Selenium and cancer therapy
In the article “Selenium Compounds, Apoptosis and Other Types of Cell Death: An Overview for Cancer Therapy”, Author Carmen Sanmartin, Daniel Plano, Arun K, Sharma and Juan Antonio Palop point out thtat Selenium (Se) is an essential trace element and can cause several types of cell death. Thus, it influences positively on many biological functions in human beings and animals. It is important in cancer treatment and prevention. At the beginning of the article, the authors introduce that element selenium could be found in different foods, such as cereals, grains, and vegetables. They suggest that intake of 50 μg of selenium per day is adequate for some cellular processes. Intake exceeding 350-700 μg of selenium in a day could be toxic and may cause side effects. They claim that small intakes of selenium can help prevent and treat certain illnesses. Low dose supplementation of selenium doesn’t only help prevent some forms of cancer, but can also help reduce inflammations, heart diseases, and help regulate blood pressure. The authors then explain why selenium can play this important role in prevention and treatment. According to the article, compounds containing Se, or seleno-compounds, are able to affect the cell cycle of cells, induce apoptosis, and stop tumor cell migration. The act of a cell committing suicide is an important event that helps maintain tissue homeostasis. Apoptosis is programmed cell death in which a cell degrades and kills itself. The authors explain that different seleno-compounds behave and function differently from each other. One seleno-compound, called selenium dioxide (SeO2), is a polar molecule that can activate a caspase protein called Caspase 3, which will in turn begin apoptosis on the cell. Another seleno-compound, called sodium selenite, a type of salt, can induce apoptosis when the activation capases are not available. The authors further discuss how protein kinases signaling, activation of capases, p53...
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