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Nutrición Hospitalaria

versión impresa ISSN 0212-1611


MILLAN ADAME, E. et al. Deficient selenium status of a healthy adult Spanish population. Nutr. Hosp. [online]. 2012, vol.27, n.2, pp.524-528. ISSN 0212-1611.

Introduction: Selenium is an essential micronutrient for human health, being a cofactor for enzymes with antioxidant activity that protect the organism from oxidative damage. An inadequate intake of this mineral has been associated with the onset and progression of chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, coronary diseases, asthma, and cancer. For this reason, knowledge of the plasma and erythrocyte selenium levels of a population makes a relevant contribution to assessment of its nutritional status. Objetive: The objective of the present study was to determine the nutritional status of selenium and risk of seleniumdeficiency in a healthy adult population in Spain by examining food and nutrient intake and analyzing biochemical parameters related to selenium metabolism, including plasma and erythrocyte levels and selenium-dependent glutathione peroxidase (GPx) enzymatic activity. Material and methods: We studied 84 healthy adults (31 males and 53 females) from the province of Granada, determining their plasma and erythrocyte selenium concentrations and the association of these levels with the enzymatic activity of glutathione peroxidase (GPx) and with life style factors. We also gathered data on their food and nutrient intake and the results of biochemical analyses. Correlations were studied among all of these variables. Results: The mean plasma selenium concentration was 76.6 ± 17.3 μg/L (87.3 ± 17.4 μg/L in males, 67.3 ± 10.7 μg/L in females), whereas the mean erythrocyte selenium concentration was 104.6 μg/L (107.9 ± 26.1 μg/L in males and 101.7 ± 21.7 μg/L in females). The nutritional status of selenium was defined by the plasma concentration required to reach maximum GPx activity, establishing 90 μg/L as reference value. According to this criterion, 50% of the men and 53% of the women were selenium deficient. Conclusions: Selenium is subjected to multiple regulation mechanisms. Erythrocyte selenium is a good marker of longerterm selenium status, while plasma selenium appears to be a marker of short-term nutritional status. The present findings indicate a positive correlation between plasma selenium concentration and the practice of physical activity. Bioavailability studies are required to establish appropriate reference levels of this mineral for the Spanish population.

Palabras clave : Selenium status; Glutathione peroxidase; Healthy adult population.

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