Selenium and glutamine supplements: where are we heading? A critical care perspective.
ABSTRACT There is considerable interest in glutamine and selenium in critical care as both offer the potential to enhance host defences, through different but complimentary mechanisms and may reduce subsequent infections and mortality. The SIGNET trial (randomized controlled factorial trial) is the largest, critical care study of both supplements. The data have been presented publicly, but the data are not published or available for review and will therefore not be discussed fully in this update. In the present review I will explore the recently available (past 1-2 years) published literature.
The current literature demonstrates that there are currently insufficient data to enable confident recommendations on the optimal route, timing, duration and dosage of each of these nutritional supplements. The pending results of SIGNET, the largest critical care trial of parenteral nutrition supplemented by glutamine and or selenium promises to clarify some of the current ambiguities and inform future practice.
To be able to confidently establish or refute the hypothesis that either glutamine or selenium alone or in combination improves outcome in critical care requires a well designed prospective randomized controlled trial. To design such a trial we require the optimal dose and duration of the nutritional supplement (balancing efficacy and toxicity, ease of administration and cost) and then conduct an adequately powered trial. Such a trial is still lacking for these two agents. There are some supportive data for selenium but the case is less strong for parenteral glutamine and weakest for enteral glutamine.
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ABSTRACT: This review covers current knowledge of selenium in the environment, dietary intakes, metabolism and status, functions in the body, thyroid hormone metabolism, antioxidant defense systems and oxidative metabolism, and the immune system. Selenium toxicity and links between deficiency and Keshan disease and Kashin-Beck disease are described. The relationships between selenium intake/status and various health outcomes, in particular gastrointestinal and prostate cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and male fertility, are reviewed, and recent developments in genetics of selenoproteins are outlined. The rationale behind current dietary reference intakes of selenium is explained, and examples of differences between countries and/or expert bodies are given. Throughout the review, gaps in knowledge and research requirements are identified. More research is needed to improve our understanding of selenium metabolism and requirements for optimal health. Functions of the majority of the selenoproteins await characterization, the mechanism of absorption has yet to be identified, measures of status need to be developed, and effects of genotype on metabolism require further investigation. The relationships between selenium intake/status and health, or risk of disease, are complex but require elucidation to inform clinical practice, to refine dietary recommendations, and to develop effective public health policies.Antioxidants & Redox Signaling 04/2011; 14(7):1337-83. · 8.20 Impact Factor