Journal List > J Nutr Health > v.51(2) > 1081547

J Nutr Health. 2018 Apr;51(2):121-131. Korean.
Published online April 30, 2018.
© 2018 The Korean Nutrition Society
Assessment of selenium and zinc status in female collegiate athletes
Okhee Lee
Department of Food Science and Nutrition, Yong In University, Yongin, Gyeonggi 17092, Korea.

To whom correspondence should be addressed. tel: +82-31-8020-2756, Email:
Received February 06, 2018; Revised February 21, 2018; Accepted March 16, 2018.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.



This study was aimed to assess selenium and zinc status in female collegiate athletes and their relationship with dietary intake.


Female collegiate athletic groups of judo and aerobics, and healthy sedentary collegiate females were recruited for this study and their serum selenium and zinc contents were measured by the neutron activation analysis (NAA) method. In addition, the dietary intake of subjects was measured using the two days 24-hour recall method.


Serum selenium in judo athletes was 10.7 µg/dl, which was significantly lower than that of aerobic athletes (12.2 µg/dl), but not different from that of the sedentary group (11.4 µg/dl). Additionally, serum zinc levels were 96.1 µg/dl and 90.2 µg/dl in aerobic and judo athletes, respectively, which did not differ significantly. Moreover, dietary selenium and zinc intake of the athletic groups did not differ significantly from that of the sedentary female group. Overall, 33.3% of the serum selenium concentration variation was explained by the intake of vitamin E, selenium and saturated fatty acids, while 14.7% of the serum zinc level variation was explained by the intake of saturated fatty acids. The strongest dietary indicator for serum selenium and zinc levels was saturated fatty acids intake.


Judo athletes appear to have lower selenium status than aerobic athletes, suggesting different body selenium status according to sport type. To maintain body selenium and zinc levels, the dietary intake of saturated fatty acids should be decreased.

Keywords: zinc; selenium; athletes; sport type; dietary intake


Table 1
Experimental condition of NAA1) for the serum mineral analysis
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Table 2
Age and anthropometric characteristics of study participants (mean ± SD)
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Table 3
Energy and antioxidative nutrient intake of subjects by sport type
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Table 4
INQ of antioxidant nutrient intakes of subjects by sport type
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Table 5
Serum selenium and zinc level of subjects by sport type (unit = µg/dl)
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Table 6
Distribution of subjects according to the serum zinc levels
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Table 7
Prediction of serum selenium and zinc level by dietary nutrient intake in collegiate female subjects
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This work was supported by a grant from Yong In University.

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