Arsenic / Selenium Interactions

In 1938, Moxon discovered that arsenic protected against selenium toxicity. Since that time it has been shown that thisprotective effect of arsenic against selenium poisoning can be demonstratedin many different animal species under a wide variety of conditions. Antagonisticeffects between arsenic and selenium have also been noted in teratologicexperiments.

- Orville A. Levander, 1971
Arsenic has been used to prevent or cure seleniumpoisoning in those exposed to selenium. It has been suggested that thereverse might be useful - using selenium to prevent or cure arsenic poisoning.

But caution is in order. To carefully redressa selenium deficiency in the deed is one thing; to give unrestricted accessto selenium may well replace one hazard by another.

The following is a list of literature on the subject:

Babich H., Martin Algeraril N. et al., (1989).  "Arsenic-Selenium Interactions Determined with Cultured Fish Cells." Toxicol Lett.,45: 157-164.

Beckmean, L., Nordenson, I. (1986).  "Interaction Between SomeCommon Genotoxic Agents."  Hum. Hered., 36: 397-401.

Berry J.P., Galle P.  (1994).  "Selenium-Arsenic Interaction in Renal Cells: Role of Lysosomes. Electron Microprobe Study." J. Submicrosc Cytol Pathol, 26:103-10.

Berry, J.P., Zhang, L., Galle, P.  (1995).  "Interaction ofSelenium with Copper, Silver, and Gold Salts. Electron Microprobe Study."J.Submirosc Cytol Pathol, 27:21-8.

Bieri, J.G., Abmand, K.  (1976).  "Selenium Content of Bangladeshi Rice by Chemical and  Biological Assay."  J. Agric. Food Chem. ,24: 10734.

Biswas S., Talukder G., Gharma A. (1999).  "Prevention of Cytotoic Effects of Arsenic by Short-Term Dietary Supplementation with Seleniumin Mice in Vivo."  Mutat. Res., 441:155-160.

El-Begearmi M.M., Guther H.E., and Sunde M.L. (1982).  "DietaryInteraction Between Methylmercury, Selenium, Arsenic, and Sulfur AminoAcids in Japanese Quail." Poult. Sci., 272-279.

Gailer et al. (2000) J. Am. Chem. Soc. 122:4637-4639

Glattre, E., Mravcova, A., Lener, J., Vobecky, M., Egertova, E., Mysliveckova, M. (1995). "Study of Distribution of Interaction of Arsenic and Seleniumin Rat Thyroid."  Biol. Trace Elem. Res.,  49:177-86.

Hilmy A.M., el-Domiaty N.A., Kamal M.A., Mohamed M.A., and Abou SamraW.E. (1991). "Effect of Some Arsenic
Antagonists on the Toxicity, Distribution and Excretion of Arseniteand Arsenate in Rats." Comp. Biochem. Physiol. C., 99:357-62

Howell G.O., Hill C.H. (1978). "Biological Interaction of Selenium with Other Trace Elements in Chicks." Environmental Health Perspect.,25:147-50.

Hu G.G. (1989). "Investigation of Protective Effect of Selenium on Genetic Materials Among Workers Exposed to Arsenic." Chung Hua Fu Fangl FsuehTsa Chih, 23:2.

Hu G., Lui X., Liu J. (1996). "Protective Effects of Sodium Seleniteand Selenomethionine on Genotoxicity to Human Peripheral Lymphocytes Inducedby Arsenic." Chung Hua Yu Fang I Hsueh Tsa Chih, 30: 26-9. (In Chinese).

Kenyon E.M., Hughes M.F., and Levander O.A. (1997). "Influence of Dietary Selenium on the Disposition of Arsenate in the Female B6C3F1 Mouse." J. Toxicol. Environ. Health, 51:279-99.

Lahemi P., Alfthan G., Wang D. (1998). "Selenium and Arsenic in theEnvironment in Finland." J. Environ. Pathol. Toxicol. Oncol., 17:205-16.

Levander O.A. (1977). "Metabolic Interrelationships Between Arsenic and Selenium." Environmental Health Perspectives,Vol. 19: 159-164.

Lowry K.R., and Baker D.H. (1989). "Amelioration of Selenium Toxicityby Arsenicals and Cysteine." J. Anim. Sci., 67:959-65.

Mnshak P. (1985). "Potential Impact of Acid Precipitation on Arsenicand Selenium." Environmental Health Perspect., 63:105-13.

Moxon A.L. (1937). "The effect of arsenic on the toxicity of seleniferous grains." Science, 88: 81.

Rosenfeld I., and Beath O.A. (1964). "Selenium:Geobotany, Biochemistry, Toxiciy, and Nutrition." Acedemic Press,New York.

Schnrauzer G.N., White D.A., et. al. (1978). "Arsenic and Cancer: Effects of Joint Administration of Arsenite and Selenite onthe Genesis of Mammary Adenocarcinoma in Inbred Female C3HSt Mice." Bioinorg. Chem., 245-53.

Ueda A., Kuroda K. et al. (1997). "The Inhibitory Effect of Seleniumon Induction of Tetraploidy by Dimethyl Arsenic Acid in Chinese HamsterCells." Antilana Res.: 1939-1943.

Wang C.T., Chang W.T., et. al. (1994). "Studies on the Concentrationsof Arsenic, Selenium, Copper, Zinc, and Iron in the Hair of Blackfoot Disease Patients in Different Clinical Stages." Eur. J. Clin. Chem. Clin. Biochem. ,32:107-11.

Yamanaka K., Hayashi. H., Tachikawa M., Kato K., Hasegawa A., Oku N.,and Okada S. (1997). "Metabolic Methylation is a Possible Genotoxicity-Enhancing Process of Inorganic Arsenics." Mutat. Res., 394:95-101.

Last modified: September 1, 2000.