Scientists have found that even moderate deficiency of the vitamins and minerals required for life may lead to age-related diseases.
Scientists from the Nutrition and Metabolism Center at Children's Hospital Oakland Research Institute in Oakland, California showed that damage caused due to lack of vitamins and minerals accumulates over time and leads to age-related diseases.
Joyce C. McCann, a co-author of the study, and colleagues tested whether selenium-dependent proteins that are essential from an evolutionary perspective are more resistant to selenium deficiency than those that are less essential.
They discovered a highly sophisticated array of mechanisms at cellular and tissue levels that, when selenium is limited, protect essential selenium-dependent proteins at the expense of those that are nonessential.
They also found that mutations in selenium-dependent proteins that are lost on modest selenium deficiency result in characteristics shared by age-related diseases including cancer, heart disease, and loss of immune or brain function.
The study was published online in the FASEB Journal.