*Dr. Anil Batta


Selenium is essential trace element, sulphur analogue with high chemical activity, component of some selenoproteins and enzymes: glutathione peroxidase and other peroxidases, blood and tissue proteins. As to their biological action mechanism selenium and its compounds are antioxidants. Selenium is active immunomodulator, much more potent anti-oxidant than vitamins E, C and A, beta-carotene, but much more toxic. It takes part in thyroxine conversion to triiodethyronine in thyroid hormone biosynthesis. As sperm antioxidant selenium protected its motility and fertility. Selenium is a serious factor of biological and antioxidant protection of vascular endothelium, of low-density lipoproteins, protection of DNA, chromosomes. As food component selenium is an exceptional agent of protection from atherosclerosis, coronary ischemic disease and cancer. Some hydrobionts, liver, kidney, meal, corn and garlic, onion, cabbage, broccoli are dietary products with high content of selenium. Selenium is an essential biological trace element. Adult daily intake of selenium should be approximately 100 μg per day. This compound has a two-sided effect depending on its concentration. A selenium-deficient diet is associated with various endemic diseases, including cardiomuscular malfunctions, osteoarthritis, cancer and viral infections that lead to premature death. These defects are prevented when dietary intake of selenium is adequate. The preventive biological effect of selenium is considered to be due to the antioxidant function of selenoproteins with a selenocysteine in the active site of the catalytic domain. Antioxidant selenoproteins maintain the intracellular redox status and, as a result, normal physiological processes in the cell. Conversely, an overdose of selenium generates oxygen radicals and leads to apoptotic cell death by inducing oxidation and cross-linking of protein thiol groups essential for cell survival. A lower redox state caused by selenium may be implicated in toxic diseases, such as alkali disease and blind staggers. Collectively, selenium seems to have both harmful and beneficial attributes. The aim of this review is to summarize the various biological functions of selenium and to illustrate its opposite roles as a pro-oxidant and an antioxidant

Keywords: Selenium is essential trace element, sulphur triiodethyronine selenoproteins antioxidant

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