Selenium: Uses, Side Effects, Interactions, Dosage, and Warning

Side Effects & Safety

Some groups of people are often advised to limit alcohol consumption because they are more likely to be adversely affected by alcohol, such as those at risk of falls or those taking certain medications that may interact with alcohol. Regarding risk of cardiovascular disease, moderate consumption of alcohol is shown to be a component ‘of a beneficial dietary pattern in most studies’. New methods to measure food composition that involve transcriptomics, proteomics, and metabolomics provide a broad, nontargeted assessment of thousands of plant RNAs, proteins, and compounds. When the methods have been used, the differences found in comparisons of GE with non-GE plants have been small relative to the naturally occurring variation found in conventionally bred crop varieties.

JK drafted the food consumption pattern aspects in the human studies section and in the discussion. AM and ER drafted the in vitro and animal studies section. HRA and PG drafted the pesticides section. AM and ER drafted the plant foods section.

The most commonly used laboratory animal species are rats and mice of various strains. The normal lifespan of laboratory rat strains varies from 2 to 3 years; that of mice is 18 months to 2 years. There is extensive literature from public-sector and private-sector laboratories on the variables that affect the lifespan of laboratory rats. It includes the source of the animals, whether they are in-bred or out-bred, the type (for example, synthetic, grain-based) and abundance (fixed amounts versus ad libitum feeding) of diets, and housing (single or multiple animals per cage, lighting, air changes, and so on).

Toxicity of this species is discussed by Bruneton (1999). In Haiti an infusion of the styles is used as a diuretic and for kidney problems; a decoction or maceration of the styles is used for inflammations and edema; the ground grains are used in a warm compress on traumatized areas and swellings; a cataplasm of the ground grains is applied to fractures; and, split ears of corn are made into an infusion as an antihypertensive (Neptune-Rouzier 1997). Among Afro-Cuban religions, in the Ocha Rule (also called Santeria), this species is a sacred plant belonging to all the orishas (“saints”); “It is considered a sign of good luck when maize grains spontaneously sprout around a house” (Fuentes 1992).

Prospective cohort studies constitute a feasible way of examining such relationships, although compliance assessment is challenging. Considering a lack of biomarkers of exposure, the evaluation of the exposure, i.e. organic food consumption, will necessarily be based on self-reported data that may be prone to measurement error. Furthermore, aspects of environmental sustainability, such as biodiversity and greenhouse gas emissions, may also be affected by the agricultural production system [11, 12] and may affect human health via food security [13, 14]. While these indirect links are outside the scope of this review, we briefly touch on them in the discussion.

The health risks associated with some secondary metabolites in common foodstuffs are generally well understood, and the plants are either harvested at times when the concentrations of the compounds are low, the tissues with the highest concentrations of toxins are discarded, or, as in the case of cassava (Manihot esculenta), the food is prepared with special methods to remove the toxic compounds. In other cases, food preparation may be the cause of the presence of a toxic compound (for example, the formation of the probable carcinogen acrylamide when potatoes are fried at high temperatures or when bread is toasted).

Gross and microscopic pathological examinations are conducted on 30 or more individual organs, tissues, or both. acute oral, dermal, and inhalation data, skin and eye irritation data, and skin sensitization data are available for the 2,4-D choline salt and glyphosate formulation for comparison with the 2,4-D parent compound and glyphosate parent compound data, and these test results show similar profiles. The mixture does not show a greater toxicity compared to either parent compound alone. Although no longer duration toxicity studies are available, toxic effects would not be expected as the maximum allowed 2,4-D exposure is at least 100-fold below levels where toxicity to individual chemicals might occur, and exposure to people is far below even that level. Although the committee agrees that crops developed through conventional breeding could result in food-safety risks, its statement of task focuses on GE crops.

There are no separate MRLs for organic products. A total of 2.8% of all and 0.9% of organic samples exceeded the MRL, which may be due to high residue levels or due to low levels but unapproved use of a particular pesticide on a particular crop [74,75,76]. Of higher toxicological relevance are risk assessments, i.e. expected exposure in relation to toxicological reference values. On average 1.5% of the samples were calculated to exceed the acute reference dose (ARfD) for any of the considered dietary scenarios, with the organophosphate chlorpyrifos accounting for approximately half of these cases and azole fungicides (imazalil, prochloraz, and thiabendazole) for approximately 15%.

2017. View abstract. Plasma selenium level before diagnosis and the risk of prostate cancer development. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Evidence on the effects of selenium on rheumatoid arthritis is mixed.

Emerging genetic-engineering technologies currently enable insertion of a few genes in one construct, but in the future that number may increase dramatically. Golden Rice, which was produced through genetic engineering to increase beta-carotene content, is one of the most recognized examples of the use of genetic-engineering technology to improve a crop’s nutritional value. It is based on the understanding that rice possesses the entire machinery to synthesize beta-carotene in leaves but not in the grain. The breakthrough in the development of Golden Rice was the finding that only two genes are required to synthesize beta-carotene in the endosperm of the rice grain (Ye et al., 2000). The first version of Golden Rice had a beta-carotene content of 6 µg/g.

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In the first study extracts from organically grown strawberries exhibited stronger antiproliferative activity against one colon and one breast cancer cell line, compared to the conventionally produced strawberries [50]. In the second study [51] the extracts of organic naturally fermented beetroot juices induced lower levels of early apoptosis and higher levels of late apoptosis and necrosis in a gastric cancer cell line, compared to the conventional extracts. Both studies thus demonstrated notable differences in the biological activity of organic vs. conventionally produced crop extracts in vitro, which should inspire further research. However, neither of these studies allows for the distinction of a selective antiproliferative effect on cancer cells, and general cell toxicity. Therefore it cannot be determined which of the organic or conventional food extracts, if any, had the preferable biological activity in terms of human health.

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- November 6, 2015

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