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Selenium in pregnancy and breastfeeding 

Selenium in pregnancy and breastfeeding
Selenium in pregnancy and breastfeeding

Sir Peter Gluckman

, Mark Hanson

, Chong Yap Seng

, and Anne Bardsley

Page of

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date: 24 January 2022

The essential trace mineral selenium is a component of antioxidant enzymes and proteins that regulate thyroid hormone metabolism and immune function. Thyroid metabolism is sensitive to selenium in the diet, and selenium deficiency can exacerbate the effects of iodine deficiency. Selenium deficiency is also associated with enhanced viral virulence and is a risk factor for perinatal transmission of HIV. Several selenium-dependent proteins are important in male fertility. Most pregnant women in developed countries will be able to meet selenium requirements through their usual diet, but because some foods differ widely in selenium content according to their geographical sources, a variety of foods should be eaten to ensure adequate intake and to avoid toxicity. Taking selenium supplements in addition to adequate dietary intake is not recommended, as the safe intake range is narrow.

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