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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Differential effect of dietary methionine on the biopotency of selenomethionine and selenite in cancer chemoprevention.

The influence of a low methionine intake on the chemopreventive efficacy of selenomethionine versus selenite was compared in the 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene-induced mammary tumor model in rats. Animals were fed from weaning a purified 20% casein diet with or without 0.3% methionine supplementation. Selenomethionine or selenite, at a final concentration of 3 ppm of selenium (Se), was added to the diet starting 5 days after DMBA administration. Control rats continued to receive the basal diets which contained 0.1 ppm of Se. Results of the carcinogenesis experiment indicated that suboptimal dietary methionine significantly reduced the protective effect of selenomethionine in cancer prevention. In contrast, the efficacy of selenite was not affected. In rats given 3 ppm of selenomethionine, tissue Se was actually higher in those fed a diet with a suboptimal amount of methionine than in those with an adequate intake of methionine. On the other hand, dietary methionine did not influence the level of tissue Se in animals given selenite. An increase of dietary methionine to 0.6% did not enhance the efficacy of selenomethionine in cancer protection but would allow the use of a higher level of selenite without the accompanying adverse effects. The biological significance of Se utilization under suboptimal or adequate methionine intake was also assessed using the glutathione peroxidase assay in the liver of Se-deficient rats given graded levels of Se as either selenite or selenomethionine. The enzyme study demonstrated that low dietary methionine decreased the nutritional biopotency of selenomethionine in restoring glutathione peroxidase activity but not that of selenite. These experiments suggest that adequate methionine intake is required for the utilization of selenomethionine for nutritional and anticarcinogenic purposes.[1]


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