Selenium: Health Benefits, Food Sources, Supplements and possible Health Risks

Selenium is an essential mineral for human health. It is one of the most important trace elements. Selenium is a mineral, that the human body cannot produce it on its own and it must be obtained through foods and nutritional supplements.

Selenium is an important mineral for the body, but it is also toxic in high doses. Most selenium on Earth is found in soil, where it binds to other minerals and can be absorbed by plants. Plants that are grown in soil with higher selenium content will contain more of the mineral.

This article looks at how selenium affects your health. This includes how much of this mineral you should eat, what the benefits are, and any possible risks associated with consuming it.

Health Benefits

Selenium is an essential nutrient for humans and animals. It is a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme glutathione peroxidase. It helps maintain healthy thyroid function and immune system health. Selenium also assists in regulating the metabolism of cholesterol, glucose, and other fats in the body.

Selenium helps to protect cells from damage by free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS). ROS are molecules that cause oxidative stress on cells which can lead to many diseases like cancer or heart disease. Selenium also helps to regulate cell growth which can prevent tumor growth.

The following sections look at some possible health benefits of selenium in more detail:

Thyroid Disorders

Selenium plays an important role in thyroid function by aiding the conversion of T4 to T3 (triiodothyronine).

Thyroid disorders are the most common endocrine disorder. The thyroid gland produces hormones that regulate metabolism, growth, and sexual development. Thyroid hormones also regulate the body’s sensitivity to other hormones such as insulin. Selenium deficiency has been linked to an increased risk of developing a goiter as well as hyperthyroidism.

Cardiovascular Disease

Selenium is an essential mineral that plays a key role in cardiovascular health. Selenium helps the body produce the antioxidant enzyme glutathione peroxidase which prevents LDL cholesterol from oxidizing and damaging artery walls.

Selenium also helps regulate blood pressure and reduce inflammation by reducing levels of C-reactive protein. Selenium deficiency can lead to increased risk of cardiovascular disease.


Selenium is an essential component of the enzyme glutathione peroxidase which protects cells from oxidative damage. Selenium has been shown to help protect cells from oxidative damage and may play a role in cancer prevention.

Selenium is a necessary element for the body to function properly. It is found in many foods and is used in supplements, but too much of it can be toxic. Selenium has been linked with cancer because when it builds up in certain cells, it causes oxidative stress and DNA damage which can lead to cancer.


Selenium is an essential mineral that is needed for a healthy pregnancy. Pregnant women who are deficient in selenium are more likely to have pre-eclampsia and gestational diabetes. It plays a major role in the development of the fetus.

Selenium can help with pregnancy by reducing the risk of neural tube defects, such as spina bifida, by up to 70%. It can also reduce the risk of miscarriage or stillbirth.


Selenium is a mineral that a lot of people do not get enough of in their diet. However, there is no evidence to suggest that selenium causes miscarriages.

The idea that selenium can cause miscarriage came from the fact that it is an essential nutrient for the body and it has been shown to help with cell replication and repair. This led some people to believe that too much selenium could cause cells in the womb to replicate too quickly leading to miscarriage.

But there is no study showing this, so we cannot say definitively if this is true or not.

Other Benefits

Selenium is a mineral that can be found in the soil, plants, and animals. It is an essential component of most proteins and plays an important role in the functioning of the human body.

It can help with thyroid function and prevent cancer. It also helps regulate blood sugar levels, which is important for people who have diabetes or are at risk for diabetes. Selenium is essential for thyroid hormone production, which in turn is essential for the development of the central nervous system.

Selenium deficiency can be caused by a wide range of conditions, including chronic kidney disease, celiac disease, HIV/AIDS and Crohn’s disease.

However, although selenium has links with many aspects of human health, there is not enough evidence to indicate that taking selenium supplements can prevent any of these conditions.

Food sources

Selenium is a trace mineral that is essential for human health. It can be found in certain types of food, such as fish, meat, and eggs.

Selenium is an important mineral for the body, but it is also toxic in high doses. Most selenium on Earth is found in soil, where it binds to other minerals and can be absorbed by plants. Plants that are grown in soil with higher selenium content will contain more of the mineral.

The following foods are good sources of selenium:

Use of Selenium Supplements

Selenium supplements are a type of mineral supplement that contains selenium in a form that can be easily absorbed by the body. Selenium supplements come in many forms, most commonly as tablets or capsules. They are also available as liquids or pastes that can be applied to the skin.

Some people may take selenium supplements because they have an increased need for this nutrient due to certain health conditions such as HIV/AIDS or kidney disease

While selenium supplements may be beneficial for some people, they should not be used as an alternative to eating a healthy diet or as a treatment for any type of disease or condition.

Health Risks

While selenium toxicity is rare, it’s important to stay close to the recommended amount of 55 mcg per day and the upper limit for the optimal level of selenium in the body is 400 mcg for adults. It is rare for anyone to overdose on selenium, especially from selenium in food.

Although selenium is necessary for good health, getting too much can be dangerous. In fact, consuming high doses of selenium can be toxic and even fatal. For example, Brazil nuts contain a very high amount of selenium. Consuming too many could lead to selenium toxicity.

However, an overdose of highly concentrated supplements can have negative effects rather than eating selenium containing foods. These may include:

  • hair loss
  • dizziness
  • vomiting
  • facial flushing
  • tremors
  • muscle soreness
  • brittle nails
  • mottled or decaying teeth
  • gastrointestinal problems, such as nausea
  • neurological anomalies
  • fatigue and irritability
  • skin lesions and rashes
  • a garlic-like smell on the breath
  • a metallic taste in the mouth

In severe cases, selenium overdose could lead to serious intestinal and neurological symptoms, heart attack, kidney failure, and death.

Selenium supplements can also interact with some medications, including cisplatin, which is a chemotherapy drug. The use of this drug can reduce selenium levels in the body.


The most common way to get enough selenium is through diet. Selenium can be found in foods like organ meats, eggs, and shellfish.

Selenium can be found naturally in the environment and is also added to the soil by farmers. The selenium that we get from food or supplements enters our blood and goes to different parts of our body where it performs different functions.

The optimal daily amount of selenium for most adults is 55 mcg, and selenium deficiency is rare.

Supplements or dietary changes in selenium levels may be shown to decrease the risk for specific diseases and other health problems, but more research is needed.