Publication date: Jul 05, 2023
Selenium is a main group element and an essential trace element in human health. It was discovered in selenocysteine (SeC) by Stadtman in 1974. SeC is an encoded natural amino acid hailed as the 21st naturally occurring amino acid (U) present in several enzymes and which exquisitely participates in redox biology. As it turns out, selenium bears a U-shaped toxicity curve wherein too little of the nutrient present in biology leads to disorders; concentrations that are too great, on the other hand, pose toxicity to biological systems. In light of many excellent previous reviews and the corpus of literature, we wanted to offer this current review, in which we present aspects of the clinical and biological literature and justify why we should further investigate Se-containing species in biological and medicinal contexts, especially small molecule-containing species in biomedical research and clinical medicine. Of central interest is how selenium participates in biological signaling pathways. Several clinical medical cases are recounted; these reports are mainly pertinent to human cancer and changes in pathology and cases in which the patients are often terminal. Selenium was an option chosen in light of earlier chemotherapeutic treatment courses which lost their effectiveness. We describe apoptosis, and also ferroptosis, and senescence clearly in the context of selenium. Other contemporary issues in research also compelled us to form this review: issues with CoV-2 SARS infection which abound in the literature, and we described findings with human patients in this context. Laboratory scientific studies and clinical studies dealing with two main divisions of selenium, organic (e. g., methyl selenol) or inorganic selenium (e. g., sodium selenite), are discussed. The future seems bright with the research and clinical possibilities of selenium as a trace element, whose recent experimental clinical treatments have so far involved dosing simply and inexpensively over a set of days, amounts, and time intervals.
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