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Sci Total Environ. 1982 May;24(1):41-9.

Selenium in human hair in relation to age, diet, pathological condition and serum levels.


Approximately 0.5 g of hair samples free from medicated shampoos, bleaches and dyes were collected from 115 subjects from the occipitonuchal region. Prior to the analyses, the samples were thoroughly washed and dried in a gravity convection oven until consistent weight was obtained. A 100-mg portion of the cut up and thoroughly mixed sample in duplicate was used for the analysis of selenium (Se) by a fluorometric technique. The results were treated statistically. The level varied from 0.55 in the elderly to 0.76 microgram/g of hair in adolescents. A decline of Se was noted in the groups of ages 16-40 yrs, the levels being 0.64 to 0.59 microgram/g of hair. From groups 41-60 yrs no increase was seen in the Se content, the lowest level noted was in group 61-70 yrs. These differences between groups were found to be statistically significant (P less than 0.05). No significant correlation was found between the Se content of hair and diet. The levels in hair and serum of patients with cardiovascular disease were significantly low (P less than 0.05), the levels being 0.49 microgram/g of hair and 0.10 microgram/ml of serum. It was also noted that there was no correlation between Se in hair and serum of the same individuals. Further work using larger samples is necessary to shed more light on these relationships.

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