The essential trace mineral, selenium is indispensable for the function of the human body. Selenium exerts its effects via the selenoproteins that often participate in antioxidative or catalytic processes. Selenium deficiency causes various adverse health effects and in recent years the element has gained increasing interest owing to its possible cancer protective effects. However, the metabolism of selenium compounds in the human body is not fully understood.
The project is devoted to research in and development of hyphenated analytical methods for separation and identification of selenium compounds – selenium speciation. The analytical techniques are LC-ICP-MS, CE-ICP-MS, LC-ESI-MS and CE-ESI-MS.
The studies are focused on human selenium metabolism and include separation and identification of selenium metabolites in the digestive tract, liver preparations and urine with the aim of elucidating metabolic pathways for different selenium compounds. Also the sources of selenium supplementation – e.g. selenized yeast - are investigated.