Hurst et al. administered 50-mcg, 100-mcg, or 200-mcg of selenium daily for ten weeks to 119 healthy men and women aged 50–64 years living in the United Kingdom.
The researchers were testing the effect of the different daily dosages on plasma selenium status and plasma selenoprotein P status. They used a pharmaceutical-grade high-selenium yeast preparation with a documented 88.7% absorption [Bügel 2004].
The men and women in the study had a daily dietary selenium intake of approximately 55 mcg/day. Intakes of selenium in the United Kingdom had fallen from a mean of 60 mcg/day in 1991 to a minimum of 30 to 40 mcg/day in 1995–2000; in 2010, the mean intake was 48–58 mcg/day [Hurst 2010].
Establishing Optimal Selenium Status
In the Hurst study, the mean baseline plasma selenium concentration for all participants in the study was 95.7 +/- 11.5 mcg/L. Ten weeks of daily supplementation led to significantly increased steady-state concentrations as follows:
- 118.3 +/- 13.1 mcg/L with 50 mcg/day
- 152.0 +/- 24.3 mcg/L with 100 mcg/day
- 177.4 +/- 26.3 mcg/L with 200 mcg/L daily.
In the ten weeks, plasma Selenoprotein P increased significantly, as follows, in all selenium intervention groups from an overall baseline mean of 4.99 +/- 0.80 mcg/mL; the selenoprotein P levels seemed to plateau.
- 6.17 +/- 0.85 mcg/mL with 50 mcg/day
- 6.73 +/- 1.01 mcg/mL with 100 mcg/day
- 6.59 +/- 0.64 mcg/mL with 200 mcg/day
Target selenium concentrations
In a 2020 review article, Professor Margaret P. Rayman indicates that a serum selenium concentration of 125 mcg/L seems to be optimal for good health [Rayman 2020, figure 2].
Bügel S, Larsen EH, Sloth JJ, Flytlie K, Overvad K, Steenberg LC & Moesgaard S. Selenium from a high Se yeast supplement is well absorbed and retained in humans. Metal Ions in Biology and Medicine. 2004;8:206-209.
Hurst R, Armah CN, Dainty JR, Hart DJ, Teucher B, Goldson AJ, Broadley MR, Motley AK, Fairweather-Tait SJ. Establishing optimal selenium status: results of a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Am J Clin Nutr. 2010 Apr;91(4):923-31.
Rayman MP. Selenium intake, status, and health: a complex relationship. Hormones (Athens). 2020 Mar;19(1):9-14.
The information presented in this review article is not intended as medical advice and should not be used as such.
15 November 2021