Selenium (Se) is a naturally occurring metalloid element essential to human and animal health in trace amounts but it is harmful in excess. Se plays a substantial role in the functioning of the human organism. It is incorporated into selenoproteins, thus supporting antioxidant defense systems. Selenoproteins participate in the metabolism of thyroid hormones, control reproductive functions and exert neuroprotective effects. Among the elements, Se has one of the narrowest ranges between dietary deficiency and toxic levels. Its level of toxicity may depend on chemical form, as inorganic and organic species have distinct biological properties. Over the last decades, optimization of population Se intake for the prevention of diseases related to Se deficiency or excess has been recognized as a pressing issue in modern healthcare worldwide. Low selenium status has been associated with an increased risk of mortality, poor immune function, cognitive decline, and thyroid dysfunction. On the other hand, Se concentrations slightly above its nutritional levels have been shown to have adverse effects on a broad spectrum of neurological functions and to increase the risk of type-2 diabetes. Comprehension of the selenium biochemical pathways under normal physiological conditions is therefore an important issue to elucidate its effect on human diseases. This review gives an overview of the role of Se in human health highlighting the effects of its deficiency and excess in the body. The biological activity of Se, mainly performed through selenoproteins, and its epigenetic effect is discussed. Moreover, a brief overview of selenium phytoremediation and rhizofiltration approaches is reported.

Biological Activity of Selenium and Its Impact on Human Health

Giuseppe Genchi;Graziantonio Lauria;Maria Stefania Sinicropi
;
2023-01-01

Abstract

Selenium (Se) is a naturally occurring metalloid element essential to human and animal health in trace amounts but it is harmful in excess. Se plays a substantial role in the functioning of the human organism. It is incorporated into selenoproteins, thus supporting antioxidant defense systems. Selenoproteins participate in the metabolism of thyroid hormones, control reproductive functions and exert neuroprotective effects. Among the elements, Se has one of the narrowest ranges between dietary deficiency and toxic levels. Its level of toxicity may depend on chemical form, as inorganic and organic species have distinct biological properties. Over the last decades, optimization of population Se intake for the prevention of diseases related to Se deficiency or excess has been recognized as a pressing issue in modern healthcare worldwide. Low selenium status has been associated with an increased risk of mortality, poor immune function, cognitive decline, and thyroid dysfunction. On the other hand, Se concentrations slightly above its nutritional levels have been shown to have adverse effects on a broad spectrum of neurological functions and to increase the risk of type-2 diabetes. Comprehension of the selenium biochemical pathways under normal physiological conditions is therefore an important issue to elucidate its effect on human diseases. This review gives an overview of the role of Se in human health highlighting the effects of its deficiency and excess in the body. The biological activity of Se, mainly performed through selenoproteins, and its epigenetic effect is discussed. Moreover, a brief overview of selenium phytoremediation and rhizofiltration approaches is reported.
2023
selenium; selenoproteins; selenium deficiency; human diseases; epigenetics; phytoremediation; rhizofiltration
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11770/345185
 Attenzione

Attenzione! I dati visualizzati non sono stati sottoposti a validazione da parte dell'ateneo

Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 52
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 42
social impact