10 years, a 10% risk means that 10 out of 100 people with your risk profile will have one in the next 10 years, and so on. This risk calculator also presents risk in a new way; it gives an estimate of your “vascular age” — how old your arteries are, regardless of how old you are.

 

Joe Garma’s 10-year CVD Risk
Let’s apply this heart disease risk methodology to myself:
Attributes Points
Male, age 60 11
Total cholesterol, 152 0
HDL, 60 -2
Systolic blood pressure (not treated), 117 -2
Smoker, no 0
Diabetes, no 0
     TOTAL 7

Conclusion: I’m a male with a score of 7, which gives me a 5.7% chance of getting CVD over the next 10 years, and puts my vascular age at 45, 15 years lower than my chronological age.

 

Get Tested

At this point, you now hopefully know a heck of a lot more than before about your probability of getting heart disease. If you haven’t had the relevant biomarkers tested, it’s high time you did.

Either grab your doctor and get it done with his/her supervision, or go lone ranger on it by getting your own blood work done via the Life Extension Foundation. They partner with hundreds of blood draw facilities throughout the U.S., are priced right and will even review your numbers with you over the phone so you know what’s up.

Click on the pic below and you’ll be sent to an index of the many tests provided by them.

 

Life Extension Blood Testing

 

Get Some Heart Health Insurance with Selenium and CoQ10

Alas, we finally get to the timely intervention mentioned at the start. Timely because just this week, it was reported that a five-year study conducted in Sweden indicates that combining selenium with CoQ10 has been found to dramatically slash the risk of death from cardiovascular disease.

By dramatic, I mean that the incidence of CVD risk of death was cut in half!

Moreover, the researchers found that selenium together with CoQ10 may have many benefits including:

  • Overall improved heart function
  • Reduction of hospital stays due to surgeries
  • Protection lasts years after stopping supplements

The study lasted five years was conducted on 443 healthy adults between the ages of 70 and 80. Now, you’re probably younger than those studied, given that most of the population is, but consider that if selenium and CoQ10 can reduce CVD risk by half in the elderly, what can these two supplements do for you?

In the study, half of the participants received placebos, and the other half got 200mg of CoQ10 and selenium supplements. After the five-year study was concluded, 12.6% of the placebo group had died of cardiovascular disease, while only 5.9 percent of those taking the supplements had died.

The group who took the supplements also scored higher on cardiac functions after an echocardiogram examination. More importantly, they had lower levels of a biomarker NT-proBNP known as an indicator of heart failure, which is good because lower levels reduce the risks of cardiovascular disease.

The team of researchers did a 4-year follow-up study on the participants and found that the group taking the supplements reported two positive results:

  • A higher quality of life compared to the placebo group
  • 246 fewer days of hospitalization

Surprisingly, after 10 years, CoQ10 and selenium apparently continued to deliver health benefits, including a reduction in cardiovascular deaths, despite the fact that the group stopped taking the supplements. At this 10-year mark, participants had a 49% lower risk of heart attack, stroke, or heart failure compared to the placebo participants. Both genders received the same level of protection.

What are CoQ10 and Selenium & How do They Work?

CoQ10 and selenium work together to improve cell efficiency.

CoQ10 is found in every cell of the body. Your body makes it and your cells use it to produce the energy your body needs for cell growth and maintenance. It also functions as an antioxidant, which protects the body from damage caused by harmful molecules, such as free radicals a form of oxidative stress.

Selenium is an essential mineral found in small amounts in the body. It works as an antioxidant, especially when combined with vitamin E, and as such selenium helps fight free radicals.

Together, CoQ10 and selenium combats oxidative stress, which occurs when the production of reactive oxygen (free radicals) is greater than the body’s ability to detoxify them. This imbalance leads to oxidative damage to proteins, molecules, and genes within the body, kinda like how rust degrades metal.

Oxidative stress accelerates the aging process and chronic disease. As we reach old age around 80 years or so, almost half the mitochondria in our cells have been depleted. (Mitochondria are rod-shaped organelles that can be considered the power generators of the cell, converting oxygen and nutrients into adenosine triphosphate, or “ATP”, which is the chemical energy “currency” of the cell that powers the cell’s metabolic activities.) CoQ10 is known to replenish the compounds in the mitochondria thus giving a boost in energy output.

Good sources of CoQ10 include salmon, tuna, liver, and whole grains. Good sources of selenium include wheat germ, brewer’s yeast, shellfish, sunflower seeds, and Brazil nuts.

Personally, I consume two Brazil nuts each day for their selenium content, as well as for the iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, and small amounts of vitamins such as thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, and vitamin B6. For CoQ10, however, I go for the supplement, and actually, it’s not CoQ10 per se.

Instead of CoQ10, I recommend Ubiquinol and PQQ.

Ubiquinol is a form of CoQ10 that is more easily absorbed into the bloodstream. PQQ emerged early in 2010, when researchers found it not only protected mitochondria from oxidative damage—it stimulated growth of fresh mitochondria!

 

(Click image to learn more.)

Your Takeaway

Remember these three things:

  1. If you live long enough, the statistics assert that you’re more likely to die of heart disease than any other reason.
  1. There are many things you can do to reduce your odds of death by heart disease, such as the typical lifestyle choices (diet, exercise, no smoking,) as well as Ubiquinol, PQQ and Selenium supplementation.
  1. Know your heart health status by taking the risk assessment provided above and getting tested via Life Extension or by your doctor.
Share. Someone you know will be thankful.
Joe Garma
 

I help people live with more vitality and strength. I'm a big believer in sustainability, and am a bit nutty about optimizing my diet, supplements, hormones and exercise. To get exclusive Updates, tips and be on your way to a stronger, more youthful body, join my weekly Newsletter. You can also find me on LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 2 comments
Mitch - October 30, 2016

A very thorough A-Z article on health and the heart and one that should be re-read several times to let all the details sink in. And very interesting…Mitch

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Joe Garma - October 30, 2016

Thanks Mr. Powers. If you know your HDL, total cholesterol and systolic number, check out your risk factor and cardio age per my example.

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