Relationship between selenium status, selenoproteins and COVID-19 and other inflammatory diseases: A critical review

Anieli Golin, Alexey A. Tinkov, Michael Aschner, Marcelo Farina, João Batista Teixeira da Rocha

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The antioxidant effects of selenium as a component of selenoproteins has been thought to modulate host immunity and viral pathogenesis. Accordingly, the association of low dietary selenium status with inflammatory and immunodeficiency has been reported in the literature; however, the causal role of selenium deficiency in chronic inflammatory diseases and viral infection is still undefined. The COVID-19, characterized by acute respiratory syndrome and caused by the novel coronavirus 2, SARS-CoV-2, has infected millions of individuals worldwide since late 2019. The severity and mortality from COVID-19 have been associated with several factor, including age, sex and selenium deficiency. However, available data on selenium status and COVID-19 are limited, and a possible causative role for selenium deficiency in COVID-19 severity has yet to be fully addressed. In this context, we review the relationship between selenium, selenoproteins, COVID-19, immune and inflammatory responses, viral infection, and aging. Regardless of the role of selenium in immune and inflammatory responses, we emphasize that selenium supplementation should be indicated after a selenium deficiency be detected, particularly, in view of the critical role played by selenoproteins in human health. In addition, the levels of selenium should be monitored after the start of supplementation and discontinued as soon as normal levels are reached. Periodic assessment of selenium levels after supplementation is a critical issue to avoid over production of toxic metabolites of selenide because under normal conditions, selenoproteins attain saturated expression levels that limits their potential deleterious metabolic effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number127099
JournalJournal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology
StatePublished - Jan 2023


  • Aging
  • Immunity
  • Inflammation
  • Nutritional status
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Selenium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Inorganic Chemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Relationship between selenium status, selenoproteins and COVID-19 and other inflammatory diseases: A critical review'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this