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ARS Home » Plains Area » Grand Forks, North Dakota » Grand Forks Human Nutrition Research Center » Dietary Prevention of Obesity-related Disease Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #321476

Research Project: Health Roles of Dietary Selenium in Obesity

Location: Dietary Prevention of Obesity-related Disease Research

Title: Biomarkers of selenium status

Author
item Combs, Gerald - Former Ars Employee

Submitted to: Nutrients
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/24/2015
Publication Date: 3/31/2015
Publication URL: http://handle.nal.usda.gov/10113/61440
Citation: Combs, G.F. 2015. Biomarkers of selenium status. Nutrients. 7:2209-2236.

Interpretive Summary: The essential trace element selenium (Se) has multiple biological activities, which depend on the level of Se intake. Relatively low Se intakes determine the expression of selenoenzymes in which it serves as an essential constituent. Higher intakes have been shown to have anti-tumorigenic potential. And very high Se intakes can produce adverse effects. This hierarchy of biological activities calls for biomarkers that are informative at different levels of Se exposure. Some Se-biomarkers, such as the selenoproteins and particularly GPX3 and SEPP1, provide information about function directly and are of value in identifying nutritional Se deficiency and tracking responses of deficient individuals to Se-treatment. They are useful under conditions of Se intake within the range of regulated selenoprotein expression, e.g., for humans <55 mcg/d and for animals <20 mcg/kg diet. Other Se-biomarkers provide information indirectly through inferences based on Se levels of foods, tissues, urine or feces. They can indicate the likelihood of deficiency or adverse effects, but they do not provide direct evidence of either condition. Their value is in providing information about Se status over a wide range of Se intake, particularly from food forms. There is need for additional Se biomarkers particularly for assessing Se status in non-deficient individuals for whom the prospects of cancer risk reduction and adverse effects risk are the primary health considerations. The most appropriate candidates for this new generation of Se biomarkers are low molecular weight Se-metabolites, i.e., selenoamino acids and methylated Se-metabolites. To date, these have not been detectable in biological specimens; however, recent analytical advances using tandem liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry suggest prospects for detecting these metabolites.

Technical Abstract: The essential trace element selenium (Se) has multiple biological activities, which depend on the level of Se intake. Relatively low Se intakes determine the expression of selenoenzymes in which it serves as an essential constituent. Higher intakes have been shown to have anti-tumorigenic potential. And very high Se intakes can produce adverse effects. This hierarchy of biological activities calls for biomarkers that are informative at different levels of Se exposure. Some Se-biomarkers, such as the selenoproteins and particularly GPX3 and SEPP1, provide information about function directly and are of value in identifying nutritional Se deficiency and tracking responses of deficient individuals to Se-treatment. They are useful under conditions of Se intake within the range of regulated selenoprotein expression, e.g., for humans <55 mcg/d and for animals <20 mcg/kg diet. Other Se-biomarkers provide information indirectly through inferences based on Se levels of foods, tissues, urine or feces. They can indicate the likelihood of deficiency or adverse effects, but they do not provide direct evidence of either condition. Their value is in providing information about Se status over a wide range of Se intake, particularly from food forms. There is need for additional Se biomarkers particularly for assessing Se status in non-deficient individuals for whom the prospects of cancer risk reduction and adverse effects risk are the primary health considerations. The most appropriate candidates for this new generation of Se biomarkers are low molecular weight Se-metabolites, i.e., selenoamino acids and methylated Se-metabolites. To date, these have not been detectable in biological specimens; however, recent analytical advances using tandem liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry suggest prospects for detecting these metabolites.