Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Review article
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/7/2001
Publication Date: 5/1/2001
Citation: Levander, O.A. 2001. Evolution of human dietary standards for selenium. Book Chapter. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: An overview of the evolution of human dietary standards for selenium in the United States is presented beginning with the Estimated Safe and Adequate Daily Dietary Intakes (ESADDIs) in 1980, followed by the Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) in 1989, and concluding with the Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) in 2000. Also included is a discussion of the 1996 standards of the World Health Organization (WHO). The overall trend in the selenium recommendations for adults in the U.S. during the past 20 years has been downward, and the WHO standards are even lower. This is not surprising, since nutritionist initially tend to propose somewhat elevated standards that gradually decline as the knowledge base for a given nutrient increases. Also, WHO recommendations have historically been lower than their U.S. counterparts for a variety of nutrients. Whether it will be desirable to halt, or reverse these trends in the future depends upon the ability to demonstrate significant cancer chemopreventive, or other benefits of an increased selenium intake.