Monday, October 07, 2019

Selenium in food

The discovery of selenium by the Swedish chemist J.J. Berzelius in 1817 initiated studies evaluating the influence of the inorganic forms of this element on living organisms. Unexpectedly, in 1957,Schwartz and Folz demonstrated the protective effect of selenium on organisms.

Many foods include (grain products, seafood, meat and poultry) are major sources of selenium. Seafood accounts for approximately 30% of the dietary selenium intake.

Selenium is a mineral that works as an antioxidant in the body. It can help to keep tissues healthy by preventing cell damage. Selenium helps keep immune system and thyroid working well. Selenium may help protect against the development of some types of cancers and certain chronic diseases.

Drinking water has not been found to provide significant amounts of selenium in the diet.

The good news is there are some good dietary sources of selenium: Mushrooms, egg yolks, seafood, poultry and kidney, liver and muscle meats contain the mineral. Vegetables -- garlic, onions, broccoli, asparagus, tomatoes and others -- as well as whole grains and seeds can also be good sources of selenium.

Cereal products make a major contribution to intake because of the relatively large amount of them consumed in most diet. Another good source of the element is nuts, particular Brazil nuts.

Selenium content of foods can vary considerably depending on the selenium content of the soil where the animal was raised or the plant was grown. The selenium content of food is largely dependent on the content of volcanic ash in the soil on which the food was grown, with higher volcanic ash content yielding higher selenium levels. Soil that is irrigated by seawater, such as much of California's cropland, also contains higher levels of selenium.

Researchers also know that soil in the high plains of northern Nebraska and the Dakotas have very high levels of selenium. Selenium from natural food sources has a higher bioavailability than functional foods or nutraceutical and dietary supplements.

Selenium species include organically bound forms such as selenomethionine, selenocysteine and Se-methyl-selenocysteine as well as inorganic forms such as selenite and selenate. For example, selenium in foods such as bread, cereals, nuts, meat, fishand other seafood is found predominantly as the amino acid derivatives, selenomethionine and selenocysteine.
Selenium in food
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