Submitted to: Nutrition Reviews
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/10/2005
Publication Date: 6/1/2005
Citation: Finley, J.W. 2005. Selenium accumulation in plant foods. Nutrition Reviews. 63(6):196-202.
Technical Abstract: Selenium (Se) is an essential mineral nutrient and Se deficiency is associated with disease conditions and general impairment of the immune system. Supplementation of Se to humans already consuming the RDA may help prevent certain important cancers. A convincing argument can be made for augmenting the food supply with Se, and Se-enhanced plants may be the best means of accomplishing this. Plants accumulate varying amounts of Se in different chemical forms; some plants accumulate Se in direct relationship to the amount available from the soil, whereas others (Se-accumulators) may accumulate Se in concentrations many orders of magnitude above the amount in the soil. There are many different chemical forms of Se in plants, and the chemical form in the plant will partially dictate the metabolism of Se by the animal that consumes the plant. The Se content and the chemical form of Se within plants may be altered by manipulation of plant genetics or agricultural production conditions. Attempts to maximize Se in a plant may have unintended consequences and must be carefully monitored.