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Annu Rev Nutr. 2012 Aug 21;32:73-95. doi: 10.1146/annurev-nutr-071811-150740. Epub 2012 Mar 8.

Selenoproteins and cancer prevention.

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  • 1Nutritional Science Research Group, National Cancer Institute, Rockville, Maryland 20892, USA.


The discovery of multiple selenoproteins has raised tantalizing questions about their role in maintaining normal cellular function. Unfortunately, many of these remain inadequately investigated. While they have a role in maintaining redox balance, other functions are becoming increasingly recognized. As the roles of these selenoproteins are further characterized, a better understanding of the true physiological significance of this trace element will arise. This knowledge will be essential in defining optimum intakes to achieve cellular homeostasis in order to optimize health, including a reduction in cancer, for diverse populations. Human variation in the response to selenium likely reflects significant interactions between the type and amounts of selenium consumed with the genome and a host of environmental factors including the totality of the diet, as discussed in this review.

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