Biological trace element research

Selenium bioaccessibility and bioavailability in Se-enriched food supplements.

PMID 23397356


Most European people have selenium (Se) intake inferior to recommended values that are considered necessary to ensure the beneficial action of antioxidant selenoproteins. People could therefore tend to have recourse to Se-enriched food supplements (FS) aiming to increase their Se body level. On the Belgian market, three main types of Se-rich FS are available: Se-enriched yeast, selenate-based FS, and selenite-based FS. In the present work, in vitro tests imitating gastrointestinal digestion and intestinal absorption were used to determine the bioaccessible and bioavailable fractions of Se present in one specimen of each category of FS. The aim of the study was to verify to which extent the difference in Se speciation could influence the efficiency of FS for enhancing the human Se status. Results indicated that differences exist in both bioaccessibility and bioavailability between the three types of FS, and that these differences could be related, at least partially, to the Se species profile. Overall bioavailability of the three FS was low (maximum 14 % of the original Se content). Among the three samples, the selenate-based FS produced the highest fraction of bioavailable Se, followed by Se-yeast, and finally by the selenite-based FS for which Se was almost not available at all. These results confirm the low availability of inorganic Se but were somewhat unexpected regarding the yeast-based FS since Se-rich yeasts are usually reported to contain an important fraction of available Se.

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Sodium hydrogen selenite, purum p.a., ≥96.0% (RT)