Researchers discover how selenium is incorporated into proteins

October 6, 2016

Humans need eight essential trace elements for good health, and one of them is selenium – a powerful antioxidant that is important for thyroid and brain function as well as metabolism.

But trace elements can’t be used by the body until they are integrated into a protein molecule. Selenium is unique because it is folded into its protein while the protein molecule is still being made. All other trace elements are added to their respective protein molecules after the cell has finished synthesizing the protein.

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago have discovered exactly how selenium is incorporated into selenoproteins. The finding is published in the journal Nature Communications.

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