Selenium Supplementation for Senior Citizens

Health benefits of daily supplementation of senior citizens with a combination of selenium and Coenzyme Q10:

  • improved heart function as shown on echocardiograms
  • reduced risk of death from heart disease
  • improved health-related quality of life
Professor Urban Alehagen
In the KiSel-10 Study, Prof. Urban Alehagen and the research team administered 200 mcg/day of selenium and 2 x 100 mg/day of Coenzyme Q10 for 48 months to elderly Swedish citizens whose serum selenium status at baseline was quite low (mean: 67.1 mcg/L). The duration of the study was 48 months. The benefits of the supplementation were improved heart function and reduced risk of death from heart disease.

The combined supplementation seems to work by reducing the extent of oxidative stress, systemic inflammation, and fibrosis in the study participants [Alehagen 2022a].

Now, data from the KiSel-10 Study show the following effects of the combined supplementation with respect to Fibroblast Growth Factor 23 concentrations in blood:

  • Supplementation decreased concentrations of FGF-23 hormones.
  • The study showed a relationship between the circulating level of the FGF-23 and atrial fibrillation.
  • The study showed an association between the concentration of FGF-23 and death from heart disease.
  • The study showed an effect of reduced FGF-23 levels on the risk of death from heart disease that is independent of the level of the cardiac wall tension bio-marker NT-proBNP.
  • There exists a close interrelationship between FGF-23 concentrations and kidney function.
Why are FGF-23 Concentrations Important?

Prof. Alehagen explains that FGF-23 is a hormone that is secreted into the blood circulation. One of its primary functions is the regulation of the vitamin D metabolism and of the phosphorous metabolism in the kidneys.

However, there seems to be an association between FGF-23 activity and cardiovascular mortality even in the absence of kidney disease. Experimental data show that FGF-23 may act as a mediator for cardiac hypertrophy, cardiac fibrosis, and cardiac dysfunction [Alehagen 2022b].

Mechanisms of the FGF-23 Effect on the Risk of Cardiovascular Disease

Prof. Alehagen writes that the exact biological mechanisms of the influence of FGF-23 on the cardiovascular system are not clearly known.

Possible explanations of an effect on cardiovascular disease include the following:

  • relationship between FGF-23 and inflammation
  • influence of FGF-23 on vitamin D activity
Conclusion: Selenium and CoQ10 important as we age

Prof. Urban Alehagen and a team of researchers concluded that the administration of selenium and Coenzyme Q10 to elderly community-living citizens low in both substances 1) prevented an ageing-related increase in FGF-23 and 2) reduced cardiovascular disease risk [Alehagen 2022b].

Fibroblast growth factor 23 is a hormone that has an important relationship with cardiovascular function and the risk of cardiovascular disease.

The combined supplementation with selenium and Coenzyme Q10 has been shown to have positive effects on systemic inflammation, oxidative stress, fibrosis, endothelial function, and renal function in elderly citizens low in
selenium and Coenzyme Q10.


Alehagen U, Johansson P, Svensson E, Aaseth J, Alexander J. Improved cardiovascular health by supplementation with selenium and coenzyme Q10: applying structural equation modelling (SEM) to clinical outcomes and biomarkers to explore underlying mechanisms in a prospective randomized double-blind placebo-controlled intervention project in Sweden. Eur J Nutr. 2022a;10.1007/s00394-022-02876-1.

Alehagen U, Aaseth J, Larsson A, Alexander J. Decreased Concentration of Fibroblast Growth Factor 23 (FGF-23) as a Result of Supplementation with Selenium and Coenzyme Q10 in an Elderly Swedish Population: A Sub-Analysis. Cells. 2022b;11(3):509.

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

15 June 2022

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