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Dietary Intake of Selenium in Relation to Pubertal Development in Mexican Children

Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Michigan School of Public Health, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA
Department of Biostatistics, University of Michigan School of Public Health, Ann Arbor, MI, 48109, USA
National Institute of Public Health, Cuernavaca 62100, Mexico
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2019, 11(7), 1595;
Received: 18 June 2019 / Revised: 8 July 2019 / Accepted: 11 July 2019 / Published: 14 July 2019
PDF [264 KB, uploaded 14 July 2019]


Alterations in pubertal timing have been associated with long-term health outcomes. While a few reports have shown that dietary intake of selenium is associated with fertility and testosterone levels in men, no human studies have considered the association between selenium and pubertal development in children. We examined the cross-sectional association of childhood dietary intake of selenium with pubertal development among 274 girls and 245 boys aged 10–18 years in Mexico City. Multiple logistic and ordinal regression models were used to capture the association between energy-adjusted selenium intake (below Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) vs. above RDA) and stages of sexual maturity in children, adjusted for covariates. We found that boys with consumption of selenium below the RDA had lower odds of a higher stage for pubic hair growth (odds ratio (OR) = 0.51, 95% confidence interval (95% CI): 0.27–0.97) and genital development (OR = 0.53, 95% CI: 0.28–0.99) as well as a lower probability of having matured testicular volume (OR = 0.37, 95% CI: 0.15–0.88) compared with boys who had adequate daily dietary intake of selenium (above RDA). No associations were found in girls. According to our results, it is possible that inadequate consumption of selenium may be associated with later pubertal development in boys, suggesting a sex-specific pattern. Future work with a larger sample size and measures of selenium biomarkers is needed to confirm our findings and improve understanding of the role of this mineral in children’s sexual development. View Full-Text
Keywords: selenium; dietary intake; Tanner stage; puberty; menarche selenium; dietary intake; Tanner stage; puberty; menarche
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Liu, Y.; Peterson, K.E.; Sánchez, B.N.; Jones, A.D.; Cantoral, A.; Mercado-García, A.; Solano-González, M.; Ettinger, A.S.; Téllez-Rojo, M.M. Dietary Intake of Selenium in Relation to Pubertal Development in Mexican Children. Nutrients 2019, 11, 1595.

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