Selenium deficiency

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  • Keshan disease[1] is a cardiomyopathy characterised by:
    • Enlarged and swollen mitochondria with distended crista membranes in myocardium
    • Decreased oxidative phosphorylation
    • Low dietry selenium intake.

In China it has been all but eradicated by selenium supplementation[2].

  • Kashin-Beck osteoarthropathy is a deficiency of iodine and while treatable with iodine, is not treatable by selenium supplementation alone[3].

While selenoproteins are essential (and selenium is an essential trace element) the definition of a deficiency state is not straight forward and there is no hard evidence for selenium supplementation in any other condition. Domesticated animal deficiency states are well understood and have been very important economically.