Research Papers

Selenium Supplementation Can Reduce Injury to the Intestinal Barrier Caused by Oxidative Stress


Selenium is an essential nutrient that supports every single system of the human body and a deficiency causes a cascade of problems. This study looked at the impact of selenium supplementation on intestinal barrier dysfunction induced by oxidative stress in mice. The paper showed that a selenium deficiency negatively altered the gut microbiome, mitochondrial function and increased pro-inflammatory cytokines, which caused further intestinal barrier injury. Supplementation with selenium positively supported the intestinal barrier function of the test mice, promoted anti-oxidant activity and supported mitochondrial function. These impacts then supported the regulation of the immune response and supported further maintenance of the intestinal microbiota homeostasis. This paper shows that selenium supplementation can positively modify the gut microbiota to protect against intestinal dysfunctions.

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Selenium (Se) is an essential micronutrient that promotes body health. Endemic Se deficiency is a major nutritional challenge worldwide. The low toxicity, high bioavailability, and unique properties of biogenic Se nanoparticles (SeNPs) allow them to be used as a therapeutic drug and Se nutritional supplement. This study was conducted to investigate the regulatory effects of dietary SeNPs supplementation on the oxidative stress-induced intestinal barrier dysfunction and its association with mitochondrial function and gut microbiota in mice. The effects of dietary SeNPs on intestinal barrier function and antioxidant capacity and its correlation with gut microbiota were further evaluated by a fecal microbiota transplantation experiment. The results showed that Se deficiency caused a redox imbalance, increased the levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines, altered the composition of the gut microbiota, and impaired mitochondrial structure and function, and intestinal barrier injury. Exogenous supplementation with biogenic SeNPs effectively alleviated diquat-induced intestinal barrier dysfunction by enhancing the antioxidant capacity, inhibiting the overproduction of reactive oxygen species (ROS), preventing the impairment of mitochondrial structure and function, regulating the immune response, maintaining intestinal microbiota homeostasis by regulating nuclear factor (erythroid-derived-2)-like 2 (Nrf2)-mediated NLR family pyrin domain containing 3 (NLRP3) signaling pathway. In addition, Se deficiency resulted in a gut microbiota phenotype that is more susceptible to diquat-induced intestinal barrier dysfunction. Supranutritional SeNPs intake can optimize the gut microbiota to protect against intestinal dysfunctions. This study demonstrates that dietary supplementation of SeNPs can prevent oxidative stress-induced intestinal barrier dysfunction through its regulation of mitochondria and gut microbiota.

Article Publication Date: 23/06/2022
DOI: 10.1038/s41538-022-00145-3

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