Selenium functions as an antioxidant and in thyroid metabolism.1 The main sources of selenium in Australia are meat, poultry and game products and dishes; cereal based products and dishes; cereals and cereal products; and fish and seafood products and dishes.2 Soil concentration of selenium ranges widely and affects levels in plant food.1
3% of males and 6% of females aged two years and over did not meet their requirements for selenium intake. Amongst those 71 years and over, approximately one in ten had inadequate selenium intakes (12% of males and 10% of females).
Less than 5% of the population exceeded the UL for selenium.
1 National Health and Medical Research Council and New Zealand Ministry of Health, 2006, Nutrient Reference Values for Australia and New Zealand, <https://www.nrv.gov.au/nutrients/selenium>, last accessed 4/2/2015
2 Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2014, Australian Health Survey: Nutrition First Results - Foods and Nutrients, 2011-12, 'Table 10: Proportion of Nutrients from food groups', data cube: Excel spreadsheet, cat. no. 4364.0.55.007