Selenium in Human Health and Disease

  • Fairweather-Tait S
  • Bao Y
  • Broadley M
 et al. 
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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. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 14, 1337–1383. , IntroductionSelenium in the Environment Soil selenium Food sources and selenium species Bread and cereals Meat, fish, and eggs Milk, dairy products, and beverages Fruit and vegetables Selenium-enriched foods Selenium intake Dietary surveys Global variation in selenium intake Selenium intake from dietary supplementsSelenium Absorption and Metabolism Absorption of dietary selenium The biochemical interconversion of selenium species Systemic transport of seleniumSelenium Status Measurement of status Global variation in status Changes in selenium status in relation to environmental factorsFunctions of Selenium in the Human Body Thyroid hormone metabolism Thyroid hormone synthesis and the role of selenoproteins in thyroid gland function and protection Prioritization of the selenium supply to the thyroid gland and to DIOs Functions of the DIOs and their potential role in health and disease Antioxidant defense system and oxidative metabolism Glutathione peroxidases Thioredoxin reductases Other selenoproteins involved in the antioxidant defense system Immune systemClinical Disorders Deficiency Keshan disease Role of selenium in Kashin-Beck disease ToxicityEffects on Health Cardiovascular disease Cancer Total cancer incidence and mortality Gastrointestinal cancers Prostate cancer Other cancers Summary of selenium and cancer research, and ranges that may offer protection Selenium supplementation as an adjuvant therapy in radiation or chemotherapy treatment Effect of genotype and polymorphisms relating to selenium and cancer risk Diabetes Inflammation and inflammatory disorders Fertility Genetics of selenoproteinsSelenium in Critical IllnessDietary Reference IntakesConclusions and Perspectives

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Authors

  • Susan J. Fairweather-Tait

  • Yongping Bao

  • Martin R. Broadley

  • Rachel Collings

  • Dianne Ford

  • John E. Hesketh

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