Selenide Protects Heart Muscle After Cardiac Arrest
SEATTLE – The essential nutrient selenium, when given intravenously in the wake of a heart attack, can repair damage caused by insufficient blood supply to the organ.
This discovery was made by scientists at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. Findings were published online ahead of the July edition of Critical Care Medicine.
What was found was if selenide is given before blood flow is totally restored it can significantly protect heart tissue after myocardial infarction and reperfusion in mice.
It has to be done quickly to avoid ischemia, or insufficient blood supply that occurs during a heart attack or stroke, and causes tissues to become starved of oxygen.
When ischemia attacks the heart or the brain, irreversible damage can be done in as little as three to four minutes at normal body temperature.
What the research has shown is selenide is taken up by injured tissues following temporary loss of blood flow while blood selenide levels simultaneously decrease, suggesting there is a natural mechanism that targets selenide to protect reperfused tissue from injury.