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].

Note: Thiols are sulfur-containing organic compounds with the formula R-SH where R stands for any hydrocarbon group.

  • Significantly increased risk of adverse cardiovascular disease events and all-cause mortality is associated with lower serum free thiol levels.
  • Significantly lower risk of heart failure and significantly more favorable heart disease outcomes are associated with higher levels of serum free thiol concentrations.

In an earlier observational study, Abdulle et al showed that the level of serum free thiols significantly predicted the risk of adverse cardiovascular disease events and the risk of all-cause mortality. These results are important because serum free thiols are responsive to therapeutic intervention [Abdulle 2020].

Coenzyme Q10 and Selenium Reduce Systemic Oxidative Stress

Following 48 months of supplementation with the selenium and Coenzyme Q10 combination or with matching placebos, there were significantly increased levels of serum free thiols in the active treatment group as compared to the placebo group. This was a sign of reduced systemic oxidative stress [Dunning & Alehagen 2023].

Combined Coenzyme Q10 and selenium supplementation are an effective therapy for the modulation of systemic oxidative stress.

Higher Free Thiol Levels Associated with Reduced Risk of Death from Heart Disease

Especially interesting was the discovery that the increased levels of free thiols in the blood circulation were associated with a significant decrease in the risk of cardiovascular disease-associated mortality [Dunning & Alehagen 2023].

Ten years after the commencement of the four-year-long selenium and CoQ10 supplementation, 128 participants had died because of an adverse cardiovascular event. By far, the highest rate of cardiovascular disease-associated mortality – 40% – had occurred in the lowest quartile of free thiol concentrations at baseline [Dunning & Alehagen 2023]

The higher risk of death from heart disease was associated with the lower serum levels of free thiols even after the researchers had controlled for confounding variables such as age, atrial fibrillation, diabetes, hypertension, ischemic heart disease, and sex [Dunning & Alehagen 2023].

Conclusion: Selenium and Coenzyme Q10 and Heart Health
  • Systemic oxidative stress is reduced in elderly individuals with an adequate supply of selenium and Coenzyme Q10. This study of serum free thiol concentrations confirms the importance of combined supplementation for elderly individuals with low selenium and CoQ10 status [Dunning & Alehagen 2023].
  • Combined selenium and CoQ10 is a safe, effective, and affordable therapy for reducing systemic oxidative stress and for reducing the risk of adverse cardiovascular disease events [Dunning & Alehagen 2023].

Abdulle AE, Bourgonje AR, Kieneker LM, Koning AM, la Bastide-van Gemert S, Bulthuis MLC, Dijkstra G, Faber KN, Dullaart RPF, Bakker SJL, Gans ROB, Gansevoort RT, Mulder DJ, Pasch A, van Goor H. Serum free thiols predict cardiovascular events and all-cause mortality in the general population: a prospective cohort study. BMC Med. 2020 May 27;18(1):130.

Dunning BJ, Bourgonje AR, Bulthuis ML, Alexander J, Aaseth JO, Larsson A, van Goor H, Alehagen U. Selenium and coenzyme Q10 improve the systemic redox status while reducing cardiovascular mortality in elderly population-based individuals. Free Radical Biology and Medicine. 2023; volume page.

The information presented in this review article is not intended as medical advice and should not be used as such.

30 May 2023

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