, Volume 385, Issue 7, pp 1304-1323

Selenium speciation from food source to metabolites: a critical review

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Especially in the last decade, a vast number of papers on Se and its role in health issues have been published. This review gives a brief, critical overview of the main analytical findings reported in these papers. Of particular interest is the Se content in different food sources worldwide and the extent to which their consumption is reflected in the Se content of human tissues and body fluids. Several food sources, both natural (Brazil nuts, garlic, Brassica juncea) and Se-enriched (yeast-based supplements), are discussed as to origin, characteristics, Se metabolism and impact of their consumption on the human body. The continuous development of new and improvement of existing analytical techniques has provided different powerful tools to unravel the Se species and their function. An up-to-date literature study on Se speciation analysis is given, illustrating how analytical chemistry in its different facets aids in the identification of Se compounds and provides insight into the complete metabolic pathway of Se throughout the human body. This review includes a detailed image of the current state-of-the-art of Se speciation analysis in these food sources and in human tissues and body fluids.