Just a moderate selenium deficiency can lead to age-related diseases, suggests new research in the FASEB Journal.
Joyce C. McCann, at the Children's Hospital, Oakland, California, tested whether selenium-dependent proteins that are essential from an evolutionary perspective are more resistant to selenium deficiency than those that are less essential. She discovered a highly sophisticated array of mechanisms at cellular and tissue levels that, when selenium is limited, protect essential selenium-dependent proteins at the expense of those that are nonessential.
She also found that mutations in selenium-dependent proteins that are lost with modest selenium deficiency result in characteristics shared by age-related diseases including cancer, heart disease, and loss of immune or brain function.
"This paper should settle any debate about the importance of taking a good, complete, multivitamin every day," said Gerald Weissmann, Editor-in-Chief of the FASEB Journal. "As this report shows, taking a multivitamin that contains selenium is a good way to prevent deficiencies that, over time, can cause harm in ways that we are just beginning to understand."
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Source: Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology