Selenium, being an essential mineral in the mammalian diet, is important in providing protection against oxidative damage. Numerous in vitro studies of selenium compounds reveal a very high correlation between catalytic activity of selenium compounds and toxicity. The present study was designed to investigate the effects of dietary selenium on the biomechanical properties of bone. New born rats of both sexes were fed with either a control, or a selenium- and vitamin E-deficient, or a selenium-excess and vitamin E-adequate diet. We obtained the stiffness (modulus of elasticity) of bones (femur and tibia) by tensile test for all groups considered. Both the deficient and the excess groups have decreased biomechanical strength with respect to the control group. To support our biomechanical results for both experimental groups, X-ray diffraction analysis and FTIR spectroscopic study were performed on the femurs and tibiae. The X-ray diffraction analysis showed that the intensities of the peak observed at around 2 theta degrees = 31.820, in the control femur and tibia are stronger than the intensities of the corresponding peak of two experimental groups. In FTIR spectroscopy, the disappearance and/or reduction of the intensities of some carbonate bands in the two experimental groups indicate that there is a decrease in crystallinity and mineral contents which, together with X-ray diffraction analysis, correlate very well with the biomechanical data.