Selenium 2

Selenium intake is more related to the selenium content of the soil than to dietary pattern. U.S. and Canadian soil appears to be adequate in selenium. Studies of vegetarians and vegans in the U.S. have shown them to have adequate intakes. Selenium is found in many foods, but in higher amounts in Brazil nuts, whole grains (whole-wheat bread, oatmeal, barley), white rice, and beans (1).


1. Messina M, Messina V. The Dietitian’s Guide to Vegetarian Diets. Gaithersburg, MD: Aspen Publishers, Inc., 1996.

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2 thoughts on “Selenium

    • Reed Mangels

      Selenium adequacy will depend on individual food choices. For example, vegans in the UK who eat Brazil nuts regularly may have adequate selenium status based on one study that found that eating Brazil nuts can normalize selenium status ( . According to the USDA National Nutrient Data Base, one Brazil nut supplies 95.8 mcg of selenium. The RDA for non-pregnant, non-lactating adults is 55 mcg/day.
      Generally speaking, the UK is a low selenium area so crops grown in the UK are likely to be markedly lower in selenium than those grown in the US or other areas with higher soil selenium ( This would affect foods commonly eaten by vegans such as locally-grown grains, fruits, and vegetables. One brief, older (1997) report finds lower selenium status in UK vegans than in UK non-vegetarians (