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Am J Clin Nutr. 1985 Sep;42(3):439-48.

Bioavailability of selenium to residents in a low-selenium area of China.


For 8 wk 5 groups of 10 men each were given 0.5 g/day DL-methionine, 150 micrograms Se/day as sodium selenite with or without methionine or 150 micrograms Se/day as selenomethionine with or without methionine. Twenty subjects received placebo as controls. Initially plasma Se rose more rapidly than RBC Se. Increases in Se levels were significantly greater with selenomethionine than with the selenite supplement. In the placebo and methionine supplemented groups neither plasma nor RBC Se varied significantly over the course of the study. Supplementation with selenium resulted in marked increases in plasma and RBC GSH-Px within 2 and 4 wk, respectively. Plasma and RBC GSH-Px activity did not differ significantly between Se-supplemented groups. These studies suggest that selenomethionine-Se was more effective in raising plasma and RBC Se than was selenite-Se. Methionine supplements may increase the bioavailability of selenium in severely deficient subjects.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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