Many parts of the world are deficient in selenium. One of those is the country Sweden and one of its most renowned medical research centers is the Karolinska Institute. Doctors there wanted to know if general intensive care unit (ICU) patients in a geographically depleted region would respond to high-dose selenium given intravenously. Their observational study also asked whether this therapy to reduce morbidity and mortality in critically ill patients with baseline low serum selenium status is safe.
In many ICU patients, the serum selenium concentrations are so low at the onset of critical illness that important selenoproteins, the carrier proteins of selenium, along with many enzymes no longer function properly. For critically ill patients, a prolonged stay in the ICU is often associated with poor prognosis and multiple organ failure. One reason is an increased production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) combined with an impaired antioxidative capacity caused by suboptimal saturation of selenoproteins due to selenium depletion. To treat this, the patients at Karolinska were given selenaseT by biosyn. Their starting bolus of 1,000 μg was followed by a continuous infusion of 1,000 μg per day from day 0 to 10. In comparison, the updated version of biosyn’s “Selenium is essential” folder cites the daily recommended amount (RDA) of selenium to be 60–70 μg per day for adults. After 5 days, the study regimen had restored serum selenium levels in all patients. Importantly, the selenium concentrations achieved enzymatic saturation but produced no toxic effects. That means high doses did not lead to selenium poisoning, also called selenosis. Critically ill patients benefited from very high concentrations of selenium that proved safe.
To read the full-text of the publication, go to: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/aas.13573