A healthy nutrition is the basis for a balanced supply with all nutrients, vitamins and trace elements. However, a sufficient supply with selenium is not always guaranteed despite the comprehensive food offer. In our nutrition, selenium is bound to protein. Therefore, protein-rich food contais more selenium than other foodstuffs. Innards and meat e.g. have a particularly high selenium content since farm animals receive selenium, added in their feeding stuff. Thus, the supply with selenium is ensured mainly by animal foodstuffs.
How much selenium is contained in our food, finally depends as well on the content and the availability of selenium in the soil. In the soil and the earth crust, selenium is a natural component but with unequal distribution. Thus, North American wheat contains e.g. considerably more selenium than the German one. The soils in Germany can be described as poor in selenium . Consequently, vegetarian food contributes only little to the selenium supply.
In case of a strongly vegetarian nutrition, selenium is among the critical nutrients. As investigations of the LMU Munich show, vegetarians and especially vegans are affected by a selenium undersupply in not a low percentage :
- Umweltbundesamt. Selen und Human-Biomitoring. Bundesgesundheitsblatt-Gesundheitsforschung-Gesundheitsschutz 45 (2002) 2, 190-195.
- Hildbrand T. Validität der Abschätzung der Jod- und Selenzufuhr anhand eines Food-Frequency-Tables und der Versorgung mit diesen beiden Spurenelementen ermittelt durch die Jodurie und Plasmaselenwerte bei omnivor, lactovegetarisch und vegan sich ernährenden Personen [Dissertation, LMU München]; 2014.