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Dietary habits and selenium, glutathione peroxidase and total antioxidant status in the serum of patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis

Katarzyna Socha1*, Jan Kochanowicz23, Elżbieta Karpińska1, Jolanta Soroczyńska1, Marta Jakoniuk3, Zenon Mariak2 and Maria H Borawska1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Bromatology, Medical University of Bialystok, Mickiewicza 2D St, Bialystok 15-222, Poland

2 Department of Neurosurgery and Invasive Neurology, Medical University of Bialystok, Bialystok, Poland

3 NZOZ Kendron, Bialystok, Poland

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Nutrition Journal 2014, 13:62  doi:10.1186/1475-2891-13-62

Published: 18 June 2014



Dietary habits and adequate dietary intake of antioxidants in the diet may be one of the most important environmental factors for the prevention of Multiple Sclerosis (MS).


The aim of this study was to estimate selenium (Se) concentration, glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) activity and total antioxidant status (TAS) in the serum of patients with MS and the influence of dietary habits on the status.


101 patients with relapsing-remitting MS (aged 18-58 years), as well as control group of 63 healthy people (aged 19-65 years) were studied. Food-frequency questionnaires were implemented to collect the dietary data. Se concentration in the serum samples was determined by atomic absorption spectrometry. GSH-Px activity and TAS in examined serum was measured using the ready-made sets of tests by Randox Laboratories Ltd., UK.


Serum Se concentration and GSH-Px activity in the serum of patients with MS (55.2±16.2 μg/L, 6676.1±2386.4 U/L; respectively) were significantly decreased (p<0.01, p<0.05; respectively) compared with control group (79.2±20.6 μg/L, 8029.9±2650.1 U/L; respectively). A significant correlation (r=0.39, p<0.01) was observed between Se concentration and GSH-Px activity in the serum of examined patients. TAS value in the serum of patients with MS (1.03±0.37 mmol/L) was also significantly lower (p<0.01) than in healthy volunteers (1.48±0.41 mmol/L). Frequent consumption of poultry, bakery products, pulses and fish seemed to increase serum Se concentration in the group of patients; whereas frequent consumption of butter, wholegrain bread, sweet beverages and sugar was found to accompany with lower values of Se in the serum. We have observed significant decrease TAS (p<0.05, p<0.01; respectively) in the serum of smokers and those patients who received immunomodulatory drugs (0.95±0.39 mmol/L, 0.92±0.34 mmol/L; respectively) compared with no-smoking patients and not taking immunomodulators (1.14±0.33 mmol/L, 1.31±0.31 mmol/L; respectively).


Serum Se concentration, GSH-Px activity and TAS value were significantly lower in patients with relapsing-remitting MS compared with healthy volunteers. Dietary habits have a significant influence on Se status. Smoking cigarettes and intake of immunomodulatory drugs therapy have a negative impact on TAS of examined patients.

Multiple sclerosis; Selenium; Glutathione peroxidase activity; Total antioxidant status; Dietary habits; Smoking cigarettes