Comparison of Bioavailability, Pharmacokinetics, and Biotransformation of Selenium-Enriched Yeast and Sodium Selenite in Rats Using Plasma Selenium and Selenomethionine

  • Shuang-Qing ZhangEmail author
  • Shi Shen
  • Yan Zhang


For the first time, bioavailability, pharmacokinetics, and biotransformation of selenium-enriched yeast (SeY) and sodium selenite (Na2SeO3) in rats were systemically compared by analyzing free selenomethionine (SeMet), total SeMet, and selenium (Se). After SeY and Na2SeO3 were orally administered to rats at a dose of 100 μg Se/kg, plasma free SeMet, total SeMet, and Se at various time points were determined by ultra-performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. Based on Se and total SeMet, the relative bioavailability values of SeY compared with Na2SeO3 were 144% and 272%, respectively. For the rats treated with SeY, 0.73–2.68% of total Se was biotransformed to free SeMet, 14.3–20.4% to SeMet-proteins and albumin-bound SeMet, and 75.9–82.3% to selenoproteins in plasma. SeY had higher bioavailability than Na2SeO3 based on Se and total SeMet levels. Plasma SeMet was the optimal biomarker of SeY status in vivo.


Bioavailability Biotransformation Pharmacokinetics Selenium-enriched yeast Sodium selenite 


Funding Information

The work was partly supported by the Hubei Provincial Natural Science Foundation of China (2018CFB612).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

Animal experiments were adhered to the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (NIH publication no. 85-23, eighth edition in 2011) and were approved by our Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Institute for Nutrition and Health, Chinese Center for Disease Control and PreventionBeijingChina
  2. 2.The Hubei Provincial Key Laboratory of Yeast FunctionYichangChina

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