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Selenium has a positive impact on blood pressure and circulation

Selenium has a positive impact on blood pressure and circulationHypertension and other cardiovascular diseases account for the majority of deaths. Diet and lifestyle are highly relevant, and it also appears that there is a significant linear relation between selenium intake and the risk of developing hypertension, according to a population study published in Frontiers in Immunology. The authors also mention selenium’s role in relation to blood pressure, and because selenium deficiencies are quite common, we need to look closer at this relation.

Scientists have been discussing selenium’s role in blood pressure, and the new study wanted to look closer at the relation in a large, representative American population study. The authors therefore found their data in the NHANES study (National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey) that looks at people’s diets and health status over a period of many years. By studying different data, the researchers looked at the daily selenium intake from diets and compared that with the rate of elevated blood pressure. Their study included almost 33,000 participants, 37 percent of which suffered from hypertension. The participants were divided into four groups (quartiles) depending on how much dietary selenium they got. It turned out that for every increase in quartile, blood pressure was lower. Participants in the fourth quartile who got most selenium (139-400 microgram/day) had a 20 percent lower rate of hypertension compared with the first quartile that had the lowest selenium intake (less than 75 micrograms per day).
The scientists did not find a significant relation between gender, age, BMI, smoking habits, alcohol consumption, and type 2 diabetes with regard to the relation between daily selenium intake and the rate of hypertension.
They therefore concluded that there is a linear relation between daily selenium intake and the rate of hypertension.

  • According to WHO, more than 1.3 billion people have hypertension
  • The condition primarily affects older people – but is even increasing among younger people
  • Hypertension is a ticking bomb because many people have it without knowing it
  • Globally, hypertension accounts for 14% of all deaths

The official recommendations for selenium are too limited in relation to blood pressure

According to the New Nordic Nutrient Recommendations (2023), men should get at least 90 micrograms of selenium daily, while women should get 75 micrograms. Still, according to the new study, the largest positive impact on blood pressure is seen with a daily selenium intake that is in the range of 139-400 micrograms. This dose is much higher than the nutrient recommendations. WHO has established a 400 micrograms per day safe upper intake level for selenium.
Moreover, there are huge global variations in the selenium content in agricultural soil, and in many parts of the United States it is quite high. This affects the entire food chain. Many people living in the United States therefore get much more selenium than people in Europe where the soil is low in selenium. If an average European takes 200 micrograms of selenium daily as a supplement, the total selenium intake from food and supplements corresponds with the fourth quartile in the study.
Why does selenium have a positive effect on blood pressure and circulation?
Selenium supports a variety of selenium-containing proteins that are important for our energy turnover, immune defense, thyroid function, and many other physiological body functions. Selenium is also involved in some quite powerful antioxidants (GPXs) that protect cells from oxidative stress and free radical damage.
Hypertension is associated with unwanted immunological reactions, chronic inflammation, and oxidative stress. These factors are also related to the consequences of elevated blood pressure such as cardiological damage, stroke, and kidney damage. Selenium therefore protects against hypertension in many different ways. The effect of selenium is improved when it is taken in combination with Q10.

Q10 and selenium cuts cardiovascular mortality risk in half

The Swedish cardiologist, Professor Urban Alehagen, and his team of scientists have conducted a placebo-controlled study (KiSel-10) where they gave a large group of older seniors a daily supplement of selenium yeast (200 micrograms) and pharmaceutical-grade Q10 (200 mg). The Swedish farmland contains very little selenium, and older people have low levels of Q10, so the combination of the two nutrients makes sense. Selenium and Q10 also work synergistically in the energy metabolism and as antioxidants. This five-year study showed that those who got selenium and Q10 had a 54 percent lower cardiovascular mortality rate compared with those who got placebo.
This groundbreaking study, which is published in International Journal of Cardiology, has led to numerous follow-up studies that have shown, among other things, that the two supplements positively affect life expectancy. The researchers have also analyzed more than 50,000 frozen blood samples by looking for different biomarkers and found that selenium and Q10 have a positive impact on oxidative stress, circulatory health, and heart function.


Yilin Wu, Zongliang Yu. Association between dietary selenium intake and the prevalence of hypertension: results from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2003-2018. Frontiers in Immunology. 2024

Nordic Council of Ministers. Nordic Nutrition Recommendations 2023

Urban Alehagen et al. Improved cardiovascular health by supplementation with selenium and coenzyme Q10: applying structural equation modeling (SEM) to clinical outcomes and biomarkers to explore underlying mechanisms in a prospective randomized double-blind placebo-controlled intervention project in Sweden. European Journal of Nutrition. 2022

Alehagen U, et al. Cardiovascular mortality and N-Terminal-proBNP reduced after combined selenium and coenzyme Q10 supplementation. International Journal of Cardiology, 2013.

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