Selenium as Mineral – Rich Food Sources, Functions, Deficiency & Daily Requirements for Children, Men & Women

Presentation Notes on Selenium (Se) Vegetarian & Non Vegetarian Food Sources, Recommended Dietary Allowance, Selenium deficiency disorders, Role in Human Body with Treatment & Toxicity in word / .doc / ppt format

Selenium :

About 5-15mg of selenium is found in the body. Selenium serves to protect cells against destruction. 


  • Present in liver, kidney, seafood, meats and grains. 

Daily requirement:

  • Adult man/woman: 0.2 mg. 
  • Infants and children: 0.02-0.1 mg. 


It is an integral part of enzymes, glutathione peroxidase, which has the following functions :

  • Protects vital cell components, such as cell membranes from dangers of hydrogen peroxide and other peroxides.
  • Supplements the action of superoxide dismutase in protecting cells against superoxide (O2-) and other free radicals.
Selenium spares vitamin E requirement in three ways :

  • Normal pancreatic function and thereby digestion and absorption of lipids including vitamin E.
  • Component of glutathione peroxidase.
  • Aids retention of vitamin E in blood.


  • Humans living in selenium-rich soil zones are prone to its toxicity. 
  • Excess of selenium in cattle causes alkali disease, liver necrosis and muscular dystrophy. 

Deficiency symptoms: 

  • Cardiac dilation, abnormal ECG, congestive heart failure. 
  • An endemic disease, seen in children due to low selenium content is called Keshan disease. 

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