Selenium and Anti-Aging Effects

Maintaining adequate selenium status is an acknowledged anti-aging strategy. We need selenium to live longer and to be healthier as we age. Adequate intakes of selenium and adequate bio-synthesis of selenoproteins contribute to healthy aging and to reduced vulnerability to various disorders. Selenium and selenoproteins are important for the following biological activity [Bjorklund 2022]:

  • antioxidant protection
  • enhancement of immune system function
  • metabolic homeostasis
Crowds of people
Bjorklund et al estimate that selenium deficiency affects about one billion people in the world and may have a significant adverse effect on human health.

One characteristic of aging is oxidative stress.

Oxidative stress is defined as an imbalance between the damage caused by harmful free radicals and the protection offered by antioxidants. Inadequate selenium status can reduce the longevity and the health of senior citizens by accelerating the aging process and/or increasing vulnerability to immune system dysfunction, cardiovascular disease, and cancer [Bjorklund 2022]. read more

Selenium and a Longer Healthier Life

The micronutrient selenium has antioxidant and anti-aging properties. Specifically, numerous selenoproteins, in which selenium is an essential component, have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and immunostimulating effects [Bjørklund 2022].

Why is this important?

Old people
Biological aging involves the gradual worsening of the composition of our cells and organelles. It involves the slowing down of our body functions. Aging is typically accompanied by wrinkled skin and thinner skin, by a loss of body mass and bone density, and by poorer eyesight. The older we get, the more vulnerable we are to loss of cognitive function and dementia, heart trouble, osteoporosis, renal failure, viral infections, etc. Eventually death comes.

The aging process is characterized by the following inevitable physiological developments [Alehagen 2021]:

Selenium and selenoproteins and antioxidant protection

One theory of biological aging is that oxidative stress and chronic low-grade inflammation play an important role in aging-related physical and mental decline. Harmful reactive oxygen species – popularly known as free radicals – overwhelm the ability of the available antioxidants to neutralize them. The harmful free radicals cause oxidative damage to the cells and to the DNA, lipids, and proteins in the cells [Bjørklund 2022]. read more

Impact of Selenium Status on Biological Aging

Aging. Getting up in years. Striving to live as long as possible and to be as strong and healthy as possible. At some point, good health becomes a more important concern than wealth. Optimal selenium status is important to good health [Alehagen 2021].

Professor Jan Aaseth
Professor Jan Aaseth, MD, PhD, researcher in internal medicine, endocrinology, and toxicology and specialist in selenium research.

In a review article, Professor Urban Alehagen and Professor Jan Aaseth list the following conditions associated with biological aging [Alehagen 2021]:

  • chronic mild to moderate systemic inflammation
  • detrimental DNA alterations
  • mitochondrial dysfunction
  • oxidative stress caused by harmful free radicals
  • telomere shortening

Getting old is inevitable. Biological aging necessarily involves a weakening of the immune system and increased susceptibility to diseases and environmental stresses.

Selenium deficiency associated with aging and aging-related diseases

Selenium deficiency is associated with mitochondrial dysfunction, oxidative stress, and inflammation [Alehagen 2021].

Mitochondrial injuries are an important factor in the aging of human cells.  A by-product of the mitochondrial generation of ATP energy in the cells is the production of reactive oxygen species, some of which are useful and some of which are harmful. The leakage of these harmful free radicals from the mitochondrial respiratory chain increases with age, which results in cellular oxidative damage, whenever there are not enough antioxidants to neutralize the effects of the free radicals. read more

Selenium and Coenzyme Q10 Slow Down Telomere Shortening

Anti-aging effects. Longevity.  Telomere length.  Daily supplementation of senior citizens with selenium and Coenzyme Q10 for 42 months slowed down telomere shortening and reduced the risk of death from cardiovascular disease [Opstad 2022]. The two substances in combination — selenium and Coenzyme Q10 — may be the key to slowing down biological ageing.

What Are Telomeres? Why Are They Important?
Prof Urban Alehagen
The latest sub-study of the KiSel-10 Study data shows that combined selenium and CoQ10 supplementation not only reduces the risk of death from heart disease but also has anti-ageing properties. Pictured here: Professor Urban Alehagen.

Telomeres are the segments of DNA sequences that protect the ends of chromosomes from becoming frayed or tangled. Every time a cell divides, the telomeres become a little bit shorter. When, with increasing age, the telomeres become too short, the cell cannot divide successfully, and the cell dies [National Human Genome Research Institute 2022]. read more