Selenium Intakes, Absorption, Retention, and Status in Adolescent Girls

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Journal of the American Dietetic Association


Objectives To assess selenium intakes, absorption, retention, and status in healthy adolescent girls and the effect of calcium supplementation on selenium parameters.

Design Annual 2-week study conducted each year for 3 consecutive years in which yearly selenium intakes, absorption, and retention and blood selenium status were measured.

Setting A metabolic unit in a large metropolitan hospital located in Columbus, Ohio—a low selenium region of the United States.

Subjects Healthy white girls aged 11 to 14 years (n=16) enrolled in a calcium balance study and randomly assigned to receive a placebo of methylcellulose (n=9) or a calcium supplement containing 1,000mg supplemental calcium as calcium citrate malate (n=7).

Interventions Each subject consumed a diet with ∼100μg selenium/day during the yearly 2-week balance studies.

Results Selenium status measurements (serum and erythrocyte selenium and glutathione peroxidase activity) were all within normal ranges for adults during the study. Apparent selenium absorption averaged 71%, 76%, and 74% for years 1,2, and 3 of the study, respectively, and did not vary significantly (P>.05). Average daily selenium retention did not differ among the years of the study (P>.05) and indicated that the usual selenium intake was ∼100μg daily. Measurements of selenium status and retention did not differ between calcium-supplemented and placebo groups.

Conclusions An intake of ∼100μg selenium/day is the typical intake of the mineral among the subjects and appeared adequate to maintain selenium status in these healthy adolescent girls; in addition, calcium supplementation of 1,000mg daily does not have a negative impact on selenium paramet

Original Citation

Holben D., Smith, A., Ilich, J., Landoll, J., Holcomb, J. and Matkovik, V., (2002). Selenium Intakes, Absorption, Retention, and Status in Adolescent Girls, Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 102:1082-1087.