Increased dietary intakes of selenium are associated with longer telomeres, reported to be a marker of biological aging, says a new study.
There is no doubt that selenium plays key roles in the maintenance of health and prevention of disease. An important antioxidant that protects the body against damage by free radicals and assists its defense systems, clinical studies have established that selenium plays particularly important roles in the fight against cancer and cardiovascular diseases.
This latest study suggests there may be a link between higher intakes of selenium and longer telomeres. Sometimes likened to the tips at the ends of shoelaces without which the laces would unravel, telomeres are found at the ends of chromosomes. Their roles include helping to protect chromosomes from damage and ensuring they are able to replicate properly. Telomeres are known to shorten with age. Scientific evidence suggests that short telomeres may be associated with the development of disease.
As important as selenium is, however, the findings of this latest study should not be interpreted as meaning that a high intake of selenium is enough to protect you from aging and disease. Instead, for optimum results, carefully balanced intakes of a wide range of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and other micronutrients are needed.
To review Dr. Rath’s Cellular Medicine recommendations for daily micronutrient supplementation, see this special feature on our website.