Selenium and Immunity

  • Germaine Nkengfack
  • Heike Englert
  • Mozhdeh Haddadi


The immune system is capable of identifying and employing appropriate mechanisms to neutralize, eliminate, or metabolize the foreign particle. In this manner, the immune system helps the body to preserve its integrity against environmental agents. Substantial evidence exists that adequate intake of micronutrients including selenium either through the diet or with supplements can improve the health status and immunity. Selenium is an essential micronutrient. It is a structural component of the amino acid selenocysteine that is incorporated into 25 selenoproteins. Glutathione peroxidase and thioredoxin reductases (TrxRs) are examples of selenoproteins with antioxidant features. These proteins interfere with oxidative stress and thereby play an important role in the regulation of the immune system and inflammatory processes. Selenium deficiency is common among most immunocompromised patients and may explain increased vulnerability of these patients to viral and bacterial infections.


Immunity Infections Micronutrient Oxidative stress Selenium 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Germaine Nkengfack
    • 1
    • 2
  • Heike Englert
    • 3
  • Mozhdeh Haddadi
    • 4
    • 5
  1. 1.Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical SciencesUniversity of DschangDschangCameroon
  2. 2.Dietetics and Nutrition Experts Team (DiNET), Universal Scientific Education and Research Network (USERN)DschangCameroon
  3. 3.Department of NutritionUniversity of Applied SciencesMuensterGermany
  4. 4.Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Biological ScienceTarbiat Modares UniversityTehranIran
  5. 5.Chemical Engineering-Biotechnology, Department of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Chemical EngineeringAmirkabir UniversityTehranIran

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