Selenium and Hypothyroidism

In the CATALYST study, researchers found that selenium supplements and placebo supplements improved the quality of life of patients with hypothyroidism to an equal extent. Accordingly, the researchers have now emphasized a need for more research into the effect of selenium supplementation on immune system function, on oxidative stress, and on low-grade inflammation in patients with thyroid diseases [Larsen 2024].

Thyroid system depicted
Depiction of the thyroid system. Attribution: Attribution: Mikael Häggström, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons. The CATALYST study (Chronic Autoimmune Thyroiditis Quality of Life Selenium Trial) sought to establish whether selenium supplementation improves quality-of-life in patients with autoimmune thyroiditis .

The CATALYST study was a multi-center randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled clinical trial conducted in Denmark. The study participants were patients aged 18 or more years with serum thyroid peroxidase antibody (TPOAb) levels equal to or greater than 100 IU/mL. 82% of the study participants were women [Larsen 2024]. read more

Selenium and Human Longevity

The absorption of dietary and supplemental selenium has an important and positive influence on human longevity. Selenium researchers have called selenium a “longevity element.” The selenoenzymes and selenoproteins of which selenium is an essential component have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer activity in humans [Li 2024].

Great Wall of China
Typically, China has many regions with selenium-poor soil and selenium-poor foodstuffs. Some regions, however, do have selenium-rich soil and selenium-rich crops and fruits. One such region is characterized by the longevity of its residents. Selenium seems to be a factor in anti-aging.

Maintaining selenium absorption and metabolism at an optimal physiological state seems to be one of the primary factors for good health and longevity of the elderly people. In particular, scientific studies have shown that selenium intake and status play an important role in the incidence and progression of some chronic diseases [Li 2024]:

  • Cancer: inducing tumor cell apoptosis, reducing the mutagenicity of carcinogenic factors, prolonging the cell division interval, and slowing proliferation of malignant cells
  • Heart failure: improving exercise tolerance, reducing mortality rate, and improving quality of life
  • Heavy metals: binding to mercury, sequestering mercury, reducing mercury’s biological availability and reducing the damage to the kidney caused by exposure to heavy metals
  • Antioxidant effects: restoring the antioxidant defense system of the body
Selenium-Rich Soil in a Chinese Longevity Township

Bama Yao Autonomous County is the only longevity township in China that is globally recognized as having a continuously growing longevity population. In 2020, Bama had 102 residents over 100 years old. The number had increased from the 2000 census (74 residents over 100 years of age) and the 2010 census (82 residents over 100 years of age). Bama has relatively stable genetic and geographic factors and a relatively stable dietary culture [Li 2024]. The proportion of centenarians is nearly six times greater than the international standard proportion [Zhang 2023]. read more