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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Finley, John
item Penland, James

Submitted to: Journal of Trace Elements in Experimental Medicine
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/20/1997
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Thirty healthy young men were fed diets that provided either 33 or 226 ug selenium (Se)/day for 105 days. The Se luxuriant diet significantly elevated plasma Se and platelet glutathione peroxidase activity. Se status at the end of the study was significantly and positively correlated to total T4. Se status was also significantly and negatively related to Cu/Zn nsuperoxide dismutase and catalase activity. Selenium balance of subjects consuming the Se luxuriant diet was > 100 ug/day, whereas subjects on the low Se diet were in approximately zero balance. Luxuriant dietary Se significantly improved mood; specifically, subjects on the high Se diet improved in the clearheaded/confused, elated/depressed, composed/anxious, and confident/unsure subscores, and total mood disturbance was less in men consuming the Se luxuriant diet. These data show that North American men are able to stay in positive Se balance on as little as 24 ug/day. Additionally, they show that Se status may influence circulating thyroid hormone concentrations and activities of antioxidant enzymes. Finally, they show that psychological function, specifically mood, can be influenced by moderately increasing or decreasing the amount of Se in the diet.

Technical Abstract: Selenium is an essential trace element, and Se deficiency is a causative agent in Keshan's disease, a disease of the heart endemic to areas in China. There have been relatively few controlled studies of the effect of dietary Se intake on human metabolism. This study fed 30 healthy young men either less (33 ug) or more (226 ug) Se per day than the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of 70 ug/d. Men consuming the high Se diet retained more than 100 ug Se/day, whereas men consuming the low diet lost 6.68 Se g/day. The major effect of the high Se diet was an improvement in mood; specifically subjects became more clearheaded, elated, composed and confident, compared to subjects on the low Se diet. These results show that changing dietary Se intake affects Se metabolism in humans, and may also affect psychological function.

Last Modified: 10/20/2017
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