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 Professor Paula Drosescu MD PhD
Societatea Romana de Medicina Sportiva



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Selenium is an oligoemelent with antioxidant proprieties and a synergist of the vitamin E. Minimal doses of selenium, in general in organic combinations and in particular in “Factor 3”, prevent disturbances caused by tocopherol deficiency such as hepatic necrosis, exudative diathesis and degenerative distrophia of the striate muscles. For this reason, in the USA, a daily dose of 60 mg is recommended in humans. In animals, selenium becomes biologically active in concentrations exceeding 40 mg/ food – kg. It seems that selenium plays its own biochemical part by intermediating glutathione, indirectly protecting hemoglobin against the risk of oxidation by peroxides. Glutathione peroxidase, with the European code E.C. 1.11.1.9. has selenium for its coenzyme. Even if their biochemical mechanisms are distinct, the question is whether or not should a global nutritional requirement of “vitamin E – selenium” should be envisaged. In higher concentrations, e.g. over 5 mg/ food ratio – kg, selenium is toxic, causing clinical disturbances in aries selenium - rich pastures known as “alkali disease”.

 “Alkali disease” is a syndrome due to chronic selenium intoxication, characterized by abnormal behavior, sight disturbances, paralysis and functional disturbances of the mouth and lips. Selenium excess causes blindness, loss of the body hair, respiratory and cardiac atrophy, liver cirrhosis, anemia, various types of paralysis, etc.
  Arsenic sulphates are the natural antagonists of selenium.


The History of The Discovery of Selenium

Selenium was discovered in 1817. 140 years later, in 1957, Schwartz and Fiulz have established the essential role of selenium in preventing various diseases, apparently all very different, but all of them caused by nutritional deficiencies: exudative diathesis, muscular dystrophy, pancreatic atrophy, liver necrosis, reproduction troubles, immunodeficiency, etc. The discovery, in 1973, of the presence of selenium in the active part of an enzyme, glutathione peroxidase, helped biochemists and physio - pathologists to understand the benefic effects of this metalloid on the excessive production of free radicals. In 1979, scientists from the Kehan Disease Research Group have practically proved that selenium therapy was efficient against endemic congestive cardiomyopathia affecting small children and women in some parts of the world (like for example in China, where the soil is very poor in selenium ), causing havoc in those countries. Both the preventive and curative effects of selenium in the chronic and/ or degenerative diseases are being thoroughly researched all around the world. Consequently, the number of publications on the subject is continuously increasing.

next page ...   → The Metabolism of Selenium
Professor Paula Drosescu, MD. PhD
Faculty of Physical Education and Sports
“Al. I. Cuza” University Iasi
December 2, 2009
Medical Cabinet Alternative Iasi
Associate Certified Coach ICF
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