Selenium intake reduces serum C3, an early marker of metabolic syndrome manifestations, in healthy young adults – Source: European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Nov 5, 2008

[Note: Metabolic syndrome – believed to affect up to 25% of the US population – is a combination of disorders that raise the risk of developing diabetes and cardiovascular disease (high blood pressure, central body obesity, low ‘good’ HDL cholesterol, high triglycerides, blood sugar regulation problems). Selenium is a micronutrient necessary for cellular function and antioxidant enzyme production, found in plant foods/meats/nuts, depending on selenium content of soil. The full text of this article is available free at the EJCN site.]

Objectives: To evaluate the associations between serum complement factor 3 (C3) and several anthropometrical, biochemical and lifestyle features in healthy young adults, emphasizing on the putative effect of selenium intake on C3 concentrations.

Methods: This study enrolled 100 healthy young adults aged 18 to 34 years. Anthropometric and blood pressure measurements and lifestyle features were analyzed. Fasting blood samples were collected for the measurement of glucose, total cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, triacylglycerols and C3 concentrations. Nail samples were collected for the analysis of selenium concentrations.

Results: Values of BMI (P=0.034), sum of skinfold thicknesses (STs) (P=0.021), body fat mass (BFM) (P=0.023), percentage of overweight subjects (P=0.007), serum triacylglycerols (P=0.012) and nail selenium (P=0.001) were significantly different between subjects above and below the median of serum C3 concentrations. The following correlations with serum C3 were identified tricipital ST (P=0.033), sum of STs (P=0.012), BMI (P=0.008), BFM (P=0.018), waist-to-height ratio (P=0.016), serum glucose (P=0.045), serum triacylglycerols (P=0.001) and nail selenium (P=0.006). Circulating C3 showed a positive association with several adiposity markers such as BMI (P=0.001), waist circumference (P=0.006), waist-to-height ratio (P=0.002), BFM (P=0.025), as well as serum glucose (P=0.027) and triacylglycerols (P<0.001), whereas nail selenium was a statistically significant negative predictor of C3 concentrations (P=0.018).


• C3 seems to be related with selenium status and several anthropometrical and biochemical measurements linked to metabolic syndrome in apparently healthy young adults.

• These findings suggest a possible role for selenium intake in the modulation of C3, whose assessment may be an early marker of metabolic syndrome manifestations.

Source: European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Nov 5, 2008 [E-pub ahead of print] PMID: 18985060, by Puchau B, Zulet MA, Gozalez de Echavarri A, Navarro-Blasco I, Martinez JA. Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences, Physiology and Toxicology and Department of Chemistry and Soil Science, University of Navarra, Pamplona, Spain. [E-mail: Dr. JA Martinez,]

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