Distribution Characteristics of Rare Earth Elements and Selenium in Hair of Centenarians Living in China Longevity Region

  • Ru Zhang
  • Li Wang
  • Yonghua LiEmail author
  • Hairong Li
  • Yuefeng Xu


In order to explore the characteristics of the rare earth elements (REEs) and selenium (Se) among the Chinese centenarians, the concentrations of REE and Se were detected in the hair of healthy centenarians living in typical Chinese longevity region, and the influences of physiological conditions and behavior on the concentrations of REE and Se were assessed. The average values of light RE (LRE) and heavy RE (HRE) are 31.87 and 11.12 ng/g. Female centenarians had higher concentrations of lanthanum (La), praseodymium (Pr), gadolinium (Gd), terbium (Tb), erbium (Er), thulium (Tm), yttrium (Y), and Se but lower levels of cerium (Ce), neodymium (Nd), samarium (Sm), europium (Eu), dysprosium (Dy), holmium (Ho), ytterbium (Yb), and lutetium (Lu). Except for Ce, the higher the age, the lower the REE and Se content were. Smoking was positively associated with Dy, Er, and Yb levels, whereas drinking habits showed no significant effect on all the elements. Elderly individuals who ate smoked and pickled food and who consumed high amounts of salt had higher levels of REE and Se in their hair, and centenarians who consumed egg and milk had higher Se and REE in the hair than did the non-eaters. This comprehensive study on the REE and Se concentrations among the healthy centenarians can provide scientific support for shaping a healthy aging society.


Rare earth element Selenium Centenarians Hair Human biomonitoring 



We also thank Jiangping Yu, Ruiya Xing, and Jing Wang for their help with sample collection.

Funding Information

This work was supported by the Strategic Priority Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (No. XDA19040303) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 41671499).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ru Zhang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Li Wang
    • 1
  • Yonghua Li
    • 1
    Email author
  • Hairong Li
    • 1
  • Yuefeng Xu
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Land Surface Pattern and Simulation, Institute of Geographical Sciences and Natural Resources ResearchChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

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