Research Topic

Selenium, Human Health and Chronic Disease

About this Research Topic

Selenium is a naturally occurring mineral essential for human life. Adequate dietary selenium is necessary for the synthesis of the 25 already identified selenoproteins in humans, which are essential to a range of critical physiological pathways from cell signalling to antioxidant activity. Given that at least one-third of selenoproteins have antioxidant capacity, selenium has the status of an antioxidant nutrient. More recently, the selenoprotein glutathione peroxidase 4 (GPx4) has been identified as a key inhibitor of ferroptosis, a newly discovered cell death pathway that has been linked to many diseases such as cancer, kidney injury, neurodegenerative disorders and ischemia-reperfusion injury.

Nutritional selenium intake varies due to geographic disparities in the content and chemical form of selenium at the origin of the soil-plant-animal-human food chain, expanding supply chains, agricultural methods and supplementation. Insufficient dietary selenium intake, acknowledged to affect one in seven people in the world, has been associated with increased risk of chronic diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer's disease and thyroid disfunction. Consequently, studies investigating the potential benefits of selenium supplementation for clinical conditions have emerged, but conflicting data have brought some hesitation. In fact, recent studies have associated high consumption of selenium with an increased prevalence of type 2 diabetes and all-cause mortality, which highlights the importance of deciphering the biological effects of both insufficient and excessive dietary selenium.

The goal of this Research Topic is to provide novel insights into the fundamental biological role of selenium and to shed light on the trade-off between the necessary and harmful levels of selenium intake.

This Research Topic welcomes Original Research articles, Case Reports, Hypothesis and Theory and Review articles based on, but not limited to, the following themes related to selenium:
· Biochemistry of selenium
· Bioavailability of selenocompounds
· Selenium in chronic diseases (e.g., type 2 diabetes, cancer)
· Selenium at different life stages
· Health outcomes associated with low and high selenium intake
· Sex differences in selenium metabolism
· Nutrigenomics, nutrigenetics and epigenomics of selenium


Keywords: Selenium, Selenoproteins, Micronutrients, Antioxidant, Oxidative Stress, Ferroptosis


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Selenium is a naturally occurring mineral essential for human life. Adequate dietary selenium is necessary for the synthesis of the 25 already identified selenoproteins in humans, which are essential to a range of critical physiological pathways from cell signalling to antioxidant activity. Given that at least one-third of selenoproteins have antioxidant capacity, selenium has the status of an antioxidant nutrient. More recently, the selenoprotein glutathione peroxidase 4 (GPx4) has been identified as a key inhibitor of ferroptosis, a newly discovered cell death pathway that has been linked to many diseases such as cancer, kidney injury, neurodegenerative disorders and ischemia-reperfusion injury.

Nutritional selenium intake varies due to geographic disparities in the content and chemical form of selenium at the origin of the soil-plant-animal-human food chain, expanding supply chains, agricultural methods and supplementation. Insufficient dietary selenium intake, acknowledged to affect one in seven people in the world, has been associated with increased risk of chronic diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer's disease and thyroid disfunction. Consequently, studies investigating the potential benefits of selenium supplementation for clinical conditions have emerged, but conflicting data have brought some hesitation. In fact, recent studies have associated high consumption of selenium with an increased prevalence of type 2 diabetes and all-cause mortality, which highlights the importance of deciphering the biological effects of both insufficient and excessive dietary selenium.

The goal of this Research Topic is to provide novel insights into the fundamental biological role of selenium and to shed light on the trade-off between the necessary and harmful levels of selenium intake.

This Research Topic welcomes Original Research articles, Case Reports, Hypothesis and Theory and Review articles based on, but not limited to, the following themes related to selenium:
· Biochemistry of selenium
· Bioavailability of selenocompounds
· Selenium in chronic diseases (e.g., type 2 diabetes, cancer)
· Selenium at different life stages
· Health outcomes associated with low and high selenium intake
· Sex differences in selenium metabolism
· Nutrigenomics, nutrigenetics and epigenomics of selenium


Keywords: Selenium, Selenoproteins, Micronutrients, Antioxidant, Oxidative Stress, Ferroptosis


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

04 September 2020 Abstract
19 March 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

04 September 2020 Abstract
19 March 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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