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Differential responses to selenomethionine supplementation by sex and genotype in healthy adults


A year-long intervention trial was conducted to characterise the responses of multiple biomarkers of Se status in healthy American adults to supplemental selenomethionine (SeMet) and to identify factors affecting those responses. A total of 261 men and women were randomised to four doses of Se (0, 50, 100 or 200 μg/d as l-SeMet) for 12 months. Responses of several biomarkers of Se status (plasma Se, serum selenoprotein P (SEPP1), plasma glutathione peroxidase activity (GPX3), buccal cell Se, urinary Se) were determined relative to genotype of four selenoproteins (GPX1, GPX3, SEPP1, selenoprotein 15), dietary Se intake and parameters of single-carbon metabolism. Results showed that supplemental SeMet did not affect GPX3 activity or SEPP1 concentration, but produced significant, dose-dependent increases in the Se contents of plasma, urine and buccal cells, each of which plateaued by 9–12 months and was linearly related to effective Se dose (μg/d per kg0·75). The increase in urinary Se excretion was greater for women than men, and for individuals of the GPX1 679 T/T genotype than for those of the GPX1 679 C/C genotype. It is concluded that the most responsive Se-biomarkers in this non-deficient cohort were those related to body Se pools: plasma, buccal cell and urinary Se concentrations. Changes in plasma Se resulted from increases in its non-specific component and were affected by both sex and GPX1 genotype. In a cohort of relatively high Se status, the Se intake (as SeMet) required to support plasma Se concentration at a target level (Sepl-target) is: .

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*Corresponding author: Dr G. F. Combs, fax +1 701 795 8230, email
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