Organic Selenium compounds


Selenium was discovered in 1817 by Berzelius, a Swedish chemistry professor. The mineral is present in the earth’s crust and chiefly derived as a by-product of copper refinery. Selenium is a natural component of the diet, and is present in plant foods such as cereals and nuts but also in meat and seafood. (2-3) Inorganic forms of selenium are taken into plants where they are converted into organoselenium species such as selenocysteine, selenomethionine, selenium-methylselenocysteine and -glutamyl-Se-methylselenocysteine (Ip, et al., 2000, Bird, et al., 1997, Whanger, 2004, Rayman, 2008, & Rayman, et al., 2008).
Selenomethionine and selenocysteine are considered to be the most common forms of selenium contained in foods (Expert Group, 2003 & European Food Safety Authority, 2008). L-selenomethionine is readily absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract. In a number of studies in humans and animals, in particular those having selenium-deficient diets, the bioavailability of selenium from L-selenomethionine has been shown to be approximately 1.5 to 2-fold higher than that of inorganic forms of selenium.
Upon ingestion by man and animals, such organoselenium forms become incorporated into a number of important selenoproteins and enzymes which, among other functions, yield an antioxidant capability to help reduce cellular damage due to free radicals (National Institutes of Health, 2006).


For more than 50 years, selenium has been recognized as an essential nutrient. In 1957, Schwarz and Foltz (4) established selenium as an essential trace element in nutrition for the prevention of disease.
Low dietary levels of selenium in animals and humans have been linked to several disease symptoms. In animals, selenium deficiency has been associated with muscular dystrophy in sheep and calves(5), liver necrosis in rats(4), liver and heart necrosis in pigs(6), and pancreatic atrophy and exudative diathesis in chicks(7). Human selenium deficiency has been documented in the pathogenesis and pathology of Keshan disease, a heart ailment observed in people of the Chinese province of Keshan, a region whose soil lacks adequate selenium levels.(8) Myositis (9) (muscle diseases characterized by inflammation and degenerative changes), pseudoalbinism(10), whitening of the fingernail beds9, elevated creatinine kinase derived from muscles10, macrocytosis (10) (the presence of abnormally large red cells in the blood), osteoarthropathy (Kashin-Beck disease)(11), and an increased incidence of cardiovascular disease (12) and cancer (13) in humans are also associated with low selenium levels.
A large number of research papers are published on selenium annually. Cancer prevention, antiviral defense, immune-system enhancement, arthritis, and coronary disease are some of the areas that have been explored.

Eburon Organics L-Selenomethionine

Eburon Organics is a producer of L-(+)-Selenomethionine, (LSM) an organic, bioavailable and fully complexed (not a dry blend of selenium and methionine) form of selenium. LSM contains a minimum of 400,000 mcg of elemental selenium (40%) per gram. The product is yeast and allergen free and conform to standards.
Our portfolio of organic selenium compounds includes over 40 different selenium compounds:


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  6. Eggert, R. et al. (1957) J. Anim. Sci. 16, 1037.
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  12. Andrews, J. et al. (1981) Selenium and cadmium status in blood of residents from low selenium high cardiovascular disease area of southeastern Georgia. In: Spallholz, J. et al. Selenium in Biology and Medicine. Westport, CT, AVI Publishing, 348-353.
  13. Garland, M. et al. (1994) The epidemiology of selenium and human cancer. In Frei, B. (ed.) Natural Antioxidants in Human Health and Disease. San Diego, CA, Academic Press, 263-281.
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