Daily dietary selenium intake in a high selenium area of Enshi, China

Yang Huang, Quanxin Wang, Jin Gao, Zhiqing Lin, Gary S. Bañuelos, Linxi Yuan, Xuebin Yin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

87 Citations (Scopus)


Enshi is a high selenium (Se) region in Hubei, China, where human selenosis was observed between 1958 and 1963. This study investigated the daily dietary Se intake of residents in Shadi, a town located 72 km northeast of Enshi City, to assess the risk of human selenosis in the high Se area. Foods consumed typically by the local residents and their hair samples were analyzed for total Se concentration. Concentrations of Se in different diet categories were as follows: cereals: 0.96 ± 0.90 mg kg-1 DW in rice and 0.43 ± 0.55 mg kg-1 DW in corn; tuber: 0.28 ± 0.56 mg kg-1 in potato and 0.36 ± 0.12 mg kg-1 in sweet potato; vegetables: ranging from 0.23 ± 1.00 mg kg-1 in carrot to 1.57 ± 1.06 mg kg-1 in kidney bean; animal proteins: 1.99 ± 1.11 mg kg-1 in chicken and egg. Based on the food Se concentrations and the daily per-capita consumption, the estimated daily Se intake in Shadi was 550 ± 307 μg per capita. Moreover, the Se concentrations in the hairs of local adult residents were 3.13 ± 1.91 mg kg-1 (n = 122) and 2.21 ± 1.14 mg kg-1 (n = 122) for females and males, respectively, suggesting that females might be exposed to higher levels of Se from daily cooking. Although there was no human selenosis occurrence in recent years, the high level of the daily Se intake suggested that the potential risk of selenosis for local residents, especially females, might be a matter of concern.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)700-710
Number of pages11
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 5 Mar 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Daily dietary intake
  • Enshi
  • Hair
  • Selenium
  • Selenosis


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