Send to

Choose Destination
J Trace Elem Med Biol. 1999 Apr;12(4):221-30.

Glutathione peroxidase activity modulates fatty acid profiles of plasma and breast milk in Chinese women.

Author information

Department of Nutrition and Food Management, Oregon State University, Corvallis 97331, USA.


Since little is known about the effect of selenium on the fatty acid profiles (FAP) of human breast milk, the purpose of this study was to measure the effect of habitual dietary selenium (Se) intake on this profile in plasma and breast milk. Subjects were lactating women from three locations in China where habitual selenium intakes are extremely low (Xichang), adequate (Beijing), or extremely high (Enshi). Plasma and milk samples were obtained within seven days of parturition (early samples) or within eighteen months postpartum (mature samples) and analyzed for selenium concentration, glutathione peroxidase (Gpx) activity and FAP. Plasma and milk selenium concentrations were significantly lower in the samples from women from Xichang and significantly higher in those from Enshi when compared to those from Beijing. Plasma Gpx activity, however, was higher in samples from Beijing than Xichang or Enshi. In contrast, the early breast milk samples had similar Gpx activity regardless of location. The mature samples, however, followed the same trend as plasma with the samples obtained from the women in Beijing having the highest activity. Of the unsaturated fatty acids examined, the concentration of linoleic acid, 18:2(n-6), in both plasma and milk was greater in the samples from Beijing when compared to those from Xichang or Enshi. Thus dietary selenium appears to influence the fatty acid composition in human breast milk, but influences Gpx activity only in mature milk samples.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center