Selenium and human health. Lancet

Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Surrey, Guildford, UK.
The Lancet (Impact Factor: 45.22). 02/2012; 379(9822):1256-68. DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(11)61452-9
Source: PubMed


Selenium is incorporated into selenoproteins that have a wide range of pleiotropic effects, ranging from antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects to the production of active thyroid hormone. In the past 10 years, the discovery of disease-associated polymorphisms in selenoprotein genes has drawn attention to the relevance of selenoproteins to health. Low selenium status has been associated with increased risk of mortality, poor immune function, and cognitive decline. Higher selenium status or selenium supplementation has antiviral effects, is essential for successful male and female reproduction, and reduces the risk of autoimmune thyroid disease. Prospective studies have generally shown some benefit of higher selenium status on the risk of prostate, lung, colorectal, and bladder cancers, but findings from trials have been mixed, which probably emphasises the fact that supplementation will confer benefit only if intake of a nutrient is inadequate. Supplementation of people who already have adequate intake with additional selenium might increase their risk of type-2 diabetes. The crucial factor that needs to be emphasised with regard to the health effects of selenium is the inextricable U-shaped link with status; whereas additional selenium intake may benefit people with low status, those with adequate-to-high status might be affected adversely and should not take selenium supplements.

    • "Excessive dietary Se intakes can also be harmful to humans and animals (Fairweather-Tait et al., 2011; Rayman, 2012; Fordyce, 2013). The symptoms of mild selenosis in humans include dermatitis, cracking of nails, hair loss and garlicky breath (due to exhalation of dimethylselenide), while severe selenosis can cause acute respiratory distress, myocardial infarction and renal failure. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Selenium (Se) is an essential mineral element for animals and humans, which they acquire largely from plants. The Se concentration in edible plants is determined by the Se phytoavailability in soils. Selenium is not an essential element for plants, but excessive Se can be toxic. Thus, soil Se phytoavailability determines the ecology of plants. Most plants cannot grow on seleniferous soils. Most plants that grow on seleniferous soils accumulate <100 mg Se kg(-1) dry matter and cannot tolerate greater tissue Se concentrations. However, some plant species have evolved tolerance to Se, and commonly accumulate tissue Se concentrations >100 mg Se kg(-1) dry matter. These plants are considered to be Se accumulators. Some species can even accumulate Se concentrations of 1000-15 000 mg Se kg(-1 )dry matter and are called Se hyperaccumulators. Scope: This article provides an overview of Se uptake, translocation and metabolism in plants and highlights the possible genetic basis of differences in these between and within plant species. The review focuses initially on adaptations allowing plants to tolerate large Se concentrations in their tissues and the evolutionary origin of species that hyperaccumulate Se. It then describes the variation in tissue Se concentrations between and within angiosperm species and identifies genes encoding enzymes limiting the rates of incorporation of Se into organic compounds and chromosomal loci that might enable the development of crops with greater Se concentrations in their edible portions. Finally, it discusses transgenic approaches enabling plants to tolerate greater Se concentrations in the rhizosphere and in their tissues. Conclusions: The trait of Se hyperaccumulation has evolved several times in separate angiosperm clades. The ability to tolerate large tissue Se concentrations is primarily related to the ability to divert Se away from the accumulation of selenocysteine and selenomethionine, which might be incorporated into non-functional proteins, through the synthesis of less toxic Se metabilites. There is potential to breed or select crops with greater Se concentrations in their edible tissues, which might be used to increase dietary Se intakes of animals and humans.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2015 · Annals of Botany
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    • "An estimated 0.5–1 billion people worldwide have been affected by low level selenium intake [5]. Selenium deficiency may lead to increase in the risk of various pathologies including cardiovascular diseases [6]. Many recent studies indicate selenium as a nutritional food and are recommended by German and Austrian Nutrition Societies. "
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    ABSTRACT: Alcoholic cardiomyopathy is the damage caused to the heart muscles due to high level of alcohol consumption resulting in enlargement and inflammation of the heart. Selenium is an important trace element that is beneficial to human health. Selenium protects the cells by preventing the formation of free radicals in the body. In the present study, protein mediated synthesis of SeNPs was investigated. Two different sizes of SeNPs were synthesized using BSA and keratin. The synthesized SeNPs were characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) with elemental composition analysis Energy Dispersive X-ray spectroscopy(EDX) and X-ray diffraction (XRD). This study demonstrates the in vitro and in vivo antioxidative effects of sodium selenite and SeNPs. Further selenium and SeNPs were evaluated for their ability to protect against 1% ethanol induced oxidative stress in H9C2 cell line. The selenium and SeNPs were found to reduce the 1% ethanol-induced oxidative damage through scavenging intracellular reactive oxygen species. The selenium and SeNPs could also prevent pericardial edema induced ethanol treatment and reduced apoptosis and cell death in zebrafish embryos. The results indicate that selenium and SeNPs could potentially be used as an additive in alcoholic beverage industry to control the cardiomyopathy. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2015 · Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology
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    • "The physiopathologic mechanism for this iron deficiency is thought to be multifactorial, including impaired absorption due to decreased acid secretion and active sequestration of the essential metal ion by the pathogen (Barabino 2002). Selenium is a nonmetal micronutrient essential for human health (Rayman 2012). The necessity of selenium derives from its incorporation as selenocysteine (Sec) into a number of redox proteins (Kryukov et al. 2003) involved in physiological processes, such as aging, immune function, and reproduction (Ursini et al. 1999; Martin-Romero et al. 2001). "
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    ABSTRACT: By competing for the acquisition of essential nutrients, Helicobacter pylori has the unique ability to persist in the human stomach, also causing nutritional insufficiencies in the host. Although the H. pylori genome apparently encodes selenocysteine synthase (SelA, HP1513), a key pyridoxal phosphate (PLP)-dependent enzyme for the incorporation of selenium into bacterial proteins, nothing is known about the use of this essential element in protein synthesis by this pathogen. We analyzed the evolution of the complete machinery for incorporation of selenium into proteins and the selenoproteome of several H. pylori strains and related Epsilonproteobacteria. Our searches identified the presence of selenoproteins—including the previously unknown DUF466 family—in various Epsilonproteobacteria, but not in H. pylori. We found that a complete system for selenocysteine incorporation was present in the Helicobacteriaceae ancestor and has been recently lost before the split of Helicobacter acinonychis and H. pylori. Our results indicate that H. pylori, at variance with other gastric and enterohepatic Helicobacter, does not use selenocysteine in protein synthesis and does not use selenium for tRNA wobble base modification. However, selA has survived as a functional gene, having lost the domain for the binding of selenocysteine tRNA, but maintaining the ability to bind the PLP cofactor. The evolutionary modifications described for the SelA protein of H. pylori find parallels in other bacterial and archaeal species, suggesting that an alternative enzymatic function is hidden in many proteins annotated as selenocysteinyl-tRNA synthase.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2015 · Genome Biology and Evolution
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