The role of selenium in insulin resistance

ABSTRACT In recent years, there has been growing interest in clarifying the pathogenesis of some chronic diseases, such as obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus. Metabolic alterations in these diseases are characterized by chronic hyperglycemia and insulin resistance. Studies have demonstrated the participation of minerals in the pathogenesis of insulin resistance, more specifically their involvement in the synthesis and regulation of insulin. Selenium is an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant micronutrient that is essential for the activity of selenoproteins. Two selenoproteins (glutathione peroxidase and selenoprotein P) are known to be involved in the insulin signaling pathway. The aim of this review is to provide an update on the role of selenium in insulin resistance mechanisms. Evidence shows that adequate concentrations of selenium play a key role in the secretion and action of insulin, but an excess of selenium in the body is associated with the pathogenesis of insulin resistance and the development of diabetes mellitus.