Korean J Androl.  2010 Aug;28(2):132-138.

The Effect of Selenium-rich Hot Spring Water on Serum Leptin and IGF-1 in a Rat Model

  • 1Department of Urology, The Catholic University of Korea College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. ksw1227@catholic.ac.kr


There have been reports that a higher serum level of selenium is related to a lower incidence of prostate cancer. Serum leptin and IGF-1 are factors related to metabolic syndromes which are also known to be related to prostate cancer, and the higher their levels, the higher the possibility of prostate carcinogenesis. Thus, we measured the serum levels of leptin and IGF-1 in rats that were given selenium-rich hot spring water to drink in an attempt to elucidate the role of selenium on prostate cancer prevention.
A total of twelve white SD rats was included in the study, and they were further divided into a control group (Group 1, n=6) induced to drink normal saline, and those rats that drank selenium-rich hot spring water for 4 weeks (Group 2, n=6). The hot spring water that we used was from the Kum-jin region of Korea, which contains a rich supply of the minerals selenium, vanadium, calcium and magnesium. The concentration of selenium in the hot spring water was 480 microgram/l. The two groups were each given 50 ml/day of normal saline or selenium-rich hot spring water. After the period of the experiment, we drew blood samples from both groups and measured their serum leptin and IGF-1 levels using ELISA.
The serum leptin level (pg/ml) was 964.04+/-127.77 in Group 1, and 531.92+/-151.04 in Group 2, allowing us to confirm that it was significantly less in those that drank the selenium-rich hot spring water (p<0.05). Also, the serum IGF-1 levels (pg/ml) were 1,247.72+/-53.85 and 933.03+/-113.69 in Groups 1 and 2, respectively, which again, illustrated the significantly lower level in those rats that were given selenium-rich hot spring water (p<0.05).
Significantly decreased serum levels of leptin and IGF-1 were observed in rats that drank selenium-rich hot spring water. A study of the long-term effect of selenium-rich hot spring water on prostate cancer is necessary; if it is indeed proven to have long-term effects, we believe it will become valuable in clinical practice.


Prostate cancer; Selenium; Leptin; IGF-1
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