Selén v krvnom sére zdravej európskej populácie
During recent years, interest concerning selenium has considerably increased. It is due to the combined behaviour it can have in humans, as either a toxic or an essential element depending on its concentration. For these reasons, its reliable quantification is extremely important. Blood serum is one of the most often analysed biological fluids when focusing on selenium concentration. Many detection methods can be used for the quantification of selenium, electrothermal atomic absorption spectrometry being one of the most suitable ones to perform such analyses. This is due to the possibility of a direct analysis (even though it is a complicated biological matrix) and the use of a small volume of the samples (mostly 20 µl for a single analysis). This article offers an overview of the selenium concentrations found in blood serum for healthy populations in European countries. The data presented here indicate that selenium status is not optimal in most European countries. The estimated mean value is 75 µg L–1 and 65 µg L–1 for adults and children, respectively. These results, combined with growing knowledge of the importance of selenium to overall health, require more systematic studies aimed to a reliable quantification of selenium in biological fluids for large populations correlated with various parameters, in order to subsequently ensure adequate selenium supplementation for those populations where selenium intake is significantly reduced.