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Saudi J Gastroenterol. 2012 Mar-Apr;18(2):106-10. doi: 10.4103/1319-3767.93811.

The possible role of selenium concentration in hepatitis B and C patients.

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Department of Biochemistry, Bannu Medical College, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Bannu, Pakistan.



The compelling evidence reported that selenium is an essential trace mineral for human beings. Selenium plays a pivotal role in the restoration of immune functions. High rates of hepatitis B and C are present in Pakistan. Epidemiologic surveys demonstrated an inverse association between selenium (Se) level and regional cancer incidence, as well as viral infection. The present study was designed to evaluate the concentration of selenium in the serum of patients suffering from hepatitis B and C.


In this cross-sectional descriptive analytical study, serum selenium concentration of 150 patients suffering from hepatitis B and C, along with 26 healthy controls, was determined by atomic absorption spectrophotometer equipped with hydride generation system, model Analytic Jena (Vario III).


The mean and standard deviation of serum selenium concentration observed in male and female patients with hepatitis C were 101.60 ± 0.55 and 77.43 ± 0.47 μ g/L, respectively, whereas the mean and standard deviation of serum selenium concentration observed in male and female patients with hepatitis B were 107.58 ± 0.44 and 137.8 ± 0.36 μg/L. Analysis of t test showed significant difference between C and B (P<0.001) patients in serum selenium concentration, when compared with the control.


The obtained results indicate that serum selenium concentration of hepatitis B and C patients is less than serum selenium concentration of healthy individuals. However, serum selenium decline is relative to severity of disease. Based on findings of this study, it is proposed that selenium should be supplemented in such patients in order to optimize nutritional support and to get better treatment response.

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