Jan Alexander

Jan Alexander
Norwegian Institute of Public Health · Environmental Health

MD, PhD Prof.

About

541
Publications
111,036
Reads
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16,139
Citations
Additional affiliations
August 2009 - January 2016
Norwegian Institute of Public Health
Position
  • Deputy Director-General
January 2002 - December 2012
Norwegian Institute of Public Health
May 1977 - March 1983
National Institute of Occupational Health (STAMI)
Position
  • Medical Doctor

Publications

Publications (541)
Article
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Purpose Selenium and coenzyme Q10 have synergistic antioxidant functions. In a four-year supplemental trial in elderly Swedes with a low selenium status, we found improved cardiac function, less cardiac wall tension and reduced cardiovascular mortality up to 12 years of follow-up. Here we briefly review the main results, including those from studie...
Article
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Short telomeres have been associated with ageing and cardiovascular disease. The influence on leukocyte telomere length (LTL) of long-term intervention with combined selenium and coenzyme Q10 is unknown. Our aim was to determine whether 42 months of selenium and coenzyme Q10 supplementation prevented telomere attrition and further cardiovascular mo...
Article
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Emerging evidence suggests that neuroinflammation is involved in both depression and neurodegenerative diseases. The kynurenine pathway, generating metabolites which may play a role in pathogenesis, is one of several competing pathways of tryptophan metabolism. The present article is a narrative review of tryptophan metabolism, neuroinflammation, d...
Article
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Disruption of cerebral iron regulation appears to have a role in aging and in the pathogenesis of various neurodegenerative disorders. Possible unfavorable impacts of iron accumulation include reactive oxygen species generation, induction of ferroptosis, and acceleration of inflammatory changes. Whole-brain iron-sensitive magnetic resonance imaging...
Article
Tobacco smoking and use of snus (smokeless tobacco) are associated with adverse effects on pregnancy and neonatal outcomes. Nicotine is considered a key toxicant involved in effects caused by both smoking and snus, while pyrolysis products including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in cigarette smoke represents the constituents most unequall...
Article
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There is a reduced intake of selenium in many countries due to low levels of selenium in the soil. This results in an increased cardiovascular risk. Fibroblast growth factor 23 (FGF-23) is active mainly in the metabolism of vitamin D and phosphorus. However, there are indications that FGF-23 may also provide information both on cardiovascular funct...
Article
The Norwegian Scientific Committee for Food Safety performed the present assessment of the differences between organic and conventional foods and food production on plant health, animal health and welfare and human health at the request of the Norwegian Food Safety Authority. The work was divided into five parts: (I) Plant health and plant producti...
Article
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Alehagen, U.; Opstad, T.B.;Alexander, J.; Larsson, A.; Aaseth, J. Impact of Selenium on Biomarkers and Clinical Aspects Related to Ageing. A Review. Biomolecules 2021, 11, 1478. https://doi.org/10.3390/biom11101478 Abstract: Selenium (Se) is an essential dietary trace element that plays an important role in the prevention of inflammation, cardiova...
Article
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The aim of the present review is to discuss traditional hypotheses on the etiopathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), as well as the role of metabolic-syndrome-related mechanisms in AD development with a special focus on advanced glycation end-products (AGEs) and their role in metal-induced neurodegeneration in AD. Persistent hyperglycemia along...
Article
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Numerous combinations of diets and pharmacological agents, including lifestyle changes, have been launched to treat obesity. There are still ambiguities regarding the efficacies of different approaches despite many clinical trials and the use of animal models to study physiological mechanisms in weight management and obesity comorbidities, Here, we...
Article
The Norwegian Scientific Committee for Food Safety (Vitenskapskomiteen for mattrygghet, VKM) has on the request from the Norwegian Food Safety Authority (Mattilsynet) assessed four studies on developmental neurotoxicity following low dose exposure to bisphenol A (BPA) (Adriani et al., 2003; Carr et al., 2003; Negishi et al., 2004; Ryan and Vandenbe...
Article
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The aging process in the kidneys has been well studied. It is known that the glomerular filtration rate (GFR) declines with age in subjects older than 50–60 years. However, there is still insufficient knowledge regarding the response of the aged kidney to environmental toxicants such as mercury, cadmium, and lead. Here, we present a review on the f...
Article
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Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is an essential component of the mitochondrial electron transport chain. It is also an antioxidant in cellular membranes and lipoproteins. All cells produce CoQ10 by a specialized cytoplasmatic-mitochondrial pathway. CoQ10 deficiency can result from genetic failure or ageing. Some drugs including statins, widely used by inter a...
Article
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A low intake of selenium is associated with increased cardiovascular mortality. This could be reduced by supplementation with selenium and coenzyme Q10. D-dimer, a fragment of fibrin mirroring fibrinolysis, is a biomarker of thromboembolism, increased inflammation, endothelial dysfunction and is associated with cardiovascular mortality in ischemic...
Article
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Background: Seaweeds and kelps, also known as macroalgae, have long been common in the East-Asian diet. During recent years, macroalgae have entered the global food market, and a variety of macroalgae products are now available for consumers. Some macroalgae species are known to be particularly rich in iodine, but little data regarding the iodine...
Article
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Background: Maternal seafood intake during pregnancy and prenatal mercury exposure may influence children's growth trajectories. Methods: This study, based on the Norwegian Mother, Father and Child Cohort Study (MoBa), includes 51 952 mother-child pairs recruited in pregnancy during 2002-08 and a subsample (n = 2277) with maternal mercury concen...
Article
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There is a worldwide concern on adverse health effects of dietary exposure to acrylamide (AA) due to its presence in commonly consumed foods. AA is formed when carbohydrate rich foods containing asparagine and reducing sugars are prepared at high temperatures and low moisture conditions. Upon oral intake, AA is rapidly absorbed and distributed to a...
Article
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A low selenium intake is found in European countries, and is associated with increased cardiovascular mortality. There is an association between selenium level and the severity of kidney disease. An association between inflammation and selenium intake is also reported. The coenzyme Q10 level is decreased in kidney disease. The aim of this study was...
Article
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PurposeEndothelial dysfunction and inflammation are conditions which fuel atherosclerosis and ischaemic heart disease. We have previously reported reduced cardiovascular (CV) mortality following supplementation with selenium and coenzyme Q10 to 443 elderly individuals with low selenium status (mean 67 μg/L) for 4 years. Here, we wanted to evaluate...
Article
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Selenium – a trace element of clinical significance Jan Alexander, Urban Alehagen, Jan Olav Aaseth New knowledge shows that selenium has several critical physiological functions. There is a total of 25 genes coding for selenocysteine-containing proteins (selenoproteins). Many selenoproteins are enzymes that remove peroxides and protect against oxid...
Article
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Seaweeds, or macroalgae, may be a good dietary iodine source but also a source of excessive iodine intake. The main aim in this study was to describe the iodine status and thyroid function in a group of macroalgae consumers. Two urine samples were collected from each participant (n = 44) to measure urinary iodine concentration (UIC) after habitual...
Article
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Background: Severe iodine deficiency impacts fertility and reproductive outcomes. The potential effects of mild-to-moderate iodine deficiency are not well known. The aim of this study was to examine whether iodine intake was associated with subfecundity (i.e. > 12 months trying to get pregnant), foetal growth, and adverse pregnancy outcomes in a m...
Article
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Objectives: The novel coronavirus infection (COVID-19) conveys a serious threat globally to health and economy because of a lack of vaccines and specific treatments. A common factor for conditions that predispose for serious progress is a low-grade inflammation, e.g., as seen in metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and heart failure, to which micronutrie...
Article
The Norwegian Scientific Committee for Food Safety (Vitenskapskomiteen for mattrygghet, VKM), Panel on Food Additives, Flavourings, Processing Aids, Materials in Contact with Food and Cosmetics, has at the request of the Norwegian Food Safety Authority (Mattilsynet) conducted a risk assessment of the intense sweeteners aspartame, acesulfame K and s...
Article
Iodine is essential in foetal development through being an integral part of the thyroid hormones. Severe iodine deficiency is associated with foetal growth restriction and preterm delivery. Less is known about the potential impact of mild-to-moderate iodine deficiency on these outcomes. The aim of this study was to investigate whether maternal iodi...
Article
Iodine is an essential micronutrient and an integral part of the thyroid hormones. In women of childbearing age, the estimated average iodine requirement is 95 μg/day and the recommended daily intake is 150 μg/day. While severe iodine deficiency poses reproductive risks, including infertility and abortions, the potential impact of mild-to-moderate...
Article
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Chemical contaminants are present in all foods. Data on the occurrence of contaminants in foods that are often consumed or contain high contaminant concentrations are critical for the estimation of exposure and evaluation of potential negative health effects. Due to limited resources for the monitoring of contaminants and other chemical substances...
Article
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Background A low intake of selenium has been shown to increase the risk of cardiovascular mortality, and supplementation of selenium and coenzyme Q10 influences this. The mechanism behind is unclear although effects on inflammation, oxidative stress and microRNA expression have been reported. Fructosamine, a marker of long-term glycaemic control, i...
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Abstract The European Commission asked EFSA to update their 2006 opinion on ochratoxin A (OTA) in food. OTA is produced by fungi of the genus Aspergillus and Penicillium and found as a contaminant in various foods. OTA causes kidney toxicity in different animal species and kidney tumours in rodents. OTA is genotoxic both in vitro and in vivo; howev...
Article
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: High arsenic (As) levels in food and drinking water, or under some occupational conditions, can precipitate chronic toxicity and in some cases cancer. Millions of people are exposed to unacceptable amounts of As through drinking water and food. Highly exposed individuals may develop acute, subacute, or chronic signs of poisoning, characterized by...
Article
Methylmercury (MeHg) is a globally relevant environmental neurotoxic pollutant. Recent evidence from the Faroe Islands and Seychelles cohort studies suggest that maternal exposure to MeHg via consumption of contaminated fish and seafood results in transplacental exposure of the fetus to MeHg, seriously affecting fetal neurodevelopment. In birth coh...
Article
The Norwegian Scientific Committee for Food Safety (Vitenskapskomiteen for mattrygghet, VKM) has at the request of the Norwegian Food Safety Authority (Mattilsynet) conducted a risk assessment of the coumarin intake in the Norwegian population. VKM was asked to assess if any part of the population has a total intake of coumarin that will exceed the...
Article
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The Norwegian Scientific Committee for Food Safety (Vitenskapskomiteen for mattrygghet, VKM) has on request of The Norwegian Food Safety Authority performed a risk assessment of furan intake in the Norwegian population based on the most recent national food consumption surveys. National occurrence data of furan concentrations in food were preferent...
Article
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Abstract The European Commission asked EFSA for a scientific opinion on the risks for animal and human health related to the presence of quinolizidine alkaloids (QAs) in feed and food. This risk assessment is limited to QAs occurring in Lupinus species/varieties relevant for animal and human consumption in Europe (i.e. Lupinus albus L., Lupinus ang...
Article
Telomere length and mitochondrial DNA content are considered biomarkers of cellular aging, oxidative stress, and inflammation, but there is almost no information on their association with tobacco smoke exposure in fetal and early life. The aim of this study was to assess whether prenatal and childhood tobacco exposure were associated with leukocyte...
Technical Report
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The steering committee of VKM has self-initiated a mandate for an opinion on microplastics based on recently published international and/or national reports complemented with literature from December 2016 to February 2019. The mandate requested a summary of the state of knowledge on the presence of microplastics in the environment and the implicati...
Article
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Selenium and coenzyme Q10 (SeQ10) are important for normal cellular function. Low selenium intake leads to increased cardiovascular mortality. Intervention with these substances with healthy elderly persons over a period of four years in a double-blind, randomised placebo-controlled prospective study showed reduced cardiovascular mortality, increas...
Article
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Background Inflammation is central to the pathogenesis of many diseases. Supplementation with selenium and coenzyme Q10 has been shown to reduce cardiovascular mortality, and increase cardiac function in elderly persons with a low intake of selenium. There are indications that one of the mechanisms of this positive effect is a decrease in inflammat...
Article
Background Inadequate stores or intakes of essential minerals in pregnancy, or too high exposure to both toxic and essential elements, can have adverse effects on mother and child. The main aims of this study were to 1) describe the concentrations and patterns of essential and toxic elements measured in maternal whole blood during pregnancy; 2) ide...
Article
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Background: In 2016, the Norwegian National Nutrition Council concluded that inadequate iodine intake is widespread in sections of the Norwegian population, and that effective measures should be undertaken immediately. This literature review aims to summarise articles published since January 2016 that describe the iodine intake in Norway. Materia...
Article
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The European Commission asked EFSA for a scientific evaluation on the risks to human health related to the presence of perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) in food. Regarding PFOS and PFOA occurrence, the final data set available for dietary exposure assessment contained a total of 20,019 analytical results (PFOS n...
Article
Humans are daily exposed to mineral oil saturated hydrocarbons (MOSH) from the diet. We exposed female Fischer 344 rats to a broad mixture and sub-fractions of MOSH. Chemical characterization of the MOSH mixture used and material accumulated in rat tissues were previously reported. Rats were exposed to feed containing 0–4000 mg/kg broad MOSH mixtur...
Article
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The European Commission asked EFSA for a scientific opinion on the risks for animal and human health related to the presence of dioxins (PCDD/Fs) and DL‐PCBs in feed and food. The data from experimental animal and epidemiological studies were reviewed and it was decided to base the human risk assessment on effects observed in humans and to use anim...
Article
Post-smolt Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) were fed with standard feed added one of five concentrations of either pure deoxynivalenol (DON; 0.5-6 mg/kg) or pure ochratoxin A (OTA; 0.2-2.4 mg/kg), or no added toxins for up to 8 weeks. Performance effects (feed intake, feed efficiency, gain, length and condition factor), various clinical biochemical pa...
Article
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Background: Studies indicate that mild- to moderate iodine deficiency in pregnancy may have long-term negative impact on child neurodevelopment. These effects are likely mediated via changes in maternal thyroid function since iodine is essential for the production of thyroid hormones. However, the impact of iodine availability on thyroid function...