Low Selenium State and Increased Erucic Acid in Children from Keshan Endemic Areas — A Pilot Study
For over 50 years a cardiomyopathy is known to occur endemically in distinct regions of China. In the 1970s the low selenium content of soil, food and tissues was discovered and since then the prevention of Keshan disease by selenium supplementation is known. Still the pathogenesis of Keshan disease is not fully explained by selenium deficiency alone, as in other parts of the world healthy or diseased people with low selenium intake seldom suffer from cardiomyopathy. It remains questionable whether an additional environmental, infectious or nutritional factor may contribute to the pathogenesis of the disease. Mostly children of peasants who only live on locally grown food are affected. Knowing some of the nutritional habits we tried to find an additional factor which accentuates selenium deficiency and estimated in a pilot study the fatty acids in plasma of healthy children from Keshan areas.
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