Do Europeans need more selenium in their diet?
The consumption of selenium in many European countries has significantly decreased in recent decades.Factors that contribute to this are crop engineering oriented towards obtaining higher yields and increasing the use of sulfur in fertilizers, which competes with selenium in terms of absorption by plants.The problem of declining selenium consumption is also related to the decrease in imports of enriched wheat flour from North America, which was once used to bake bread.The drop in selenium consumption in Europe requires the introduction of innovative practices to increase average daily consumption.This creates an obvious opportunity for companies to develop a wide range of food and beverages enriched with selenium.Scientific opinions from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), public concern and increased media interest suggest that consumer awareness is likely to increase significantly in the near future.
The European Union recommends daily intake of selenium at 55 μg / day, however, the recommended daily intake in the UK has been set at 75 μg / day for men and 60 μg / day for women.
Consumption of selenium in Europe is poor and as long as the estimated intake ranges from 27 to 70 μg / day (38.45 μg / day on average), most Member States do not meet the European RDA (55 μg / day – Map 1).It is worth mentioning that Finland has an average consumption of 100 – 110 μg / day, respectively, which is the result of the use of agricultural fertilizers enriched with selenium.
Sel-Plex as an example
Sel-Plex is a natural organic selenium that has been approved by EFSA as a natural support for the proper functioning of the immune system and antioxidative functions in accordance with Art. 13.1.Selenium is one of the very few nutrients recognized by EFSA.Euromonitor International states that in 2009 antioxidant properties were the biggest asset communicated on functional foods and supplements with a market value of EUR 8.8 trillion, which is still growing.Approved health claims can be made available to food producers by adding Sel-Plex to animal feed, which translates into the production of enriched food products.
The results of various studies conducted over the last few years prove that the natural enrichment of animal products (milk, eggs and meat) in Sel-Plex by supplementing the animal diet can be an effective way to increase the selenium status in humans.For example, one egg can provide at least 50% of the selenium dose recommended by the RDA.This is related to the concern for Europeans and the key image of the main direction of food development and its additional functions.The use of Sel-Plex increases the status of selenium by 25% above the state naturally occurring in meat, milk and eggs, compared to the level found in animals treated with inorganic selenium at the same dose.Sel-Plex gives you the opportunity to develop products that offer benefits, such as support for antioxidant and immune functions, as well as general health.
Eggs are particularly interesting from a functional point of view because they are relatively rich in fatty acids and fat-soluble compounds.In a study conducted to check the transfer of selenium to the human body through eggs enriched with Sel-Plex, 60 volunteers consumed either two enriched or two commercially available eggs each day for eight weeks.The level of selenium in plasma increased by 48% to 12 μg / ml in people who eat enriched eggs, compared with a 12% increase in those who consumed eggs available on the market.Cholesterol in plasma remained unchanged.Supplementing the diet with a dose of organic selenium at the level of 0.2 ppm can raise more than twice the level of selenium in the egg (egg yolk and protein).In addition, this selenium is ultimately transferred to the human body with high efficiency.
The selenium content in meat can be very diverse and depends on many factors.Supplementation with a highly bioavailable, organic source of selenium can sometimes go a long way to reducing variability and increasing selenium in the product.Poultry meat and pork can be naturally enriched providing 50% RDA per serving due to the supplementation of Sel-Plex animal feed.In addition, meat is a highly absorbable source of selenium.Analysis of pork meat for selenium showed that the replacement of inorganic selenium by Sel-Plex was associated with a 2-fold increase in the selenium content in raw meat (from 0.72 to 1.42 μg / g) and a 2.5-fold increase in the selenium content in boiled ham (from 0.66 to 1.73 μg / g).Table 1 shows the number of tests carried out with Sel-Plex to examine eggs, poultry and pork enriched with selenium.On average, the selenium level in meat and eggs is increased by 2 to 2.5 times in animals fed with fodder supplemented with Sel-Plex.
Selenium is an important trace element, but due to the selenium deficiency in soil in Europe, the daily intake of selenium among Europeans is low.Sel-Plex is a patent protected source of organic selenium, which offers food processors the opportunity to enrich products with selenium.Sel-Plex enters the animal feed chain through fodder and, as a result, selenium levels in animal products naturally increase.The consumption of functional food, such as meat and eggs, consequently improves selenium status in humans, providing health benefits.The world must face the challenge of feeding the next two billion people by 2020. Socio-demographic trends indicate that functional food represents a balanced category in the food market, and its goal is optimal nutrition in accordance with the principle from field to fork
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