Deep Dive, Vitality: Extending Life

Deep Dive, Vitality: Extending Life

Zinc, selenium, and CoQ10 support healthy aging

Zinc and selenium linked to anemia

Being low in iron is not the only cause of anemia. In this study, doctors measured zinc, selenium, and iron levels in 285 nursing home residents. Although fewer than 2 percent were low or deficient in iron, 31.6 percent had anemia.

Doctors discovered 71.9 percent of participants were deficient in zinc, and 38.3 percent were deficient in selenium. Those who were deficient in zinc were nearly five times as likely to have anemia as those with sufficient zinc. Those low in selenium were also more likely to have anemia, but low zinc was a much more important factor.

This is the first study to link zinc with hemoglobin—the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen from, and carbon dioxide back to, the lungs—showing even when iron is not deficient, low levels of zinc increase chances for anemia.

Reference: Nutrients; 2021, Vol. 13, No. 4, 1072

Selenium, CoQ10 improve heart factors

When blood clots form and break down, the body produces higher levels of a protein called D-dimer. In this study, 213 participants with greater chances for heart and circulatory problems took a placebo or 200 mcg of selenium yeast plus 200 mg of CoQ10 per day.

While there were no differences in D-dimer levels between the groups at the beginning, after four years, those taking selenium plus CoQ10 had 22 mg of D-dimer per liter of blood (mg/L) compared to 34 mg/L for placebo. Among those with high D-dimer levels, those taking selenium plus CoQ10 were less likely to have died from heart or circulatory conditions.

Reference: Nutrients; 2021, Vol. 13, No. 4, 1344

Vitamins B6 and D preserve vitality in aging

Vitamin B6 boosts omega-3s

Older adults with higher levels of vitamin B6 were more likely to have high levels of the omega-3s EPA and DHA. In this two-year study, doctors measured nutrients in the diets of 641 adults, aged at least 60, through food and supplement questionnaires, and compared to plasma levels of vitamin B6.

Those whose levels of vitamin B6 were adequate were more likely to have high plasma levels of EPA and DHA compared to those who were deficient in vitamin B6.

Doctors said the findings are important because those who are older and deficient in vitamin B6 may not metabolize omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids efficiently, leading to an increase in chances for poor age-related health outcomes.

Reference: Nutrients; 2022, Vol. 14, No. 11, 2336

Vitamin D for vigor in aging

This review of 240 studies conducted in 62 countries covered 2,997 men and women, average age 69. Doctors measured vitamin D levels and found 32.1 percent were insufficient and 19.6 percent were deficient. Doctors then separated participants into three groups on a Frailty Index (FI): non-frail, pre-frail to frail, and frail to severely frail; including factors such as diseases, symptoms, laboratory abnormalities, cognitive impairments, and disabilities in activities of daily living.

Overall, those who were deficient in vitamin D were 79 percent more likely to be in the ‘frail to severely frail’ group compared to those whose vitamin D levels were sufficient. The results suggest maintaining adequate levels of vitamin D in aging help preserve good physical and cognitive health.

Reference: Nutrients; 2022, Vol. 14, No. 11, 2292

BetsyHealth Note: This article is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any disease. Consult your healthcare provider before trying a supplement, especially if you have a medical condition, including being pregnant or nursing, take prescription or over-the-counter medications, or are planning on having surgery.

Article copyright 2022 by Natural Insights for Well Being. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio:

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