Research: MEPLAN,

Listed in Issue 208


MEPLAN, Institution Institute for Cell and Molecular Biosciences and Human Nutrition Research Centre, The Medical School, Newcastle University, Framlington Place, Newcastle upon Tyne NE24HH, UK. review, using selenium as an example, how a trace element influences ageing and how the Omics technologies can help study the effect of trace elements upon ageing.


Trace elements are key regulators of metabolic and physiological pathways known to be altered during the ageing process and therefore have the capacity to modulate the rate of biological ageing. Optimal intake is required to maintain homeostasis and to increase cell protection. Deficiencies are associated with specific illnesses.


However the contribution of commonly observed life-long sub-optimal intakes of trace elements to the development and severity of age-related chronic diseases is less appreciated. Additionally, reduce intake of several trace elements has been shown to be particularly challenging for elderly people.


This review will use selenium as an example to illustrate how a trace element can influence ageing and how the Omics technologies could help to study the effect of trace elements on the ageing process.


Although transcriptomics and proteomics approaches in animal models have so far enabled us to identify downstream targets of trace elements in pathways related to age-related diseases processes, future approaches of combining nutrigenomics with longevity studies in humans will help us to identify mechanisms whereby trace elements affect the ageing process.


Meplan C. Trace elements and ageing, a genomic perspective using selenium as an example. [Review] Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine & Biology. 25 Suppl 1:S11-6. Jan 2011.

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