Selenium Status and Inflammation and Heart Disease

Low plasma selenium status is significantly associated with heart disease risk and with elevated blood bio-markers of chronic inflammation.  A 2021 cross-sectional study of elderly individuals in central Italy has revealed that individuals with a plasma selenium status lower than 60 mcg/L are especially at risk of heart disease [Giacconi 2021].

Ancona, Italy
Researchers in Ancona, Italy, have done a cross-sectional study that shows that low plasma selenium status is associated with increased risk of heart disease and with elevated levels of blood bio-markers for chronic inflammation.

Moreover, in the peripheral blood mononuclear cells of elderly individuals diagnosed with heart disease, the researchers found that low plasma selenium status was significantly associated with enhanced gene expression of inflammatory cytokines and chemokines and with a downregulation of sirtuins SIRT-1, SIRT-5, SIRT-6, and SIRT-7 [Giacconi 2021].

Note: The peripheral blood mononuclear cells are lymphocytes (e.g., T cells, B cells, NK cells) and monocytes as distinguished from such blood cells as erythrocytes, granulocytes, and platelets. read more

Serum Selenium Status and Mortality Risk in Individuals with Hypertension

Serum selenium concentrations show a U-shaped association with all-cause mortality and with cardiovascular mortality in individuals with hypertension [Tan 2021].

Blood pressure measuredThis conclusion is based on an analysis of data from 929 individuals diagnosed with hypertension [Tan 2021].

  • The average age of the individuals was 63 years plus/minus 13 years.
  • Slightly more than half of the individuals were male: 53%.
  • The researchers followed the individuals for a mean period of slightly more than ten years: 121 months plus/minus 41 months.
  • During the follow-up period, 307 individuals died, including 56 individuals who died from cardiovascular disease.
Quartiles of Serum Selenium Status

For purposes of analysis, the researchers categorized the individuals with hypertension into quartiles of serum selenium concentration [Tan 2021]:

Q1: equal to or less than 124 mcg/L

Q2: 125-135 mcg/L

Q3: 136-147 mcg/L

Q4: greater than 148 mcg/L

Optimal Serum Selenium Levels in Individuals with Hypertension

The researchers compared the data from the serum selenium quartiles and found that the risk of death from all causes and death from heart disease were lowest in the third quartile (serum selenium concentrations between 136 and 147 mcg/L) [Tan 2021]. read more