Impact of Intensive Physical Activity on Selenium Status

Biol Trace Elem Res. 2012 Mar;145(3):291-9. doi: 10.1007/s12011-011-9204-9. Epub 2011 Sep 29.


Various biomarkers were used to assess selenium (Se) status during 3 months of basic military training in a group of recruits. Samples of whole blood and plasma or serum were taken from a group of conscripts three times: at the beginning (n = 15), in the middle immediately after a severely stressful physical activity (n = 15) and at the end of military training (n = 13). Selenium was determined in diet samples, blood, plasma and plasma protein fractions as selenoprotein P (SelP) and glutathione peroxidase (eGPx). Selenium was determined by hydride generation-atomic fluorescence spectrometry and fractionation of proteins performed by affinity chromatography. Total serum glutathione, erythrocyte and serum GPx activity were followed as well. The average Se intake was calculated according to meal consumption questionnaires and Se determined in composite diet samples, giving an assessed intake of 48 ± 10 μg/day. At all three samplings, the average blood Se concentration was within the framework of adequate supply (87 ± 12, 94 ± 15 and 80 ± 13 ng/g). Plasma Se was between 70 and 80 ng/g (71 ± 10, 79 ± 9 and 76 ± 10 ng/g), which is believed to enable the full expression of plasma GPx. The average shares of plasma Se proteins were 61 ± 6%, 58 ± 6% and 54 ± 9% for SelP and 27 ± 4%, 34 ± 7% and 29 ± 5% for GPx. Although the observed tendency of the increases of serum and erythrocyte GPx activities at the second and third samplings with respect to the first was statistically insignificant, it is still indicative of some protection against oxidative stress, while the decreasing SelP levels during training suggest a slowly decreasing biologically active selenium pool.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Chromatography, Affinity
  • Exercise*
  • Female
  • Glutathione Peroxidase / blood
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Selenium / blood*
  • Selenoprotein P / blood
  • Spectrometry, Fluorescence


  • Biomarkers
  • Selenoprotein P
  • Glutathione Peroxidase
  • Selenium