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Benefit and risk of selenium supplement

*Corresponding author
1. Henan Institute of Science & Technology, Department of Food Science, Xinxiang, Henan Province, 453003 China
2. Northwest A&F University, College of Horticulture, Yangling, Shaanxi Province, 712100, China


Selenium is an essential nutrient for human. It is important to use selenium scientifically and safely. Selenium has a double-sided effect and the toxic dose of selenium is very close to its nutritional dosage. Meanwhile, biofunction and bioavailability of selenium in different species and sources have significant differences. Intake of selenium in suitable amount and form is of great significance. It is necessary to study the selenium transformation during food processing and to carefully recommend the selenium enrichment dosage. This review summarizes the problems existing in selenium fortified food and the effect of processing.

Selenium (Se) is important for human nutrition and health. As an integral part of the selenium proteins, Se participates in the center of glutathione peroxidase, selenoprotein P, thioredoxin reductases and other enzymes, and shows antioxidant activity (1). Epidemiological studies show that Se compounds have significant inhibitory effect on prostate cancer, liver cancer and lung cancer incidence rate (2). Selenium deficiency has increased risk of poor immune function, cognitive decline and mortality. Selenium recommended dietary allowance is 55 μg/d. For adult, daily intake of 200 μg selenium can reduce cancer incidence and mortality rate up to 50% (3). In recent years, using selenium enriched foods to improve immune and anti-tumor ability becomes increasingly common in the United States and other Western countries. However, there still exist restrictive problems on how to use selenium supplement properly for human beings.

Selenium is named after Selene, the Greek Goddess of the Moon. Se toxic dosage is very close to its nutritional dosage. Both excess and shortage of Se will cause harm to human health. Se intake ...