Submitted to: Complete Book
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/15/2011
Publication Date: 12/30/2011
Citation: Banuelos, G.S., Lin, Z.Q., Yin, X.B. 2011. Selenium-global perspectives of impacts on humans, animals and the environment. Hefei, China: University of Science and Technology of China Press. 128 p. Interpretive Summary: Health problems associated with soil selenium (Se) deficiency and its low uptake by plants have become major human and animal nutritional issues in many countries. In particular, the urgent need to improve the bioavailability of Se in soil and to recognize the importance of increasing plant selenium accumulation are both influential in preserving and improving food and feed quality, and ultimately human nutrition. For this reason, there is a need to synthesize Se research conducted worldwide into a book that is accessible to the international community. This book contains critical parts of the lectures given at the second international conference on selenium that was held in Suzhou China in 2011. Chapters include discussions on Se in the environment, effects of Se on human and animal health, Se biofortification and other uses of Se. The collection of these topics on illustrating selenium's impact on the human environment clearly show that Se is one of the most important naturally occurring trace elements worldwide.
Technical Abstract: The metalloid selenium (Se) is ubiquitous in the natural environment and its concentration can vary from below 0.1 to 10µg/g or even greater. Its distribution is usually heterogenous and site specific and it commonly exists as selenite, selenate, and as various organic reduced Se compounds. Further reduction to elemental Se or selenide metal complexes is also possible. Selenium bioavailability to plants can vary substantially for reasons that are still poorly understood, however, Se is not essential for plant nutrition. In contrast, Se is essential for biological systems, and generally exerts its biological functions as a constituent of selenoproteins. All animal cells have selenoproteins and thus require Se, but some cell types have an extraordinary need for the element. Mechanisms of Se transport within biological systems ensure supply of it to cells according to their need, and homeostatic mechanisms protect against the accumulation of toxic amounts of this element. In addition, different forms of Se may have varying bioavailability and may also have different effects on body physiology. In this book, we strive to connect the environment, agriculture and human health to present sustainable solutions to Se deficiency and associated diet-related chronic diseases that affect the health of people in both Se-deficient and Se-sufficient regions of the world.