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Determinants of Selenium Intake in a High HIV Prevalence Fishing Community in Bondo District, Kenya

Authors: Samwel Boaz Otieno, Fred Were, Ephantus Kabiru, Kaunda Waza


A study was done to establish determinants of selenium intake in a high HIV prevalence fishing community in the Pala Bondo district, Kenya. It was established that most of the respondents (61%) were small holder Farmers and Fishermen {χ2 (1, N=386) p<0.000}, and that most of them (91.2%) had up to college level education {χ2.(1, N=386) p<0.000}, while the number of males and females were not significantly different {χ (1, N=386) p=0.263} and 83.5% of respondents were married {χ2 (1, N=386) p=0.000}. The study showed that adults take on average 2.68 meals a day (N=382, SD=0.603), while children take 3.02 meals (N=386, SD=1.031) a day, and that in most households (82.6%) food is prepared by the women {χ2 (1, N=386) p=0.000} and further that 50% of foods eaten in that community are purchased {χ2 (1, N=386)=0.1818, p=0.6698}. The foods eaten by 75.2% of the respondents were Oreochromis niloticus, Lates niloticus, and Sorghum bicolour, 64.1% vegetables and that both children and adults eat same types of food, and further that traditional foods which have become extinct are mainly vegetables (46%). The study established that selenium levels in foods eaten in Pala sub-locations varies with traditional vegetables having higher levels of selenium; for example, Laurnea cornuta (148.5 mg/kg), Cleome gynandra (121.5 mg/kg), Vignia ungulata (21.97 mg/kg), while Rastrineobola argentea (51 mg/kg), Lates niloticus (0), Oreochromis niloticus (0) Sorgum bicolour (19.97 mg/kg), and Sorgum bicolour (0). The study showed that there is an inverse relationship between foods eaten and selenium levels {RR=1.21, p=0.000}, with foods eaten by 75.2% of respondents (Oreochromis niloticus/Lates niloticus) having no detectable selenium. The four soil types identified in the study area had varying selenium levels with pleat loam (13.3 mg/kg), sandy loam (10.7 mg/kg), clay (2.8 mg/kg) and loam (4.8 mg/kg). It was concluded from this study that for the foods eaten by most of the respondents the selenium levels were below Daily Reference Intake.

Keywords: Food, HIV, Fishing, Selenium, determinants

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