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.


Background: The impact of supplementation with selenium and coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) on health-care usage and health-related quality of life (Hr-QoL) in community-dwelling elderly people has, to our knowledge, not previously been investigated.

Aim: To investigate the effect of 48 months supplementation with CoQ10 and selenium on community-dwelling elderly as regards: (I) the number of days out of hospital, and (II) the effect on Hr-QoL.

Methods: A 48-month double-blind randomized placebo-controlled trial was carried out. A total of 443 participants were given CoQ10 and organic selenium yeast combined, or a placebo. All admissions to the Department of Internal Medicine or Cardiology were evaluated. Hr-QoL were measured with the Short Form-36 (SF-36), the Cardiac Health Profile (CHP) and one item overall-quality of life (overall-QoL).

Results: A total of 206 participants were evaluated after 48 months. No changes were found in the number of days out of hospital or Hr-QoL. A sub-analysis of participants matched for age, gender and baseline cardiac wall tension as measured by NT-proBNP was performed. The mean number of days out of hospital was 1779 for those taking the active substance 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).

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

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living*
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Antioxidants / therapeutic use
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Hospitalization*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Micronutrients / administration & dosage
  • Micronutrients / pharmacology
  • Micronutrients / therapeutic use
  • Myocardium / metabolism
  • Natriuretic Peptide, Brain / metabolism
  • Peptide Fragments / metabolism
  • Physical Fitness*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quality of Life*
  • Selenium / pharmacology
  • Selenium / therapeutic use*
  • Ubiquinone / analogs & derivatives*
  • Ubiquinone / pharmacology
  • Ubiquinone / therapeutic use


  • Antioxidants
  • Micronutrients
  • Peptide Fragments
  • pro-brain natriuretic peptide (1-76)
  • Natriuretic Peptide, Brain
  • Ubiquinone
  • coenzyme Q10
  • Selenium