Variations in Plasma Selenium Levels as a Result of the Menstrual Cycle and Pregnancy in Healthy Japanese Women

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Plasma levels of selenium (Se) were determined consecutively during a menstrual cycle of six women in three phases (i.e., menses, follicular, and luteal). To detect possible differences in relation to normal pregnancy, plasma levels of Se were also determined in paired samples of maternal and umbilical cord blood from 12 pregnant women. No periodic changes in the plasma Se levels were observed during the menstrual cycle. The intraindividual variation, estimated by coefficients of variation, ranged from 1.9% to 9.9% among the menstrual phases of the subjects. The plasma Se level during pregnancy did not differ significantly from those of nonpregnant women, and those in the second trimester and at delivery were at similar levels (1.58 ± .14 and 1.48 ± .20 μmol/L, respectively). Compared to the levels of maternal Se at delivery, the fetal cord plasma at birth had a significant lower Se level (1.23 ± .34 μmol/L, p < .05).

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