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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


Location: Dietary Prevention of Obesity-related Disease Research

Title: Lentils (Lens culinaris L.) as a source of dietary selenium

item Thavarajah, Dil
item Thavarajah, Pushparajah
item Combs, Gerald

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/7/2013
Publication Date: 8/1/2013
Publication URL:
Citation: Thavarajah, D., Thavarajah, P., Combs, G.F. 2013. Lentils (Lens culinaris L.) as a source of dietary selenium. Preedy, Victor R.; Srirajaskanthan, Rajaventhan; Patel, Vinood B., editors. Handbook of Food Fortification and Health. Vol. 2. Springer Science+Business Media New York., p. 255-264.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The chapter discusses the nutritional value of lentils, with a focus on factors affecting lentils as a source of dietary selenium. It addresses the chemical nature of lentil-selenium, pointing out that more than 90% is present in organic compounds which are generally well absorbed by humans. The selenium contents of lentils produced in the Northern Plains of the US and Canada are such that 50-100 g can provide the daily Se requirement for an adult. The selenium contents of lentils can be further enriched through conventional plant breeding, i.e., the selection of cultivars that are highly efficient in abstracting selenium from the soil, and through selenium-fertilization. It is suggested that selenium-biofortification of lentils may be a sustainable approach to improving selenium status in areas of endemic deficiency.

Last Modified: 10/16/2017
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