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eISSN: 1643-3750

Serum selenium levels in alcoholic liver disease

Irena Jabłońska-Kaszewska, Renata Świątkowska-Stodulska, Jerzy Łukasiak, Wojciech Dejneka, Agnieszka Dorosz, Ewa Dąbrowska, Bogdan Falkiewicz

Med Sci Monit 2003; 9(3): 15-18

ID: 428589


Background: The pathomechanism of liver damage in chronic alcoholic liver disease has not been fully elucidated yet. It seems undoubted that one of the mechanisms of alcohol-induced liver damage involves free radical reactions leading to peroxidation of proteins and lipids. The most important defense mechanisms are associated with the activity of antioxidative enzymes, among which glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px), belonging to so-called „free radical scavengers” should be mentioned. Selenium, regarded as a bioelement, is present in GSH-Px. Involved in numerous redox reactions, Se belongs to the factors protecting the organism from oxidative shock.The aim of the study was to determine the selenium levels in blood serum of chronic alcohol abusers and to find potential correlations with the parameters of liver damage. Material/Methods:The study was carried out in a group of 25 subjects (21 males, 4 females), Treated in the Clinic or Outpatient Department of Hepatology for chronic alcoholic liver disease. At the time of the study, the patients had abstained from drinking for a period from one month to a year. Selenium was determined with atomic absorption spectroscopy method, using the hydride generation technique. The control group consisted of 11 males and 7 females.Results: Statistical analyses of the control group indicated a significantly higher blood serum selenium level in males than in females. The patients demonstrated elevated aminotransferase activity, normal Falk, markedly increased GGTP. Mean INR was 1.4 and albumins 3.3 g/l. Blood serum selenium levels in male patients were significantly lower in comparison with normal values. The analysis of correlations between some liver function parameters and selenium levels demonstrated a positive correlation between the levels of albumins and selenium. Serum selenium level was inversely proportional to ALAT activity. No correlations between selenium levels and INR levels, or GGTP activity were found. Conclusions: 1.Serum selenium levels differ in male and female populations. In healthy men, the level of Se in the serum is higher. 2.Antioxidative activity measured by serum Se level is low in men with chronic alcoholic liver disease (during the abstinence period). 3.Increased selenium level in the hair may indicate the presence of certain antioxidative reserve, which requires further studies.

Keywords: Selenium, Alcoholic liver disease, Free Radicals, Oxidative Stress