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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Daily selenium intake in a moderate selenium deficiency area of Suzhou China

item Gao, J
item Lin, Y
item Lin, Z.
item Banuelos, Gary
item Lam, M.
item Yin, X.

Submitted to: Food Chemistry
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/1/2011
Publication Date: 12/1/2012
Citation: Gao, J., Lin, Y., Lin, Z.Q., Banuelos, G.S., Lam, M.H., Yin, X. 2012. Daily selenium intake in a moderate selenium deficiency area of Suzhou China. Food Chemistry. 5:700-710.

Interpretive Summary: Selenium (Se) is essential for the basic functions of life. Selenium deficiency can lead to human diseases, such as Keshan disease (an endemic cardiomyopathy) and Kashin-Beck disease (a type of osteoarthritis) as reported in low-Se regions in China. Diet is the major source of Se intake for the general population. China is one of the 40 countries designated as low or Se deficient according to WHO, which has urban areas, (i.e., Suzhou, China) with moderate Se deficiency. Selenium is widely distributed in the human body and its content is evaluated in blood, urine, hair and nails. The objective of this study was to determine the total Se content in commonly consumed foods by Suzhou residents and to estimate the Se daily intake by the residents based on their diet composition and to explore the feasibility of using hair Se concentrations of local residents to evaluate their Se intake in Suzhou, China. Fruits, vegetables and meats were purchased from local supermarkets and analyzed for Se content. Hair samples were collected twice over a period of 12 months from 285 individuals and also analyzed for Se. Results show that Suzhou has a relatively low Se level in its food products and generally lower than the country average, while the hair Se content indicates that Suzhou is located in a low-Se zone. Based upon the calculated Se daily intake and the measured hair Se content of local residents, the population in Suzhou could face potential adverse health impacts induced by Se deficiency.

Technical Abstract: Daily dietary selenium (Se) intake in Suzhou China was investigated to determine whether residents were susceptible to Se deficiency. Food samples were purchased from local supermarkets, including vegetables, fruits, meats and seafood. Hair samples were collected from 285 people ranging from 20 to 50 years old. The Se concentration for food and hair samples was determined by hydride generation atomic fluorescence spectrometry. Based on food Se content and the daily per capita consumption the estimated Se intake in Suzhou was 43.9 ± 3.8 µg Se/day. Results revealed that pork and cereals were the major sources of Se daily intake and contributed 24.7 and 22.6% to the daily Se intake, respectively. The Se content in hair of local residents was 389.9 ± 103.6 µg/kg for male and 322.9 ± 101.8 µg/kg for female. A significant linear correlation between the daily Se intake and the hair Se concentration was established. Although this statistical method is not as accurate as a direct follow-up analysis prediction method, it was a convenient method to evaluate the Se intake level according to hair Se content and thus estimate the risk of Se deficiency. Measuring and food hair Se concentrations could be used as bioindicators of Se level intake over a long period of time for susceptible populations of Se deficiency. Based upon our results Suzhou is generally considered to be a susceptible city to Se deficiency.

Last Modified: 06/23/2017
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