Introduction

Selenium (Se) modulates immunity: Se deficiency impairs immunity, Se intakes above those habitually consumed in many Western countries boost immunity and high Se intakes lead to toxic effects and suppression of immunity. This chapter will first review the metabolism of Se and its incorporation into Se-con-taining proteins (selenoproteins), which mediate many of the immune effects of Se. The function of individual selenoproteins will be reviewed briefly and this will be followed by a description of the effects of Se on immunity and the protective role of Se in inflammation and viral infection.

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