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Open AccessArticle

Selenium Content in Seafood in Japan

National Research Institute of Fisheries Science, Kanazawa, Yokohama, Kanagawa, 236-8648, Japan
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2013, 5(2), 388-395;
Received: 5 January 2013 / Revised: 24 January 2013 / Accepted: 25 January 2013 / Published: 31 January 2013
PDF [361 KB, uploaded 31 January 2013]


Selenium is an essential micronutrient for humans, and seafood is one of the major selenium sources, as well as red meat, grains, eggs, chicken, liver and garlic. A substantial proportion of the total amount of selenium is present as selenium containing imidazole compound, selenoneine, in the muscles of ocean fish. In order to characterize the selenium content in seafood, the total selenium levels were measured in the edible portions of commercially important fish and shellfish species. Among the tested edible portions, alfonsino muscle had the highest selenium levels (concentration of 1.27 mg/kg tissue). High levels of selenium (1.20–1.07 mg/kg) were also found in the salted ovary products of mullet and Pacific herring. In other fish muscles, the selenium levels ranged between 0.12 and 0.77 mg/kg tissue. The selenium levels were closely correlated with the mercury levels in the white and red muscles in alfonsino. The selenium content in spleen, blood, hepatopancreas, heart, red muscle, white muscle, brain, ovary and testis ranged between 1.10 and 24.8 mg/kg tissue in alfonsino. View Full-Text
Keywords: selenium; mercury; food safety; muscle; fish; seafood selenium; mercury; food safety; muscle; fish; seafood

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Yamashita, Y.; Yamashita, M.; Iida, H. Selenium Content in Seafood in Japan. Nutrients 2013, 5, 388-395.

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