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Journal of trace elements in medicine and biology : organ of the Society for Minerals and Trace Elements (GMS)

Study of the antioxidant effect of several selenium and sulphur compounds.


PMID 9760418

Abstract

Four selenium derivatives (sodium selenate, sodium selenite, selenourea and selenomethionine) and the sulphur analogues (sodium sulfate, sodium sulfite, thiourea and methionine), together with urea, were examined by means of polarography to study their reactivity towards superoxide ion O2. In order that experimental results could be applied to physiological conditions and to control the electroreduction of oxygen, most reactions were carried out in model systems (in the presence and in the absence of triphenyl phosphine oxide and at increasing pH) which are briefly described and discussed. Sodium sulfite and thiourea react with molecular oxygen; selenourea originates an anodic wave, although under other pH conditions. Other compounds (selenate, selenite, seleno-methionine and methionine) display an interesting antioxidant capacity because they catalyse the disproportion of the superoxide ion, as documented by the increase in the limiting current. Methionine appears to be particularly efficient in this respect, since it retains its catalytic ability in a poorly protic environment. Experimental results support the view that exogenous compounds, administered for particular purposes, can display unanticipated, and sometimes positive, side effects.

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