Selenium concentration in the milk of breast-feeding mothers and its geographic distribution

B A Zachara, A Pilecki
Environmental Health Perspectives 2000, 108 (11): 1043-6
A total of 905 human milk samples collected in all provinces of Poland, between 12 and 75 days of lactation, were analyzed for selenium concentration. The distribution of Se levels in milk between the provinces was narrow and varied from 8.81 to 11.58 ng/mL, with the mean value (+/- SD) of 10.24 +/- 2.82 ng/mL. The regions with lower levels of Se were in the central and eastern part of Poland; the areas with higher values were in the northern, western, and southern parts of Poland. No significant correlations were found between Se levels in milk and the age of lactating mothers or between Se levels and the postpartum period. The calculated daily Se intakes by breast-fed infants varied from 6.46 to 8.50 microg/day, with the mean value of 7.52 microg/day. This amount does not meet the recommended dietary allowances for infants between 0 and 6 months of age. Based on Se levels in human milk, we present a selenium map of Poland.

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