Archive for the ‘Selenium’ Category

Oxidative Stress Take 3: Selenium Status of German Vegans

Tuesday, February 19th, 2013

In continuing my glutathione investigation (see my two posts from last week Vegetarian Diet, Glutathione and Oxidative Stress and Oxidative Stress in Vegetarian Diets: Take Two), I came across a study of selenium status of German vegetarians from 2010 that I had not previously posted about (1).

The reason this is relevant to glutathione is that in assessing selenium status, the researchers measured a protein that requires selenium, mentioned in the earlier posts, glutathione peroxidase.

Selenium is considered an antioxidant because it is needed for the production of glutathione peroxidase which, in turn, neutralizes reactive oxygens species by “coupling their reduction with the oxidation of glutathione (2).”

Because animals require selenium to live, non-vegans should be able to get selenium from animal products. Plants can absorb selenium from the soil, but it has to be in the soil. The US soil typically has decent levels of selenium, but the German soil is low in selenium.

The study found that vegetarians had only 71% of the selenium storage protein, selenoprotein P (SEPP), as did the meat-eaters. However, they had the same levels of glutathione peroxidase. When the vegans were separated from the lacto-ovo vegetarians, it did not change the findings for either group.

The authors state, “Whether the differences in SEPP or total serum Se concentrations are important for health issues and disease risk or for the course of pathologies remains to be demonstrated.”

However, this study, as the previous two I blogged about, provides some evidence that the glutathione status, via glutathione peroxidase levels, of vegetarians is similar to meat-eaters.

Kiefer, you are now 0 for 3. To quote Yogi Berra, “It’s getting late early.” As a Sacramento Kings fan, I can identify.

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1. Hoeflich J, Hollenbach B, Behrends T, Hoeg A, Stosnach H, Schomburg L. The
choice of biomarkers determines the selenium status in young German vegans and
vegetarians. Br J Nutr. 2010 Dec;104(11):1601-4. | link

2. Selenium. Linus Pauling Institute. Oregon State University. Accessed February 19, 2013. | link