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 Professor Paula Drosescu MD PhD
Societatea Romana de Medicina Sportiva

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The Role of Glutathione Peroxidase in the Metabolism of Prostaglandins

This enzyme plays a part, at the level of the platelet cyclo - oxigenase, in the formation of the tromboxan TXA2 product, this being a compound that has a strong pro - aggregation and vessel – constrictor action. It also intervenes with the lipid – oxigenases during the conversion of arachidonic acid in leucotrians, such as LTB4, the biochemical support for inflammation. Therefore, biochemical mechanisms are closely connected to micronutrients. The metabolism of poliunsaturated fatty acids depends on selenium and glutathione peroxidase, in which selenium is found in the form of selenium cysteine, a seleniated amino acid. Moreover, selenium and vitamin E are inseparable cofactors. By means of comparison with the zinc, it can be shown that:
  - zinc also intervenes in the poliunsaturated fatty acids (PNFA) metabolism;
  - zinc is a cofactor of vitamin B6, which in turn intervenes in the metabolism of all amino acids.
Therefore, it is important that in medical practice the prescription of large doses of a single element to be avoided; it is rather preferable to administer micronutrients in a multi elementary manner, in good balance. The administration of a single micronutrient will likely trigger a number of metabolic consequences, difficult to evaluate.

The Disintoxication Action of Selenium

In vivo, selenium interacts with a large number of potentially toxic minerals: arsenic (As), silver (Ag), mercury (Hg), cadmium (Cd), lead (Pb) and platinum (Pt). at micronutritional levels (between 50 and 200 micrograms/day), selenium is able to prevent the toxic effects of these elements, probably by forming less toxic / inactive derivatives.
 To sum up, selenium modulates the toxicity of heavy metals, and thus:
- reduces mortality, teratogeny and cardio toxicity;
- lowers the hypertensive effect (particularly that due to cadmium);
- diminishes the gonadic threat;
- reduces the kidney failure (mainly caused by mercury, lead and platinum);
- reduces the neurological insufficiencies (caused by the presence of organic mercury).
Kidney insufficiencies are regularly observed in the case of anticancer platinum treatment. The interaction of selenium with the heavy metals results in a genuine desintoxication, at least up to a certain level of their concentrations. The role selenium plays in the desintoxication of the body can be expanded with the activity of selenium in cases of alcoholic intoxications. The effect of selenium use is that it increases the tolerance of alcohol up to a certain level of the concentration, in the case of reasonable mundane alcoholism. It is practically inefficient when the alcoholism has become excessive and limitless. In that particular case though, the solution might be psychiatric help, and, if it is successful, clinical micronutrition is likely to become useful.

next page ...   → The deficit of selenium in alimentation and the risk of cardiovascular diseases

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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