Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation

Effects of selenium supplementation on plasma and milk of lactating women of habitually low selenium status

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  • Twenty-one women, lifelong residents of Xichang County, Sichuan Province, China, an area of very low soil selenium (Se), received tablets containing either 100 μg Se daily as Se-enriched yeast (+Se) or no additional Se (-Se), throughout the last trimester of pregnancy and the first three months of lactation. Diet was analyzed using diet recalls and proximate analysis of mixed diet samples. Milk and plasma samples were analyzed for Se content, glutathione peroxidase activity, and fatty acid profile and plasma alone was analyzed for vitamin E content and lipid peroxidation. At parturition and three months after delivery, milk and plasma Se levels and plasma GPx activities were significantly higher in the +Se women than the -Se women. Milk GPx activity did not change significantly with supplementation. Plasma vitamin E was not different between the treatment groups at either time. Plasma lipid peroxidation levels (TBARS) were significantly higher in the supplemented women at both time points. Fatty acid profiles at delivery and three months after delivery were similar in both plasma and milk between the two groups. The data suggest that this level and length of supplementation, when given to pregnant women of very low Se status, are not adequate to influence the fatty acids in milk.
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