Selenium and Systemic Oxidative Stress

Oxidative stress. A new study shows that selenium supplementation together with Coenzyme Q10 supplementation reduces the levels of systemic oxidative stress in the body.  In the study, the reduction of systemic oxidative stress is significantly associated with a reduction in the risk of death from cardiovascular diseases [Dunning & Alehagen 2023].

Prof Urban Alehagen
Prof. Urban Alehagen, lead researcher on the KiSel-10 Study, the study that has shown that combined selenium and Coenzyme Q10 supplementation reduces oxidative stress and inflammation levels, improves heart function, and reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease mortality.

Oxidative stress: An imbalance of harmful free radicals vis-à-vis protective antioxidants leads to oxidative damage to DNA, lipids, and proteins in the body and to a disruption of redox signaling processes in the cells [Dunning & Alehagen 2023].

In a 2023 KiSel-10 sub-analysis, Prof. Urban Alehagen and his research colleagues investigated the level of free thiols in the serum of elderly study participants taking 200 mcg of selenium and 200 mg of Coenzyme Q10 daily for 48 months [Dunning & Alehagen 2023]. read more

Selenium Status and HIV Infections

HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is still very much a public health concern. Deficiencies of certain micronutrients are known to play a role in the progression of HIV infections to AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome). In particular, adequate intakes of selenium are important because of selenium’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities in HIV infection [Pourmoradian 2023].

Umbrella Study of Systematic Reviews of Selenium and HIV Studies

Symptoms of AIDS Poster
Selenium levels are often low in individuals infected with HIV virus. Selenium supplementation can slow the decline in CD4 cell counts, can reduce the risk of hospitalization, can prevent increases in the HIV-1 viral load, and can slow the progression of the infection to AIDS.

In a 2023 umbrella study of systematic reviews of studies of selenium in HIV patients, Pourmoradian et al found the following evidence:

  • Four reviews showed that selenium supplementation at the level of 200 mcg/day was effective in delaying CD4 decline in HIV-infected patients.
  • Three reviews showed that selenium supplementation at the level of 200 mcg/day significantly reduced HIV viral load.
  • The researchers suggested that the underlying mechanism of the selenium effect on HIV progression is the improvement of the immune response and the antioxidant defense system.
  • In particular, the selenium-dependent glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) enzyme system reduces the extent of oxidative stress, indirectly strengthens the immune system, and slows the progression of the disease.

Note: CD4 cells are lymphocytes that help to coordinate the immune response to infections. If an HIV patient’s CD4 cell count falls below 200 cells per cubic millimeter of blood, then the HIV infection is considered to have progressed to the AIDS stage. In healthy individuals, the CD4 count will be between 500 and 1,600 cells/cubic millimeter of blood. read more