British Journal of Nutrition

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British Journal of Nutrition (2010), 103:803-806 Cambridge University Press
Copyright © The Authors 2009

Short Communication

Nutritional status of selenium in Alzheimer's disease patients

Bárbara Rita Cardosoa1 c1, Thomas Prates Onga1, Wilson Jacob-Filhoa2, Omar Jaluula2, Maria Isabel d'Ávila Freitasa3 and Silvia M. Franciscato Cozzolinoa4

a1 PRONUT (Program of Applied Human Nutrition)-FSP/FCF/FEA, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of São Paulo (USP), Avenue Professor Lineu Prestes, 580 – Bloco 14, 05508-900 São Paulo, Brazil
a2 Division of Geriatrics, University of São Paulo Medical School (USP), São Paulo, Brazil
a3 Division of Neurology, University of São Paulo Medical School (USP), São Paulo, Brazil
a4 Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of São Paulo (USP), São Paulo, Brazil
Article author query
cardoso br [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
ong tp [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
jacob-filho w [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
jaluul o [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
freitas mid [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
cozzolino smf [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]


Studies have shown that various antioxidants are decreased in different age-related degenerative diseases and thus, oxidative stress would have a central role in the pathogenesis of many disorders that involve neuronal degeneration, including Alzheimer's disease (AD). The present study aimed to assess the nutritional status of Se in AD patients and to compare with control subjects with normal cognitive function. The case–control study was carried out on a group of elderly with AD (n 28) and compared with a control group (n 29), both aged between 60 and 89 years. Se intake was evaluated by using a 3-d dietary food record. Se was evaluated in plasma, erythrocytes and nails by using the method of hydride generation atomic absorption spectroscopy. Deficient Se intake was largely observed in the AD group. AD patients showed significantly lower Se levels in plasma, erythrocytes and nails (32·59 μg/l, 43·74 μg/l and 0·302 μg/g) when compared with the control group (50·99 μg/l, 79·16 μg/l and 0·400 μg/g). The results allowed us to suggest that AD has an important relation with Se deficiency.

(Received May 22 2009)

(Revised September 23 2009)

(Accepted October 13 2009)

(Online publication December 01 2009)

Key Words:Alzheimer's disease; Selenium status


c1 Corresponding author: Bárbara Rita Cardoso, fax +55 11 3091 3657, email


Abbreviations: AD, Alzheimer's disease; ROS, reactive oxygen species