Several biological parameters for assessing selenium status have been determined in years 1985-1986 in a large Belgian population group, males and females 0 to 92 years old, representative from Brussels and surroundings. In 145 people, 20 to 79 years old, mean concentrations were: 1.06 +/- 0.15 mumol Se/l plasma, 5.0 +/- 1.1 nmol Se/g Hb in erythrocytes and 7.4 +/- 2.0 mu/g Hb for the selenodependent glutathione peroxidase activity measured in erythrocytes (mean +/- standard deviation). Values for urine selenium have a disymmetric distribution and range from 0.05 to 0.65 mumol Se/g creatinine. No difference was evidenced in this group according to sex and age. Children below 20 years and elderly above 80 years have decreased plasma and erythrocyte selenium concentrations but glutathione peroxidase is not modified. These blood selenium concentrations are lower than those determined in a similar population group in years 1980-1981, suggesting a progressive decrease in selenium intake. The concentrations of the biological parameters are not correlated together except in selenium deficient patients having plasma selenium less than 0.75 mumol/l: a significant correlation is observed between plasma selenium and erythrocyte glutathione peroxidase activity, that becomes more intense with decreasing plasma selenium. Finally, two recent investigations are described where a significant response in platelet glutathione peroxidase was obtained during a 60 days selenium supplementation with 100 to 200 micrograms selenium per day, suggesting that usual selenium intake in Belgium (50 micrograms per day) is marginally deficient.