College: University of Otago
Thesis title: Effect of gut microflora on selenium metabolism
Co-supervisors: Dr Paul Fawcett (School of Pharmacy, University of Otago), Prof. Christine Thompson (Department of Human Nutrition, University of Otago), Prof. John Tagg (Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Otago)
Selenium (Se) is an essential trace element in humans and animals. In selenium deficient areas supplements are given either as the organic form of selenium (selenomethionine (SeMet)) or as inorganic selenium (selenite). Se metabolism occurs in the liver and kidney and may occur in the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) subject to the activity of the gut microflora and/or probiotic bacteria.
Probiotics are used to promote health and are known to be involved in drug metabolism; however there is no information about the effect of probiotic consumption and selenium metabolism.
Subsequent position: Pummy has been employed as a Research Assistant following her graduation.