Méndez Castellano, Hernán y Tovar E., Guillermo
Trace Element – Analytical. Chemistry in Medicine and Biology, Vol. 3: 29-46. Berlín, Alemania, 1984.
Selenium takes a special place among the trace elements. Toxic action is known as well as deficiency syndroms and the optimal range of beneficial action seems to be smaller than for the other trace elements. Supported by epidemiological studies (1,2) there is an increasing interest in the deficiency situation of selenium in human nutrition and health. However, the treatment of a lowered selenium status of the organism is still a problem due to the small margin between the toxic and physiological dose response. In order to define the levels of a safe and adequate selenium dosage in prophylaxis and therapy information is needed regarding the influence of high selenium intakes and the physiological activity of other essential trace elements or their uptake rate. However, few data are presented in the literature on the consequences of longterm human exposure to elevated dietary selenium levels.
In order to study effects of high selenium ingestion in humans and the relationships between this element and other trace elements a research program was started in 1982 on a collaborative basis between the Hahn-Meitner-Institut Berlin and the national Venezuelan foundation for the investigation of the health status of the population FUNDACREDESA.
A field investigation was carried out in the seleniferous area of Villa Bruzual in Venezuela. In this natural laboratory Jaffé (3 )started 14 years ago a clinical and biochemical investigation of school children in order to study possible health risks. In the present study the examination was extended to adults, elderly persons and lactating mothers. A total of 134 persons was examined and samples of blood, hair, breast milk and aliquots of the families meal were collected.