Selenium (from mustard sprout)

Selenium is a trace mineral found in soil, water and some foods. The selenium content of food varies depending on the selenium content of the soil where the animal was raised or the plant was grown. Selenium is an essential element in several metabolic pathways and functions largely through its association with proteins, known as selenoproteins. Known biological functions of selenium include defense against oxidative stress and regulation of thyroid hormone action. Absorption of selenium is efficient with more than 90 percent of selenomethionine, the major dietary form of the element, being absorbed through the intestine 1.
  The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has established a Reference Daily Intake (RDI) of 70 μg selenium for adults and children 4 or more years of age (21CFR101.9). RDIs are a set of dietary references for essential vitamins and minerals that are considered amounts sufficient to meet the daily requirements of healthy individuals. RDIs serve as the basis for calculating the percent daily value (%DV) amounts found on dietary supplement and food labels.
  Mustard sprout. The greens and seeds of the Indian, or brown mustard plant, Brassica juncea, have been cultivated in Asia and Europe for thousands of years 2. Growing Indian mustard sprouts in mineral-enriched soil can increase the amount of minerals concentrated in the plant’s tissue. The sprouts can then be used in dietary supplements as sources of essential and trace minerals such as chromium, iron, manganese, selenium and zinc 3.

This ingredient can be found in the following products in United States:


  1. Institute of Medicine. Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Selenium, and Carotenoids. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press, 2000.
  2. Ensminger AH, Ensminger ME, Konlande JE, Robson JRK. The Concise Encyclopedia of Foods and Nutrition. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press, 1995.
  3. Elless M, Blaylock M, Huang J. Plants as a natural source of concentrated mineral nutritional supplements. Food Chem 2000;71:181-8.