In Hungary, as well as in Europe, the selenium deficiency is getting more and more importance as a general phenomenon among the nutritionists. For decades we have never heard of it and even it was neither known by science. Today we know that this deficiency plays a role in the development of numerous diseases. How can we replace it? For example by selenium-enriched mushrooms. A Hungarian idea developed in Hungary, we trust that it will be a success.
Selenium is found in the soil and in different rocks, it accumulates in plants and thus enters the nutrient chain. Selenium is present in most foods, its very good source are nuts (especially walnuts from Brazil), fish and seafood, offal (kidney, liver) and various meats. Cereals, vegetables and other plant foods contain selenium, but the amount depends on the quality of the crop.
In the human body many so-called selenoproteins play a role in strengthening the immune system. These substances help our body to bind free radicals and to defeat cancer. However, when selenium is not taken in sufficient quantities, these functions are running slower and worse and the immune system is under continous attack. In Hungary, only half of the recommended amount of selenium is intaken according to the statistics, it is strongly recommended the constantly supplement. This can be done by food supplements but with a well-chosen diet can achieve a much greater impact. Those foods have particular importance which are able to compensate for the lack of selenium in the body for instance Seleno-bread or margarine enriched with selenium. Due to the primary studies, mushrooms are also suitable to satisfy the selenium needs of the body in case that they can accumulate selenium in they trunk. So mushrooms enriched with selenium can help in the fight against selenium deficiency diseases. These will be available on the shelves soon as developed in Hungary functional foods.
The product development team of the Hungarian firm called Bio-Fungi Kft. located in Áporka working on the development of cultivation technology for a new mushroom product family. In this research project, inorganic and organic selenium compounds are injected at various points of the cultivation technology, so the mushrooms can include them as they grow and build it into their body. We also investigate how the selenium given into the soil could enter the mushroom and to how we can extent the selenium levelt of our body by eating these mushrooms.
Enrichment of mushrooms with selenium, results
On the basis of previous studies, we have found that the treatment of the raw material with selenium salt strongly influenced the selenium content of mushrooms. With yeast-selenium solution enrichment with selenium has greater (almost half as much) results as obtained by water-based solution. The selenium content of the “control mushroom” – mushroom cultivated in a soil not treated by selenium salt – in relation to the dry portions is 1 mg / kg. This means a value of 0.1 mg / kg for fresh mushroom because raw mushroom contains in an average of 90% of water, so one kilogram of fresh mushrooms there are 100 micrograms of selenium. Consuming one portion or fresh mushroom of 200 grams we can take 20 micrograms of selenium in our body. That would be useful to intake ten times more than that to our body with mushroom consumption because that improve the selenium level of our body and this amount is still below the certain level considered to be toxic. The aim is to increase this maximum amount as possible. By consuming a dish prepared of 200 grams of mushrooms it is possible to intake 200 micrograms of selenium is possible which is only the lower value for the upper limit of the selenium daily requirement. Thus, the toxic concentration can not be reached, even not when comes also from other foods selenium in our body. However, it is sufficient to supply our body with sufficient quantity of this important microelement
Why do you need selenium?
Selenium deficiency can cause numerous health problems, the presence of certain diseases may increase proportionally significant and adverse changes in the human body can be presented. The most important symptoms in relation to selenium deficiency are the following:
- the possible increase of presence of Alzheimer’s disease,
- occurrence of skin lesions, moles, birthmarks,
- hypersensitivity to carcinogens,
- increasing infant and child mortality, sudden infant death syndrome, low birth weight,
- growth disorders,
- disorders of the immune system,
- increasing susceptibility to infection by the HIV virus,
- infertility both in men and women,
- muscular dystrophy, muscle pain,
- cirrhosis of the liver, pancreatitis, pancreatic atrophy and fibrosis,
- Parkinson’s disease.
Source: Helyi Termék Magazin