A consortium of researchers, farmers and a major baker are working together to fill future supermarket shelves with loaves of bread that will arrest the plummeting levels in the UK diet of a mineral that plays a significant role in male fertility and the prevention of some cancers.
The mineral selenium is of particular importance to men with its role in male fertility and in the prevention of prostate cancer but research has also shown that it can help in the prevention of cardiovascular disease, stimulation of immune function, suppression of inflammatory conditions, and even brain function and development.
The UK’s Food Standards Agency recommends that the daily intake for this key mineral should be 60 to 75 microgrammes per person per day - but UK soils contain low levels of selenium. The average selenium intake in the UK is not only far below that figure but has actually steadily declined between 1986 and 1995 as the proportion of home grown grain used in British bread has increased. Currently the average intake of selenium in Britain stands at just 39 microgrammes a day per person. In 2000 the UK ranked second last in a table of 11 European countries for selenium intake.
Peter Dunn | alfa
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