Background: The trace element selenium (Se) is essential nutrition mineral. Selenium deficiencies
in the human and animal organism are recognized worldwide to be related to a number of
pathologies. However, at higher Se concentrations, harmful consequences occur: generation of free
radicals, DNA double-strand breaks, and apoptosis in cells. Provided that the recommended dietary
intakes are not met, Se-rich foods are to be included in the diet.
Limitation of Se Studies: The disparate opinions on the widely discussed chemopreventive capability
of selenium have to be addressed. Of paramount importance is a better understanding of the Se
significance to the DNA preservation and cancer. The contradictions found might be related to poor
understanding of controversial mechanisms involved in selenium biochemistry. Therefore, a rich
area of selenium explorations could be considered as two fields: Se as a dietary component and Se as
a toxic agent.
Selenized Fungi: Mushrooms and yeasts have attracted a number of researchers in food and pharmaceuticals.
Mushroom-based foods enriched with selenocompounds could be a convenient source of
Se to balance the deficiency. Therewith the safety and efficacy factors favor the organic forms of Se.
Conclusion: The consequences of selenium toxicity, bioavailability of selenium content, the importance
and possibilities for increasing selenium content of mushroom mycelia, a fate of organoselenium
xenobiotics in the basidiomycetes culture are discussed in this review.