Considering that low dietary intakes of selenium have been linked with greater incidence of anxiety, depression and tiredness, several research groups have investigated whether higher dietary intakes or selenium supplementation will elevate mood and/or reduce anxiety. Currently, results are equivocal; however, it appears that selenium-replete individuals are most likely to respond to supplementation, if a response is observed.
An early double-blind, crossover, study showed that short-term selenium supplementation (100^g/day for 5 weeks) significantly elevated mood and decreased anxiety, depression and tiredness, with effects most marked in people with low dietary intake (Benton & Cook 1991). A study of 30 selenium replete men who were fed either a low (32.6 ^g/day) or a high (226.5^g/day) selenium diet for 1 5 weeks found that the mood of those with the higher selenium intake increased whereas mood worsened with low intake (Finley & Pen land 1998 as reported in Rayman 2005). Alternatively, another study involving 11 men of adequate selenium intake failed to show effects on mood when high (356^g/day) and low (13^g/day) selenium diets were followed for 99 days (Hawkes & Hornbostel 1996). Most recently, a large (n = 448), 2-year, randomised study also failed to find evidence that additional selenium enhanced mood or any of its subscales, despite significant increases in plasma selenium levels (Rayman et al 2006). This study compared the effects of 100, 200 or 300^g/day of selenium to placebo for effects on mood and QOL. Selenium supplementation was given as high-selenium yeast, SelenoPrecise™ (Pharma Nord, Vejle, Denmark).
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