The effect of dietary selenium (Se) supplementation and low dietary magnesium (Mg) on growth of cells of the human mammary tumor cell line (HTB123/DU4475) and the tissue glutathione (GSH) content in female athymic nude mice was studied. Sixty three- to four-week-old female athymic nude mice were randomly divided into six dietary groups of 10 animals. The mice were fed a modified AIN-76A diet with two levels of Mg (100 and 665 mg/kg) and three levels of Se (0.04, 0.2, and 4.0 mg/kg). At the fourth week of dietary treatment, mice were subcutaneously inoculated with 2.5 × 106 viable tumor cells on the dorsal lumbar region and then fed their respective diets for another four weeks. Dietary Se supplementation had no significant effect on tumor growth or tissue GSH content. Low dietary Mg limited both tumor growth and tissue GSH synthesis but raised Mg and GSH levels in tumor tissues. The growth of mice fed the diet containing 100 mg/kg Mg and 4.0 mg/kg Se was significantly retarded. This study demonstrated that neither Se deficiency nor Se supplementation had any effect on mammary tumor growth or tissue GSH content in athymic nude mice. Low dietary Mg did retard tumor growth and inhibited GSH synthesis. Low dietary Mg also resulted in an apparent increase in Se toxicity in these animals.