Trace minerals in tilapia fillets: Status in the United States marketplace and selenium supplementation strategy for improving consumer's health.
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This goal of this study was to highlight the importance of minerals in the diet of fish for meeting micronutrient requirements in the human diet. First arsenic, calcium, cadmium, copper, iron, molybdenum, magnesium, manganese, sodium, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, and zinc concentrations of twelve commercially available tilapia samples were measured. The nutritional value of fillets in regard to their mineral content were assessed to establish potential health benefits or risks for consumers. The health benefit value of selenium was also calculated. Positive health benefit values indicate that tilapia fillets in the United States marketplace of this study do not pose health risks associated with mercury exposures. Selenium was the trace mineral of interest. After the market study, a seven-week fish feeding trial was conducted to study the influence of organic versus inorganic dietary selenium on Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus). Fish were fed two different diets enriched with the same concentration (0.01g kg-1) of selenium in form of inorganic (sodium selenite) or organic (seleno-L-methionine) selenium in triplicate groups. There were no significant differences between growth and biometrics of fish fed different diets (p>0.05). At the end of trial twelve fish from each treatment were collected. Fillets of fish fed organic selenium had selenium concentrations of 0.55 0.01 g g-1 which were significantly (p<0.05) higher than fish fed inorganic selenium at levels of 0.22 0.008 g g-1 or fish samples from the marketplace with a selenium level of 0.2 0.03 g g-1. Fish fed organic selenium also had significantly higher (p<0.05) plasma and kidney selenium in comparison to fish fed inorganic selenium. No significant differences (p>0.05) were observed in glutathione peroxidase activities in either the plasma or liver of Nile tilapia in the different treatment groups. This study shows that organic selenium is a better option for production of Nile tilapia fillets rich in selenium.