The intertwined role of Selenium and Sulforaphane
Sulforaphane is known for it’s ability to active the Nrf2 pathway, which induces numerous anti-oxidant and detoxifying enzymes. One such family of enzymes is the selenium containing Glutathione Peroxidases.
One recent article found that sulforaphane requires selenium, but not GPx2, for being protective (1). What was interesting is the finding that there was detrimental effects of the Nrf2-activator sulforaphane in moderate Selenium deficiency (2)
1. Physiological functions of GPx2 and its role in inflammation-triggered carcinogenesis. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2012 Jul;1259(1):19-25. Abstract
2. Glutathione peroxidase-2 and selenium decreased inflammation and tumors in a mouse model of inflammation-associated carcinogenesis whereas sulforaphane effects differed with selenium supply. Carcinogenesis. 2012 Mar;33(3):620-8 Abstract