Data on selenium (Se) deficiency in Serbia are presented following 10 years of research. We studied the Se content in ores, stream sediment, soil, cereal crops, and garlic grown in these soils, food, and human serum and hair from 55 communities. Most of the results indicated a serious Se deficiency. In some communities, the Se content of grain, garlic, and human serum and hair approached that of the low-Se belt in China.

We assume that an extremely low Se level in the human population could be a risk factor for the development of Balkan nephropathy (BN) and for the very high incidence of urinary tract tumors (UTT) in endemic areas, as well as for the high mortality rates of other cancers.

(Maksimovic Z; Djujic I. Selenium research in Serbia, Yugoslavia. Journal of Environmental Pathology, Toxicology and Oncology, 1998, 17(3-4):165-71.)