Monday, November 16, 2009

A Brazil nut a day keeps the free radicals at bay. Selenium - NZ'ers need to increase their intake.

10 years ago there was an article published looking at Selenium in NZ population. This study found that NZ'er need to take an additional 60 micro grams of selenium every day to maximize enzyme and antioxidant function. This 60 micro grams is on top of the 30 micro grams that is estimated to come from dietary sources. This 30 micro grams is from consumption of eggs, poultry or bread/wheat products made with Australian wheat. So if you are avoiding gluten then you would need even more selenium.

To increase your selenium intake by 60 micro grams you would need to eat daily an additional:
  • Either 1 fresh Brazil nut. Even though the selenium level in Brazil nuts is variable, hopefully they would even out over time. (calculated from here and here)
  • Or 4 eggs 
  • Or 6 slices of whole grain bread from Australian wheat.
Or you can supplement with it. Make sure your supplement is bioavailable. Interestingly enough I have just checked out what my suppliment contains as it was formulated for Australian and NZ populations. It has 52 micro grams of selenium.

Reference: Anna J Duffield, Christine D Thomson, Kristina E Hill and Sheila Williams An estimation of selenium requirements for New Zealanders. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 70, No. 5, 896-903, November 1999

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