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Vegetarians and vegans may be most at risk from low selenium intakes

BMJ 1997; 314 doi: (Published 21 June 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;314:1834
  1. Patricia A Judd, Senior lecturera,
  2. A Long, Honorary research adviserb,
  3. M Butcher, Head of forensic toxicologyc,
  4. Christine P Caygill, Barrett's oesophagus registrard,
  5. A T Diplock, Chairmane
  1. a Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, King's College London, London W8 7AH
  2. b VEGA (Vegetarian Economy and Green Agriculture), 14 Woodland Rise, Greenford, Middlesex
  3. c Analytical Unit, St George's Hospital Medical School, London SW17 0RE
  4. d Barrett's Oesophagus Registry, Gastrointestinal Unit, Wexham Park Hospital, Slough SL2 4HL
  5. e Division of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, UMDS, Guy's Hospital, London SE1 7EH

    Editor—Margaret P Rayman suggests that fortification of staple foods with selenium should be considered to prevent deficiency of this trace element.1 The following observations may indicate otherwise.

    In a recent survey in Norfolk 24 hour dietary intakes were measured prospectively in 901 subjects. Average daily intakes of selenium (estimated from standard food composition tables supplemented with new analytical values from our laboratories and others2) were 50 μg in women (n=506) and 59 μg in men (n=395). Missing values for food …

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