Research: RUA and COLLEAGUES

Listed in Issue 239


RUA and COLLEAGUES,  (1)Department of Physiology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Seville University, Seville, Spain; (2)Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Seville University, Seville, Spain; (3)Unit for the Clinical Management of Digestive Diseases and CIBEREHD, University Hospital of Valme, Seville, Spain; (4)Department of Physiology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Seville University, Seville, Spain. examined the effects of chronic ethanol consumption on oxidative balance including selenium (Se) levels in alcoholic patients.


Antioxidant system abnormalities have been associated with ethanol consumption. This study examines the effects of chronic ethanol consumption on oxidative balance, including selenium (Se) levels in alcoholic patients with or without liver disease, and if these measurements could be indicative of liver disease.


Serum Se levels, antioxidant enzymes' activities, malondialdehyde (MDA) and protein carbonyl (PC) were determined in three groups of patients: alcoholics without liver disease, alcoholics with liver disease, and non-alcoholics with liver disease; and in healthy volunteers.


Serum Se levels were lower in alcoholic patients and in patients affected by liver disease and especially lower in the alcoholic liver disease group. These values were correlated with the activity of glutathione peroxidase (GPx), the antioxidant selenoprotein. The antioxidant activities of the glutathione reductase (GR) and superoxide dismutase (SOD) were also lower in the three non-healthy groups. However, GR activity decreased and SOD activity increased in the non-alcoholic liver disease group versus alcoholic groups. Higher concentrations of PC in serum were found in non-healthy groups and were higher in alcoholic patients who also showed higher MDA levels. The highest MDA and PC levels were found in the alcoholic liver disease group.


The authors conclude that serum Se levels are drastically decreased in alcoholic liver disease patients, showing that this element has a direct correlation with GPx activity, and lipid oxidation, suggesting that the serum Se/MDA ratio could be an indicator of hepatic damage caused by alcohol consumption, and pointing to Se as a possible antioxidant therapy.


Rua RM(1), Ojeda ML(1), Nogales F(1), Rubio JM(2), Romero-Gómez M(3), Funuyet J(3), Murillo ML(1), Carreras O(4). Serum selenium levels and oxidative balance as differential markers in hepatic damage caused by alcohol.  Life Sci. 94(2):158-63. Jan 17 2014. doi: 10.1016/j.lfs.2013.10.008. Epub Oct 21 2013.

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