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J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo). 2003 Dec;49(6):397-404.

The relationship between serum selenium levels and lipid profiles in adult women.

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Department of Food Science and Nutrition, Yongin University, Samgadong 470, Yongin 449-714 Kyeunggi-do, Korea.


Low selenium status draws much attention because of the possible involvement in the etiology of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Hyperlipidmia or dyslipidemia, a very important risk factor for CVD, occurs frequently in middle-aged Koreans. While selenium deficiency is supposed to aggravate blood lipid profiles, it has been shown that selenium status diminishes with advanced age. However, little is known about the selenium status of Koreans, its age-related change, and its relationship to blood lipid levels. In this study the serum selenium level of females according to age and its association with blood lipid profiles were examined. Serum selenium concentration was determined by the instrumental neutron activation analysis method (INAA) using the HANARO research reactor. The overall proportion of women having selenium deficiency, with less than 80.0 microg/L of the selenium concentrations in the serum, was 18.3%. The serum selenium levels in the young-adult. middle-aged and elderly groups were 120.6 microg/L, 97.2 microg/L, and 90.8 microg/L, respectively. Biochemical indices derived from serum selenium levels showed that subjects with the lowest tertile of selenium concentration had significantly higher atherogenic index and lower HDL-cholesterol levels compared to those with the highest tertile. However, only the serum HDL-cholesterol level showed the dependency on the selenium status as determined by step-wise analysis in the subjects below the age of 40. It was noted that in the subjects over the age of 40 (pooled middle-aged and elderly), any dependency of serum lipid profiles on the selenium status was not observed. The results of this study indicated that there is a decreasing tendency of selenium levels with age and that selenium status is associated with blood lipid levels only in young-adult females.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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