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Biol Trace Elem Res. 2000 Dec;77(3):273-85.

Bioavailability and possible benefits of wheat intake naturally enriched with selenium and its products.

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Institute of Chemistry, Technology and Metallurgy, Department of Chemistry, Belgrade, Yugoslavia.


Bioavailability and possible benefits of wheat intake naturally enriched with selenium and its products was tested. Wheat obtained by application of an original combination and procedure for foliar supplementation of plants with Se was characterized on the average by five times higher content of Se, the main form being L-(+)-selenomethionine (SeMet). Substitution of Se-deficient wheat by wheat naturally enriched with Se and its products contributed to the increase of daily intake on the average by 18 microg (12-35 microg) in volunteers, which is more than 50% of the average daily intake. Six weeks after the beginning of its application, increased daily intake of Se brought about the increase of its concentration in the plasma of the examined persons by 53%, in their erythrocytes by 37%, in their hair by 44%, and in their urine by 54%. This result was comparable to the effect obtained in the course of an 8-wk daily intake of supplements with 100 microg Se in the form of enriched bakery yeast. Analysis of glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) activity in blood, thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) in plasma, lipid parameters (total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and triglycerides), and glucose in serum of volunteers showed that the increased Se intake induced increased GSH-Px activity in blood and decreased concentrations of TBARS, lipid parameters, and glucose in blood. Using only one crop (wheat enriched with Se), the existing deficiency of Se in our population can be alleviated. In this way, one-fourth of our population with lower Se intake than 21 microg/d will satisfy basal requirements, whereas one-half will become moderately deficient in Se instead of distinctly deficient in Se.

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