Functional Biomarkers for the Selenium Status in a Human Nutritional Intervention Study
Soils in Germany are commonly low in selenium; consequently, a sufficient dietary supply is not always ensured. The extent of such provision adequacy is estimated by the optimal effect range of biomarkers, which often reflects the physiological requirement. Preceding epidemiological studies indicate that low selenium serum concentrations could be related to cardiovascular diseases. Inter alia, risk factors for cardiovascular diseases are physical inactivity, overweight, as well as
... s eating habits. In order to assess whether these risk factors can be modulated, a cardio-protective diet comprising fixed menu plans combined with physical exercise was applied in the German MoKaRi (modulation of cardiovascular risk factors) intervention study. We analyzed serum samples of the MoKaRi cohort (51 participants) for total selenium, GPx activity, and selenoprotein P at different timepoints of the study (0, 10, 20, 40 weeks) to explore the suitability of these selenium-associated markers as indicators of selenium status. Overall, the time-dependent fluctuations in serum selenium concentration suggest a successful change in nutritional and lifestyle behavior. Compared to baseline, a pronounced increase in GPx activity and selenoprotein P was observed, while serum selenium decreased in participants with initially adequate serum selenium content. SELENOP concentration showed a moderate positive monotonic correlation (r = 0.467, p < 0.0001) to total Se concentration, while only a weak linear relationship was observed for GPx activity versus total Se concentration (r = 0.186, p = 0.021). Evidently, other factors apart from the available Se pool must have an impact on the GPx activity, leading to the conclusion that, without having identified these factors, GPx activity should not be used as a status marker for Se.