Selenium: Health Benefits, Dosage, Side Effects, Deficiency, and More

1-What Is Selenium

Selenium (Se) is a chemical nonmetal element with an atomic mass of 78.96 and atomic number of 34.

It groups with chalcogens or chalk-formers.

It is reactive enough such that one cannot find it in nature in its elemental state.

But, instead, it may be acquired as a by-product from other materials after refining.

Sulfide ores like pyrites are good sources of selenium.

Commercially, selenium is used as a raw material for pigments and for glassmaking.

In electronics, this element is combined with silicon to make semiconductors.

As you may have known, selenium is an essential part of our bodies’ nutrition.

This suggests that we should maintain a good level of this trace mineral.


1. Helps making antioxidant enzymes which are part of cell damage prevention

2. Helps the immune system protect the body after a certain vaccination

3. It helps prevent certain kinds of cancers and cardiovascular diseases

4. Helps protect the body from heavy metal poisoning

5. Helps men boost the production of sperm and improve sperm movement

2-Why Selenium Is Important?

Most people especially the couples may have an idea of what selenium is.

It is probably discussed during their seminars before getting married.

However, selenium is still not familiar to others and why is it important?

Selenium is an essential mineral that is fundamentally important for human health.

Selenium is best-known as an antioxidant and helps motivate the production of active hormones in the thyroid glands.

Selenium is also needed of the immune system to function properly and arise to be one key nutrient to fight against virulence development, forbidding the occurrence of HIV and turn it into AIDS.

Selenium is also important to sperm motility and help prevent miscarriage.

The importance of selenium must be well-understood and paid much attention because it serves a lot of benefits for the human health.

Selenium is also found good to prevent risks of cardiovascular diseases and as well as the risks of cancer.

With these benefits, selenium is really important for the body.

It almost tackles every aspect of human health, from pregnancy and even to high risk of cancer.

People should know that selenium is not just any mineral, it is one of the most important and most needed mineral of the human health.

3-Benefits of Selenium – Your Weapon Against Cancer

In case you’ve never heard of selenium before, you should know that it is a trace element found in soil.

Although it’s not naturally found in the human body, small amounts of this substance are necessary for optimal human health.

Scientific tests and studies performed over the years have revealed that selenium is essential for many functions of the body that we often take for granted, including those of the testes, kidneys, liver, spleen, and pancreas.

It might surprise you to know that this minimal substance can be found in literally every cell in your body.

selenium-acajou- cashew tree

If you want to be healthy you want to make sure you have good levels of selenium.

Selenium acts as a powerful anti-oxidant.

Taking a selenium supplement can guarantee that you always have a high level of this powerful substance in your system. 

Selenium is an important trace mineral that the body needs.

This nutrient is a vital part of antioxidant enzymes that protect our cells against free radicals.

Selenium is also important for a healthy immune system and the thyroid gland.

4-Selenium Benefits for Men

Selenium is one among the active mineral that our body needs, it’s an antioxidant.

The Selenium benefits for men includes

  1. Prevents hardening of the arteries
  2. Keeps skin looking young
  3. Pancreatic benefits
  4. Increases sperm production and the sperm’s mobility
  5. Reduces Cancer Rates by controlling cell damage
  6. Helps in body purification by combining with toxic minerals such as mercury, Arsenic and Cadmium

Selenium Benefits for Reproduction

For men whose selenium levels are very low, or the mobility of the sperm is less due to weekened or deformed tail, selenium works the best.

It is seen that Selenium supplements increased the mobility of sperm to 100 percent!!

Selenium is an essential mineral needed by the body for the proper functioning of the thyroid gland and may help protect against cancer and free radical damages.

It is a micronutrient which is necessary only in small amounts because it may be toxic if taken at high levels.

It is naturally found in plants, seafood, and meat products.

It is an antioxidant which may delay the onset of cancer and may also have anti-aging effects.

When selenium teams with vitamin E, it protects cells from damage, making the aging process slow down, helping the body resist infection, and protecting the body against toxic materials such as cigarette smoke.

Here are the best sources of selenium.

Top 8 Foods Found Rich in Selenium:

1. Brazil Nuts

Aside from selenium, Brazil nuts are also rich in magnesium. Per 100 grams of Brazil nuts, 1917 micrograms are supplied.

2. Shellfish

These include oysters, whelk and mussels.

It is found out that oysters from the Pacific provide 154 micrograms per 100 grams serving.

Aside from selenium, oysters and mussels are also good sources of iron, copper, iodine, zinc and vitamin B12.

3. Liver

Animal liver is full with multiverse of nutrients which include selenium.

4. Fish

5. Sunflower Seeds

Though seemingly this is not a source, sunflower seeds actually are one of the best sources of selenium, 79 micrograms per 100 grams of serving.

6. Bran

Bran includes rice, wheat and oat.

Breakfast with servings of these is good diet for those with selenium deficiency.

7. Caviar

8. Bacon

Though it is rich in cholesterol, bacon and some pork strips are a good source of selenium

6-Selenium Dosage

People must be aware that getting the right selenium dosage is exceptionally important.

Though selenium can be very beneficial, it can also be very harmful due to cases of overdose.

Although a Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of selenium has already been established, it is still difficult to recommend a standard dosage since every person in different locations may have different levels of selenium intake.

This recommended dietary allowance is the minimum dosage that you require per day in order to keep you far from the possible danger that this particular nutrient can give.

In general, most of the adult multivitamins comprise 55 mcg or less of selenium per dose.

Other forms of supplements, such as those that contain just selenium or selenium plus a small number of other vitamins and minerals, may contain significantly more selenium.

The Institute of Medicine has instituted an RDA and tolerable upper intake level (UL) values for selenium.

For very long period of time, it is seen that taking 200 mcg (micrograms) is relatively safe since this value is the most often used dose in studies.

One study has found out that taking 300 mcg of selenium a day caused ill effects on the thyroid gland plus hair and nail deterioration and loss.

So as a conclusion, taking 100 to 200 mcg per day is likely to be the right amount you should take in order to benefit your health but that does not mean it will never bring bad results because studies shown says majority of the takers but not all of them

7-Selenium Overdose – Signs and Symptoms

Selenium is a trace mineral which is an essential antioxidant.

It is one of the minerals which our body needs in order to be healthy.

Selenium should only be taken in normal amounts.

But, what if you become overdose with selenium?

What are the things that might happen to you?

Here is a general idea about selenium overdose.

Signs and symptoms of selenium overdose?

Selenium overdose may happen when a person had an intake of too much selenium.

When this happens, the following signs and symptoms happen:

  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Hair and nail brittleness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Irritability
  • Mood swings
  • Garlicky breath odor
  • Hair loss
  • Tooth discoloration and decay
  • Gastrointestinal problems

If you have been experiencing some of these signs and symptoms, you better be careful because it might be because of selenium overdose.

Immediately call your doctor and have your check up.

8-Getting to Know Selenium Yeast

Selenium is essential to help the body form functional proteins and has proved itself to be useful in various medical conditions like liver cancer and HIV.

It is a trace element which means it should be taken only in small amounts.

It can be found in supplements like selenium yeast supplements.

What Selenium Yeast Is All About

Selenium yeast is a type of dietary supplement that is used to boost the amounts of selenium in your diet.

It should be taken into account that these supplements are only good if taken in small amounts and can be toxic if used at high levels.

It is known as a source of organic food-form selenium.

It is produced by growing select strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae in selenium-rich media.

It is found out that the establishment of its exact composition with respect to the selenium species present made conflicting outcomes.

It has been used in the past only for farm animals but developments have been done and it is made available to humans as well.

The quality of these supplements has been questioned through the years.

It is because some products have been found to contain inorganic selenium instead of selenomethionine which are chemically imprecise.

Formation of elemental selenium is established through the reaction of both sodium selenite, an inorganic form of selenium, with vitamin C which may not be advantageous to the body as the selenomethionine provided by selenium yeast.

These supplements have been proven safe and effective for use, even in pre-term infants and nursing mothers.

Always keep in mind that there is a recommended dosage for different age and weight ranges.

9-How Bad Is Selenium Toxicity

Selenium, like many other substances found in the body, is vital to all living cells as it plays an important role in the production of certain enzymes.

Since selenium is a trace element, it should be noted that it is supposed to be taken only in small amounts and can be toxic if taken in excess.

There is a tolerable upper intake level of selenium which is 400 micrograms per day and if exceeded would lead to selenosis.

Symptoms of Toxicity from Selenium

Eating plants grown in extremely selenium-rich soil may be one of the causes of being toxic with selenium. 

Selenium toxicity is found most often in China wherein the soil is tremendously rich in selenium even making its way into the food and water supplies.

Although it acts differently to every human, there are similar symptoms found like nausea, vomiting, gastrointestinal problems, hair loss, sloughing off of nails, garlic breath, fatigue, mood swings, neurological problems, pulmonary edema, cirrhosis of the liver and most critically death.

Toxicity with selenium can be a very serious problem especially when a person has a high level of the substance.

Overdose of a medication wherein selenium is present can also be another cause of being toxic with selenium.

Though this type of disease can be treated, you must be aware that it is better if it is caught in the early stages.

You should already go to a doctor if you start experiencing chronic diarrhea or nausea.

Do not wait for your nails to change or your breath to smell like garlic for you may suffer with this for the rest of your life if a neurological damage has occurred even if you are treated.

10-The Selenium Deficiency

Despite the fact that selenium is only a trace element in our bodies, deficiencies in this significant mineral poses health risks.

Such deficiency makes the body more vulnerable to nutritional stresses and communicable diseases.

Symptoms will physically manifest in you after quite some time you have endured selenium deficiency.

So, here are few symptoms which indicate if you have selenium deficiency:

1. Increased body fatigue

Though increased fatigue is a difficult symptom to observe, lack of energy as opposed to your previous energy level is caused by deficiency of selenium.

2. Hyperthyroidism

3. Mental fatigue

4. Reproductive diseases

Miscarriage is one of the most detrimental effects of selenium deficiency.

Changes in menstruation are also another effect due to lacking of tis mineral.

Three diseases caused by selenium deficieny:

1. Keshan Disease- This disease is characterized by heart enlargement.

2. Kashin-Beck Disease- The disease which causes osteoarthropathy, a disorder which affect joints

3. Myxedematous Endemic Cretinism- A kind of hypothyroidism which ends up to mental retardation

As you can see, the deficiency of this trace mineral is really devastating.

In order for one to prevent this deficiency, he must always care to maintain good levels by having a balanced diet.

Since selenium is most commonly found in vegetables, consuming such will help you maintain a good diet and at the same time prevent such deficiency.

If you are already experiencing these symptoms, it will always be best to consult your physician.

11-Selenium Tests

Selenium is one of the primary trace minerals significant to the nutritional needs of the body.

It serves to protect proteins, cell membranes, lipids, and nucleic acids from oxidant molecules.

It functions well in the body’s thyroid activity, anti-oxidant activity and glutathione synthesis, heavy metal detoxification, infection-fighting ability, cancer prevention and possibly correction, mental health, etheric development and life extension, and mental or spiritual development.

Selenium tests are done in order to know the different levels of selenium.

It has been found out that low levels of selenium are associated to higher risk of some chronic diseases like cancer and heart disease.

This is why testing the selenium is believed to be so important.

People should get enough selenium especially those people suffering from diseases that have to do with lack of selenium.

One way of measuring the selenium level is by examining the toenail clippings of a person.

The Different Selenium Tests

There are a number of tests for selenium that have been described and are in general use.

The most widely used test depends on the precipitation of the element from a hydrochloric acid solution by addition of stannous chloride solution.

One more test for selenium makes use of potassium iodide to precipitate a reddish-brown powder of selenium iodide.

The new test, by means of the organic compound, thiourea, has the lead that the very highly colored product is unique and by examining certain precautions hereafter explained, it is detailed and not meddled with by other elements in the test solution.

These are just some of the ways in line with testing the selenium.

12-Antioxidant Selenium – Essential for Good Health

Have you been hearing different ideas about what your body needs to operate at its peak energy level?

These days, all you have to do is turn on the television or pick up a magazine, and you’re likely to be bombarded with multiple articles and advertisements telling you different ways to improve your overall well being.

This advice can be confusing when you’re not sure if they’re only trying to sell you a product or really telling you about something that could make you look and feel better.

Here are some of the most important things to know about antioxidant selenium if you’re thinking about adding it to your diet.

In case you’ve never heard of antioxidant selenium before, you should know that it is a trace mineral that the body needs to maintain optimal health.

Although selenium is essential to the body’s health, it’s important to point out that you only need very small amounts of it to take advantage of all the benefits.

Your body will use the selenium that you consume to make selenoproteins, which perform the function of antioxidant enzymes.

Having a sufficient supply of antioxidants in your body will help to prevent cell damage caused by oxidizing free radicals.

If you have heard of antioxidant selenium before, you might have noticed that it is offered as a dietary supplement in many health food stores.

However, taking a dietary supplement isn’t the only way to ensure that you’re getting enough selenium in your life.

Before there was a large dietary supplement industry, many people naturally consumed sufficient amounts of selenium just by choosing certain foods that are known to contain it.

This mineral is imparted to mostly plant based foods through the soil.

Studies have shown that the soils in the plains of Nebraska and the Dakotas consistently have very high levels of selenium.

Conversely, soils in some areas of China and Russia are known to have very low amounts of selenium.

If you’re wondering what foods will allow you to take advantage of all the health benefits of antioxidant selenium, you should know that there are many common foods that will perform this service.

Some of the foods that contain significant levels of selenium include: Brazil nuts, tuna fish, beef, cod, turkey, and various vegetables.

Keep in mind that your body only needs a small amount of selenium to be able to support antioxidant function.

13-The Selenium Mineral

Selenium is an important micronutrient in all recognized forms of life. It is not found too often that is why it is considered as a rare mineral.

It is frequently taken into the body through water and foods.

It has been used to cure disease like stroke and cancers of different kinds such as in the prostate, lung, stomach, and skin.

It is important in making the body processes work in the correct manner and increases the action of antioxidants.

Its antioxidant properties help prevent cellular damage from free radicals which adds to the development of chronic diseases like cancer and heart disease.

Selenium mineral has a chemical formula, Se.

It has a molecular weight of 78.96 gm.

Its name originated from the Greek word “Selene” which means “goddess of the moon” to contrast “tellure” or “earth”.

The History of Selenium Mineral

It was discovered by Jons Jakob Berzelius in 1817.

Its color varies from gray, purple gray, and red.

It is opaque and sub-metallic. It differs in color when in air, in oil, and in transmitted light.

It becomes white in color when exposed to air.

It becomes darker white to grayish brown when in oil. It becomes red when it is subjected to transmitted light.

This mineral has a specific gravity of 4.81 gm/cc with a fermion index of 0.07 and a boson index of 0.93.

It is a kind of mineral which is not radioactive. It is a naturally occurring mineral element which is distributed widely in nature through rocks and soils.

14-Selenium and Thyroid

Selenium, according to the researchers, is said to be a mineral which is important to our health.

It has the potential to lessen the risks of:

  • thyroid complications
  • fertility problems
  • the development of HIV to AIDS.

It is also an important mineral normally found in the soils.

Usually, crops will transform selenium into living forms than could be captivated nutritionally by human beings.

Getting enough amount of selenium will upsurge thyroid hormone digestion, fight cancer, arthritis and lessen the risks of cardiovascular diseases.

Selenium and thyroid seems to be the perfect antithesis of one another.

Selenium is said to be one of the minerals that is being used as natural therapy for thyroid.

It is an important mineral for transforming  T4 thyroid hormone to its active form which is T3.

Selenium might also have a capability to overpower anti-thyroid antibodies for people who agonize from thyroid swelling or thyroiditis.

Restoring a selenium shortfall, might in some persons, in fact it repairs thyroid digestion by growing the intracellular transformation of T4 hormone to T3.

Effective thyroid regimens ought to seek a comprehensive range of regular foods together with seafoods, whole grains, seeds and nuts.

It also includes a wide-ranging based multi-vitamin. Zinc and Vitamin D might be essential.

15-The Advantages You Get When You Buy Selenium Supplements

Buying selenium supplementation can help you regulate selenium deficiency.

Aside from that, supplementation of that trace mineral can help you prevent certain kinds of cancer and AIDS by means of boosting the antioxidants in your body.

Always remember to just take selenium supplementation if you have the consent of your physician.

Deficiency of selenium will pose health problems but so do over dosage.

Just like in pregnant women, proper levels of selenium helps maintain good baby development and improper levels may cause miscarriage.

Aside from the benefits stated above, selenium also helps reducing the risk of having cardiovascular diseases and goiter.

One of the best things about this is its ability to cut death caused by cancer in half.

There are several selenium supplements available online and on the market.

Make sure to always check the ones you buy in accordance to the prescription of your physician.

Even though you already feel the symptoms of selenium deficiency, you should not self-medicate.

Your physician will always be the best authorityin terms of these matters.

Reasons Why You Need to Consult a Doctor First Before Taking Selenium Supplements:

  1. Consulting your physician if there is a need for you to take supplements is actually the most important step as he can tell you if there is a need to take this. He could also advise you on the correct dosage you need when taking supplements. Most adults need about 200-400 mg per day. Over dosage may cause headache and nausea.
  2. He could also give you a list (if there are any) of food or beverages that you should avoid when taking selenium supplementation.