Twenty-nine women and fifteen men from an area of low Se intake (South Island of New Zealand) consumed 100 μg stable 74Se, as selenate given in water after an overnight fast, and blood was collected for 3 weeks. They were then divided into five groups and supplemented with 0, 10, 20, 30 and 40 μg Se/d (as selenomethionine) for 5 months. After 5 months, they received a second dose of 74Se identical to the first. Supplementation significantly altered retention of 74Se in the plasma, but not in the erythrocytes or platelets. Subjects receiving the placebo retained the greatest amount, and subjects receiving 30 μg supplemental Se/d retained the least 74Se. Supplementation resulted in relatively more isotope being retained in a medium molecular mass protein considered to be albumin, and relatively less in another fraction considered to be selenoprotein P. The lack of many observed changes in retention of stable Se, and the shift in retention among the plasma proteins, suggests that supplemental Se was not being used to replete critical pools of Se, probably because of adaptation to low Se intake.