Benefits of selenium | Absolutely everything You Need to Know

Selenium is a trace mineral that is essential for supporting many key physiological processes in the body. This nutrient plays an important role in supporting immune function, testosterone production, thyroid health, and DNA synthesis, among other things. In addition, selenium plays an important role in preventing oxidative damage, which can be caused by factors such as pollution and stress.

Despite its many beneficial effects, however, selenium deficiency can still occur in certain populations. The main symptoms of selenium deficiency include fatigue, sluggishness, and impaired cognitive function. To help prevent selenium deficiency, dietary recommendations generally call for increasing the intake of selenium-rich foods like meat, poultry, fish, eggs and nuts. Selenium can also be obtained from fortified cereals and supplements.

When it comes to choosing these sources of selenium though, it is important to consider which type is best suited to your individual needs. Factors like age and overall health status can influence how much selenium you need from your diet each day as well as the most effective ways to take it. With the right balance of nutrients and lifestyle habits though, you can help ensure that you are getting enough of this crucial mineral to support optimal health and well-being.

What is selenium?

Selenium is a trace mineral that is found naturally in the environment. This nutrient is present in soil and water, and can also be found in certain foods. In the body, selenium plays an important role in supporting immune function, thyroid health, and fertility. Selenium is also important for preventing oxidative damage, which is caused by factors like pollution and stress.

It aids in the maintenance of healthy tissues throughout the body by acting as a cofactor for antioxidant enzymes, particularly glutathione reductase. Selenium can help to enhance resistance to diseases and the negative effects of stress by increasing antioxidant capabilities and boosting blood flow. Furthermore, because of the numerous forms of selenoproteins present in this mineral, it is thought to have anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.. Thus, selenium is an absolutely essential nutrient that plays a vital role in protecting our bodies from the damaging effects of free radicals and helping us maintain optimal health and vitality.

Selenium foods

Some of the best sources of selenium include meats such as chicken and fish, as well as nuts and seeds like Brazil nuts, sunflower seeds, and flaxseeds. Additionally, certain types of vegetables like grains, legumes, and mushrooms also contain relatively high amounts of selenium. T

una and oysters are also good sources of selenium, as well as being high in protein and low in mercury. Sardines are another type of fish that is rich in selenium, as well as omega-3 fatty acids. Including these foods in the diet can help to ensure adequate intake of this important nutrient.

(mcg) per
Brazil nutsBrazil nuts544 mcg
TunaTuna92 mcg
HalibutHalibut47 mcg
SardinesSardines45 mcg
hamHam42 mcg
shrimpsShrimps40 mcg
beefBeef 33 mcg
Turkey breastTurkey31 mcg
beef liverBeef liver28 mcg
Rotisserie chickenChicken22 mcg
Cottage cheeseCottage cheese20 mcg
Brown riceRise brown19 mcg
Egg, 1 large 15 mcg
Bread, whole-wheat, 13 mcg
Baked beans, 13 mcg
Oatmeal, 13 mcg
Milk, 8 mcg
Yogurt, 8 mcg
Lentils, 6 mcg
Bread, white, 6 mcg
Spinach, 5mcg
Cashew nuts, 3mcg
Green peas, 1mcg
Bananas, 1mcg
Potato, 1mcg

Selenium plays an important role in many biological processes, particularly in the function of the thyroid gland. In fact, dietary reference intakes for infants, children, men, women, and pregnant or breastfeeding women are all based on a need for adequate selenium levels to maintain proper thyroid function.

The recommended intake for infants is 15-20 mcg/day, while children require 20-40 mcg/day and both men and women need 55 mcg/day. Pregnant women are advised to consume 60 mcg of selenium per day, and breastfeeding women should get 70 mcg each day. Maintaining these levels of selenium is essential for supporting healthy growth and development across all stages of life.


Life stage groupRDAs or AIs (mcg RAE/day)Upper limits (mcg/day)
<19 years60 mcg400 mcg
>19 years70 mcg400 mcg


Life stage groupRDAs or AIs (mcgRAE/day)Upper limits (mcg/day)
<19 years60 mcg400 mcg
>19 years70 mcg400 mcg


Life stage groupRDAs or AIs (mcgRAE/day)Upper limits (mcg/day)
0–6 months15 mcg45 mcg
7–12 months20 mcg60 mcg


Life stage groupRDAs or AIs (mcgRAE/day)Upper limits (mcg/day)
1–3 years20 mcg90 mcg
4–8 years30 mcg150 mcg


Life stage groupRDAs or AIs (mcg RAE/day)Upper limits (mcg/day)
9–13 years40 mcg280 mcg
14–18 years55 mcg400 mcg
19 + years55 mcg400 mcg


Life stage groupUS RDAs or AIs (mcg RAE/day)Upper limits (mcg/day)
9–13 years40 mcg280 mcg
14–18 years55 mcg400 mcg
19 + years55 mcg400 mcg

8 Selenium  benefits

It is a trace mineral that is present in small amounts in the human body. Though its role is small, selenium is important for human health. Its benefits can include boosting fertility, reducing asthma symptoms, and increasing cognitive health into older age.

Additionally, selenium helps regulate thyroid function, improves blood flow and may lower risk for heart disease. Also, it can help boost immunity against viruses and may help defend against cancer. Lastly, selenium acts as an antioxidant and defends against oxidative stress.

As you can see, though selenium is present in only small amounts in the human body, it plays an important role in human health. If you are interested in reaping the benefits of selenium, talk to your doctor about whether supplementing your diet with this trace mineral is right for you.

1. Boosts Fertility

Selenium plays an important role in reproduction, and it has been shown to boost fertility in both men and women. In men, selenium helps to improve sperm motility and morphology. In women, it can improve egg quality and increase the chances of successful implantation. It can also help to prevent miscarriages.

Furthermore, dietary supplements have been shown to reduce the risk of preeclampsia, a serious complication of pregnancy. It appears to play a role in fertility, and some studies suggest that meeting the recommended dietary intake (RDI) of selenium may help to improve pregnancy outcomes. This mineral is incorporated into the sperm’s mitochondria capsule and may affect the behavior and function of the sperm as they move through the vaginal canal.

The exact mechanisms by which selenium improves fertility are not fully understood, but it is clear that this trace element plays an important role in reproductive health.

2. Reduces asthma symptoms

It is found in small amounts in the body, and it plays a critical role in many physiological processes. Recently, selenium has been shown to have beneficial effects in reducing the symptoms of asthma. In a study of asthmatic people, those who were given dietary supplements had significantly reduced symptoms after eight weeks, compared to those who did not receive selenium.

Also, studies have found that patients with chronic asthma tend to have lower amounts of selenium in their diets than healthy individuals. Furthermore, research has shown that receiving dietary supplements can help to improve asthma symptoms in people with this condition. The most convincing evidence comes from randomized placebo-controlled trials, which are considered the gold standard of scientific research.

In a placebo-controlled trial, participants are randomly assigned to receive either the treatment being tested or an inactive placebo. This design helps to control for any confounding variables, such as differences in lifestyle or health status. Several placebo-controlled trials have been conducted on the use of dietary supplements in people with asthma, and the results have been fairly consistent.

On average, participants who took selenium supplements experienced less severe asthma symptoms than those who took placebos. These findings suggest that selenium deficiency may play a role in the development of asthma and that increasing intake of this nutrient may help to improve symptoms in people with this condition.

This mineral appears to work by reducing inflammation in the airways and by improving the function of the immune system. As a result, selenium supplementation may be an effective treatment for asthma. However, further research is needed to confirm these findings.

3. Increases cognitive health and function in older people

It has long been known for its many nutritional benefits, and recent research suggests that may also play an important role in preserving cognitive health as we age. Studies have found that people with low levels of selenium are more likely to experience cognitive decline as they get older, a correlation that suggests that selenium may be crucial for maintaining optimal brain function into old age.

One possible explanation for this link is that selenium plays a key role in the production of antioxidant enzymes, which protect the brain from harmful free radicals. Additionally, research has found that selenium can help strengthen the connections between synapses in the brain, allowing our neural networks to develop and adapt over time.

A number of studies suggest that a higher intake of selenium (and other antioxidants) offers protection against cognitive decline and conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease. A meta-analysis published in 2019 revealed a significant decrease in selenium status in adults with Alzheimer’s compared to those without it, suggesting that the mineral fulfills an antioxidant function and that oxidative stress is involved in neurological disease.

Given the potential benefits of selenium for cognitive health, it may be worth increasing the intake of this mineral, particularly for older adults who are at greater risk of cognitive decline. However, it is important to speak to a doctor before making any changes to the diet, as selenium can be toxic in high doses.

4. Regulates thyroid function and thyroid disease

The thyroid gland is responsible for regulating many important body functions, including metabolism. Selenium is essential for proper thyroid function. It helps to convert the inactive form of thyroid hormone (T4) to the active form (T3), which is then used by the body. Selenium also plays a role in protecting the thyroid from damage by oxidative stress.

Additionally, it is an important part of human health and aids in the formation of active thyroid hormones. These hormones are responsible for regulating metabolism, which is the process by which your body converts food into energy. A selenium deficiency can cause impaired thyroid function, resulting in negative symptoms such as muscle weakness, trouble sleeping, weight gain or loss, fatigue, and irritability.

Thyroid disease is a common health problem, and its deficiency has been linked to an increased risk of both hypothyroidism and Graves’ disease. Although more research is needed, selenium supplementation may be beneficial for people with thyroid disease.

5. Improves blood flow and lowers the risk of heart disease

It is vital for maintaining the immune system and managing oxidative stress, but it can also improve heart health by increasing blood flow and reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease. Research has shown that individuals with lower blood levels of selenium tend to have less vascular dilation, which increases the risk of high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke.

In addition, studies suggest that individuals with low selenium levels are more likely to experience systemic inflammation, which contributes to atherosclerosis and other chronic health problems. Thus, incorporating more selenium into your diet can help you reduce your risk of heart disease and enjoy better overall health.

6. Boosts immunity against viruses

It has an important role in the body, by maintaining a strong immune system. Research has shown that selenium can help to protect against certain viruses, such as the flu and HIV. This is because selenium plays a key role in helping to activate certain proteins that have antiviral properties.

Furthermore, it helps to boost the production of natural killer (NK) cells, which are crucial for fighting viral infections. Taken together, these properties make selenium a valuable tool for promoting immunity against viruses. Not only can it help keep us healthy during the winter months, but it can also help us stay protected against more serious illnesses down the line. So whether you’re looking to prevent or treat a virus, adding more selenium-rich foods to your diet could be one of the most important steps you take.

7. Helps with cancer prevention

Selenium has antioxidant properties, which means it can help to protect cells from damage caused by free radicals. Some studies have suggested that selenium may help to defend against cancer(and cancer prevention). For example, one study found that people with higher levels of selenium in their blood were less likely to develop lung cancer.

Selenium has been said to be especially helpful for those who have a compromised immune system or relatives who have had cancer. Selenium has been found to have anti-cancer properties when taken in high doses.

According to studies, it may be effective at reducing the risk of cancer incidence, cancer-caused mortality, and severity of some types of cancer, specifically in the liver, lungs, colorectal and prostate. Selenium supplements may also help to boost the immune system and reduce the side effects of chemotherapy.

In addition, it is responsible for activating selenoproteins, which act as enzymatic antioxidants in theIn addition, it is responsible for activating selenoproteins, which act as enzymatic antioxidants in the body, it helps to fight free radicals and reduce oxidative stress. There’s even more evidence that high dosages of selenium may aid in the prevention and slowing of cancer progression and tumor growth.

Studies have found that selenium can protect the DNA from mutations that could lead to cancer, and can help lower the risk of developing certain types of tumors in areas where there is a scarcity of selenium in the soil. Overall, this vital mineral plays an important role in our health and wellbeing and should be included as part of any balanced diet.

8. It is a natural antioxidant and fights against oxidative stress

This mineral plays an important role in regulating the body’s immune system and protecting against oxidative stress. This potent antioxidant has been shown to help fight off disease and may even have cancer-fighting properties. Studies have shown that individuals who have low levels of selenium are more susceptible to oxidative stress, as well as illnesses like cardiovascular disease and cancer.

It also supports a strong immune system and fights the aging process by reducing free radical damage, but it can also work synergistically with other antioxidant vitamins like vitamin E to help defend against oxidative stress. This stress can contribute to a wide range of conditions, including neurological conditions, heart disease, and different types of cancer.

For example, studies have shown that people with higher levels of selenium tend to be at lower risk for developing prostate, gastric, lung, esophageal, colon, and breast cancers. Overall, selenium is an important part of a healthy diet and lifestyle and should be integrated into any anti-aging or disease prevention plan.

It is a key component of glutathione peroxidase, an important enzyme that helps to protect against oxidative damage. Selenium is also involved in other important enzyme processes, such as those that protect lipids in cell membranes. Furthermore, it is necessary for the fight against mutation and DNA damage. This essential trace element can therefore be said to play a crucial role in human health and disease prevention.

Therefore, ensuring an adequate intake of selenium through diet or supplementation can be crucial to maintaining good health and preventing illness.

Selenium  deficiency

Several factors can cause selenium deficiency in certain groups of people. Individuals who eat poorly or have difficulty absorbing it might be more prone to its deficiency. Additionally, the four natural forms of selenium make it challenging to study and understand its effects on the body. These natural states include elemental selenium, selenide, selenite, and selenate.

While some of these forms are primarily found in water and others mainly in food sources, all four types are essential nutrients that contribute to vital functions in the body. For example, they play key roles in supporting immune function and preventing inflammation, as well as promoting thyroid health and improving cognitive function. Overall, understanding the different types and sources of selenium can help us better protect against deficiency and ensure that our bodies receive all the benefits that this important nutrient has to offer.

Studies have shown that selenium deficit can lead to an increased risk of mortality due to poor immune function, infertility, cognitive decline, and inflammation. Additionally, deficiency symptoms can include fatigue, muscle weakness, and difficulty with thyroid function. In extreme cases, selenium deficit can lead to cardiomyopathy, a condition that weakens and enlarges the heart muscle.

What are the symptoms of selenium deficiency?

Its deficiency is relatively rare, but it can occur if someone does not get enough selenium in their diet or if their body is unable to absorb selenium properly. Symptoms of its deficit can vary depending on the severity of the condition and which organs are affected.

In general, common symptoms include:

  • fatigue,
  • impaired cognitive function and speech difficulty,
  • hair loss or brittle nails,
  • muscle weakness and cramps,
  • nausea or an upset stomach,
  • skin lesions or rashes,
  • weak immune system
  • heart irregularities such as palpitations or racing pulse,
  • infertility in women and men
  • changes in mood such as irritability or depression

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms on a regular basis, it is important to consult your doctor to determine whether you may have a selenium deficit. Through dietary changes or supplements as appropriate, it is often possible to address this condition before more serious complications develop.

Health Risks from Excess selenium and Side effects

Consuming too much selenium can have some serious health consequences. Selenosis, or excess selenium toxicity, can cause gastrointestinal problems, hair loss, garlic breath odor, and neurological issues(from acute selenium toxicity) such as muscle weakness and irritability.

In extreme cases, excess selenium may even lead to kidney failure or death. Furthermore, some people may experience irritation or inflammation in the mouth and throat when taking higher doses of selenium supplements. Overall, it is important to be aware of the potential health risks associated with high levels of selenium and to always consult with a healthcare professional before making any changes to your diet or routine.

Selenium toxicity

Its toxicity is a relatively rare phenomenon, but it can occur in people who are taking high doses of this mineral as a supplement. The toxicity is most commonly associated with either elemental or inorganic forms of selenium, as these tend to be more toxic than other forms. Typically, the primary symptoms of selenium toxicity are neurological in nature, such as headaches and loss of coordination.

In most cases, selenium toxicity can be easily treated by stopping supplementation or reducing dosage levels. However, chronic exposure to elevated amounts of this nutrient has been linked to certain types of cancer, so it is important to exercise caution when supplementing with selenium. Overall, while the potential for selenium toxicity exists, it is usually only seen in people who are taking unusually high doses for extended periods of time.

Interactions with selenium

It’s possible that this mineral interacts with other medicines and minerals. These include:

  • niacin
  • corticosteroids
  • chemotherapy drugs
  • cholesterol-lowering statin drugs
  • antacids
  • birth control pills

Selenium  supplements

Many people do not get sufficient levels of selenium from their diets due to factors like poor soil quality or inadequate consumption of certain types of foods. To help prevent its deficiency, some people choose to take supplements in order to boost their intake of this important nutrient.

However, there are some drawbacks to relying solely on supplements to meet your selenium needs. For one thing, the amount of selenium found in these pills and powders can vary significantly from one product to the next, meaning that it is hard to know exactly how much you are taking in.

Additionally, studies have shown that large doses of selenium can be harmful, so it is vital to closely follow the dosage instructions when taking these supplements. Overall, while selenium supplements may be a useful tool for some people, it is best to achieve your optimal levels through diet and lifestyle changes whenever possible.

Types of Supplements    

There are a variety of different forms of selenium available as supplements. While it can be obtained through a balanced diet, many people choose to take selenium supplements in order to ensure they are getting adequate levels of this essential nutrient.

However, not all types of selenium supplements are created equal. In most products, selenium is present in the form of selenomethionine, which is considered to be the most bioavailable and beneficial for human health. However, other forms of dietary selenium do exist, including sodium selenite and sodium selenate, as well as amino acid chelates and protein- or amino acid chelates forms.

Although variable amounts of research have been conducted on these different chemical forms, evidence generally supports the use of selenomethionine over its counterparts. Therefore, when choosing a selenium supplement, it is important to consider the form that it takes in order to maximize its health benefits.

In addition, selenium sulfide is sometimes used as an active ingredient in shampoos aimed at treating dandruff, though it is not generally taken orally in this form. Overall, all types of selenium can help improve overall health by providing important nutrients to support a wide range of bodily functions. So if you’re looking to add more selenium to your diet, be sure to talk to your healthcare professional about which form might best suit your needs.

Final Thoughts

Selenium is a mineral found in small amounts in the body. It’s important for fertility, thyroid function, and protecting your body from damage. Selenium can be found in some foods, such as Brazil nuts, tuna, chicken, and eggs. You can also get it through supplements. The recommended daily amount of selenium is 55 micrograms (mcg) for adults. Most people in the United States get enough selenium in their diet.

However, some people might not be getting enough, including those with certain medical conditions and people who live in certain areas. Its deficiency can lead to health problems, such as Kashin-Beck disease and Keshan disease. Selenium supplements are generally safe and have few side effects. However, taking too much selenium can be harmful. The upper limit is 400 mcg per day for adults. Be sure to talk to your doctor before taking selenium supplements to make sure they’re right for you. Taking the wrong amount of selenium can be dangerous to your health.


It is a trace element that is essential for human health. It is found in small amounts in the body, and it plays a role in many different bodily functions. One of the most important roles of selenium is as an antioxidant. Antioxidants help to protect cells from damage caused by free radicals, and selenium is thought to play a role in protecting against some types of cancer.

It is also necessary for proper thyroid function, and it helps to boost the immune system. In addition, it plays a role in fertility and reproduction, making it an essential nutrient for both men and women.

Its deficiency can lead to health problems, such as Hashimoto’s disease, infertility, and joint pain. Taking supplements can help to correct a selenium deficit and may also help to prevent certain health conditions.

There is a lot of conflicting information regarding the safety of selenium when taken as a dietary supplement. On the one hand, some sources claim that selenium is safe for daily use in doses up to 400 mcg, based on research showing minimal toxicity even at very high doses. However, others argue that selenium can be harmful if taken in large amounts or over long periods of time.

These sources point to studies showing an increased risk of selenium toxicity at doses greater than 400 mcg per day, including symptoms like nausea, rash, and muscle pain. Ultimately, the best approach appears to be moderation: taking the recommended daily intake of selenium (200-400 mcg) while avoiding high doses or long-term use. By doing so, you can hopefully enjoy all the benefits of this important mineral without any uncomfortable or potentially dangerous side effects.

Its deficiency can lead to a variety of symptoms, including fatigue, impaired cognitive function and speech difficulty, hair loss or brittle nails, muscle weakness and cramps, nausea or an upset stomach, skin lesions or rashes, weak immune system, heart irregularities such as palpitations or racing pulse, and infertility in women and men. Although Its deficiency is rare, it is important to be aware of the symptoms so that you can seek treatment if necessary.

Brazil nuts are an excellent source of selenium, with a single nut providing over 100% of the daily recommended intake. Other good sources of selenium include tuna, shrimp, turkey, chicken, and eggs.

For vegetarians and vegans, whole wheat bread and oats are also good sources of this nutrient. While it is possible to get too much selenium from supplements, it is very difficult to consume too much selenium from food sources. As long as you include a variety of these Selenium-rich foods in your diet, you should be getting enough of this important nutrient.

Selenium and zinc are essential nutrients that play important roles in the body. Selenium is involved in thyroid function, while zinc is necessary for immune function and cell growth. Both nutrients can be found in a variety of foods.

Selenium is found in seafood, whole grains, eggs, and meat, while zinc is present in beans, nuts, whole grains, and dairy products. While it is possible to get these nutrients from supplements, it is usually best to get them from food sources. This is because the body absorbs nutrients better when they come from food than from supplements. In addition, getting nutrients from food sources helps to ensure that you are getting other important vitamins and minerals that are necessary for good health.

One of its key roles is in aiding thyroid health; selenium helps to support the production of thyroid hormones, which are vital for maintaining optimal metabolism (best for metabolism and thyroid function) and energy levels. Studies have shown that Its deficiency may be linked to an increased risk of thyroid disease, such as hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s disease. Therefore, it is important to maintain adequate levels of selenium through a healthy diet in order to promote optimal thyroid health and avoid these conditions.

By NutriWins team

Similar Posts