Selenium and Mitochondrial Disorders and Telomere Attrition

Selenium supplements may be beneficial as an adjuvant treatment for patients with mitochondrial disorders. This is especially true in many parts of Europe and the Middle East where the soil and the foodstuffs have poor selenium content [Stoffaneller & Morse 2015]. Specifically, individuals with mitochondrial dysfunction need the antioxidant and anti-inflammation effects of selenium-dependent selenoproteins [Alehagen 2021; Opstad 2022].

Prof Jan Aaseth
The mitochondria are the organelles in our cells that generate the ATP energy that our cells need to function. They are our essential mini power plants. However, mitochondrial dysfunction is associated with generation of toxic oxygen, telomere shortening, cell death, and biological aging. Pictured: Prof. Jan Aaseth, MD, PhD, Innlandet Hospital & Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences.

Mitochondrial dysfunction can be defined as the diminished capacity of the mitochondria in the cells to convert sugars into energy, i.e., the diminished capacity of the cells to generate ATP energy [Miwa 2022].

Mitochondrial dysfunction is closely associated with biological aging and with cell senescence (the cessation of cell division) [Miwa 2022]. 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

Impact of Selenium Status on Ageing

Selenium is an essential trace element. Essential means that sufficient selenium is necessary for normal cell functioning and that our bodies cannot synthesize selenium for us. We must get it from our diets. Trace element means selenium is a micronutrient that is needed in very small quantities, in microgram quantities. It may be an important element to slow the ageing process.

Elderly couple
Selenium as a component in protective enzymes helps to keep us healthier longer in life. It helps to suppress oxidative stress and to decrease inflammation, to remove misfolded proteins, to decrease DNA damage, and to promote telomere length.

Sufficient selenium status plays an important role in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases, inflammation, and infections. Prof. Margaret P. Rayman, University of Surrey, estimates that serum/plasma selenium status of around 125 mcg/L is optimal for human health [Rayman 2020].

The beneficial work of selenium in the cells and tissues is done by selenoproteins that contain the amino acid selenocysteine in the active center. Among the selenoproteins known to have an antioxidant effect in the body are the glutathione peroxidases (GPX1-4 and GPX6) and the thioredoxin reductases (TXNRD1-3) [Alehagen 2021]. read more