February 14

Selenium: Beneficial Role in Health, Sources And Side Effects

By Fitness Blog

February 14, 2022

Selenium: Beneficial Role in Health, Sources And Side Effects HealthifyMe Blog HealthifyMe Blog – The definitive guide to weight loss, fitness and living a healthier life.

Selenium is a hint mineral that you just naturally discover within the soil. Our physique wants it in minimal quantities. Selenium is crucial for copy, correct functioning of the thyroid gland, safety from infections, DNA synthesis, and defending the cells from oxidative stress brought on by free radicals. Brazil nuts comprise the best focus of selenium. Other meals like nuts, seeds, meat and grains additionally comprise affordable quantities of selenium. Infant formulation are fortified with selenium to make sure infants obtain them in sufficient quantities.

Selenium focus in meals is dependent upon the soil it grows in. 1817 is the yr of its discovery, and it was initially thought of a tellurium compound. However, it will definitely acquired medical consideration as a result of its toxicity to industrial staff. Selenium has additionally been toxic to animals that eat high-selenium vegetation. So an extra of this may be probably dangerous to well being. 

Despite selenium's useful results on human well being, consuming it in required quantities is crucial. However, taking extra selenium could end in antagonistic well being outcomes.

Science-Based Health Benefits of Selenium

1. Reduces Risk of Prostate Cancer

Many components akin to outdated age, weight problems, genetics can play a task in growing prostate most cancers. In addition, individuals with prostate most cancers could undergo from lack of bladder management, erectile dysfunction and so forth. 

A research study discovered that sufficient selenium ranges within the physique scale back the chance of growing prostate most cancers amongst males. Selenium prevents prostate most cancers by slowing the event and unfold of most cancers cells. Selenium ranges within the blood and tissues are all inversely associated to the chance of prostate most cancers.

Research has additionally proven that selenium reduces the chance of a number of different cancers akin to breast, colon and lung cancers.

2. Selenium Contains Antioxidative Properties

The manufacturing of free radicals in our physique outcomes from publicity to toxins within the setting. In addition, metabolic features within the physique additionally produce them. When the manufacturing of those free radicals is in extra, they hurt the tissues and organs. Antioxidants play a necessary position in decreasing the injury brought on by free radicals within the physique. For instance, selenium is a widely known antioxidant nutrient.

A study demonstrates that selenium consumption may scale back the markers of oxidative stress. In addition, it will increase the antioxidative exercise, thereby decreasing the free radical injury.

3. Reduces Risk of Heart Disease

We know that coronary heart illness happens as a result of poor dietary habits, genetics, lack of bodily exercise, smoking, excessive levels of cholesterol and lots of different causes. If not handled, it leads to a number of critical well being outcomes akin to stroke, cardiac failure, and so forth.

Studies have proven that selenium consumption is related to a diminished danger of coronary heart illness. Selenium is a potent antioxidant. It acts on the center by defending it towards the injury induced as a result of free radicals. Selenium additionally works by decreasing irritation by stopping oxidative injury to the lipids and clogging of arteries. Therefore, selenium reduces the chance of coronary heart illness and stroke.

4. Selenium Delays Onset of Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer's illness happens when a decline in mind operate leads to reminiscence loss. The commonest causes of Alzheimer's illness are life-style, setting and genetics. As the situation worsens, it might trigger difficulties in talking, studying and remembering.

Different states of selenium have neuroprotective results. A examine demonstrates that selenium's antioxidant properties assist shield the mind from injury as a result of free radicals. Thereby, it delays the event of Alzheimer's illness.

The Mediterranean weight-reduction plan popularly utilized in many ailments contains meals wealthy in selenium akin to nuts, seeds and seafood. These meals are additionally useful in decreasing the chance of Alzheimer's illness.

5. Helps Treat Thyroid Disorders

Thyroid hormone fluctuation results in hypothyroidism, Grave's illness, Hashimoto's thyroiditis, and so forth. In addition, your development and growth could be affected in case your thyroid gland doesn't operate correctly. For instance, it might end in hair loss, weight reduction, irregular menstrual cycle, gradual development, tiredness and lots of extra.

The thyroid gland incorporates the best quantities of selenium in its tissues. As we already know, metabolic features such because the secretion of thyroid hormones can produce free radicals. Selenium protects the thyroid gland from oxidative stress. A study has discovered that selenium could enhance thyroid issues.

6. Reduces Inflammation

Selenium improves the immune response. A study discovered that the selenoprotein shaped from dietary selenium reduces the inflammatory response. These are related to a number of ailments akin to allergy, bronchial asthma, inflammatory bowel illness, and so forth. It acts by lowering the over-activation of the immune system. It additionally strengthens the physique's immunity towards infectious pathogens that trigger influenza and tuberculosis.

7. Aids in Weight Loss

Unhealthy weight acquire can result in a number of well being points akin to weight problems and coronary heart illness. Selenium performs a significant position in metabolism because it regulates the features and secretion of thyroid hormones. A study exhibits that sufficient selenium consumption could assist preserve a wholesome metabolic price. Therefore, acceptable quantities of selenium consumption result in weight reduction. However, when taken above the usual necessities, selenium can have fairly the alternative impact.

8. Selenium Improves Skin Health

The predominant reason behind fast pores and skin ageing is publicity to daylight, smoke and different environmental pollution. It may end up in the event of zits, wrinkles and uninteresting pores and skin.

Studies have discovered selenium to be useful in stopping and treating pores and skin issues akin to psoriasis. It has antioxidant properties. Hence, selenium protects the pores and skin from oxidative injury brought on by solar publicity.

9. Prevents Premature Birth

Nutrients akin to zinc, selenium, iron, folate are important for the wholesome development and growth of the infant throughout being pregnant. Studies have discovered that selenium is essential for a child's wholesome delivery. Intake of acceptable quantities of selenium prevents antagonistic being pregnant outcomes akin to untimely delivery and foetal development restriction.

10. May Improve Fertility

Some analysis studies recommend that selenium consumption enhance fertility in girls. In addition, selenium helps improve reproductive operate by maintaining follicular fluid wholesome. It can also be useful in enhancing sperm rely and motility in males.

Selenium Deficiency

Selenium is crucial for the right functioning of the thyroid gland and lots of different techniques in our physique. Low ranges of selenium could disrupt the conventional processes and should result in:

  • Fatigue
  • Hair loss
  • Brain fog
  • Weakened immunity
  • Weak muscle tissues
  • Infertility 

The deficiency of selenium can result in particular illness circumstances. 

Keshan Disease

Keshan illness is a harmful dysfunction that, if left untreated, can result in heart problems, stroke, or loss of life. You can deal with Keshan illness or management it, however it isn't curable. It generally happens in girls and youngsters. Studies recommend that it might happen as a result of selenium deficiency. Sometimes it's mixed with microbial an infection.


  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of urge for food
  • Dizziness
  • Chills
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Fatigue
  • Inflammation
  • Hair loss

In worst instances, it might result in extreme problems, akin to:

  • Cough with blood
  • Severe shortness of breath
  • Congestive coronary heart failure
  • Fainting
  • Palpitation
  • Stroke

Kashin Disease

It is a joint and bone dysfunction related to low selenium ranges. However, the reason for this illness can also be as a result of different components. It generally happens in youngsters. Studies present that individuals affected with this illness usually have decreased development and bone abnormalities.


  • Pain and stiffness in joints
  • Inability to maneuver joints
  • Enlarged joints

People of all age teams ought to take the really helpful doses of selenium. It will assist them with correct development and growth. However, it's important to make sure that you don't eat in extra. Also, it's preferable to take selenium together with a meal moderately than on an empty abdomen. The really helpful consumption ought to be:

  • 0-6 Months: 15mcg
  • 7 months-3 years: 20mcg
  • 4-8 years: 30mcg
  • 9-13 years: 40mcg
  • 14 years and above: 55mcg
  • Pregnant girls: 60mcg
  • Breastfeeding girls: 70mcg

Food Sources of Selenium

Selenium: Beneficial Role in Health, Sources And Possible Side Effects- HealthifyMe

1. Brazil Nuts

They are wealthy in vitamins and antioxidants. Brazil nuts have the best selenium content material and comprise affordable quantities of zinc. In addition, a study exhibits that consuming a single serving of Brazil nuts can acutely enhance the serum lipid profile of wholesome volunteers. That is as a result of they're nutritious and assist enhance coronary heart well being. They additionally assist the wholesome functioning of the opposite organs, such because the mind and kidneys.

Nutritional Values

As per USDA, 100g of brazil nuts comprise:

  • Energy: 659kcals
  • Carbohydrates: 11.7g
  • Protein:14.3g
  • Fat: 67.1g
  • Fibre:7.5g
  • Calcium: 160mg
  • Iron: 2.43mg
  • Zinc: 4.06mg
  • Selenium: 1920µg

2. Tuna

Tuna is a wonderful supply of high-quality protein. It is low in energy and fats and helps construct muscle whereas decreasing physique fats. In addition, they're extremely nutritious as they comprise affordable quantities of calcium, B advanced nutritional vitamins, and so forth.

Nutritional Values

As per USDA, 100g of tuna incorporates:

  • Energy: 85kcals
  • Carbohydrates: 0.08g
  • Protein:19g
  • Fat: 0.6g
  • Calcium: 18mg
  • Iron: 1.67mg
  • Zinc: 0.66mg
  • Selenium: 67.8µg

3. Turkey

Turkey is one other excessive protein but low carb meals. It is filled with B advanced nutritional vitamins, zinc and selenium. It could make a scrumptious and wholesome facet to most of your lunch dishes.

Nutritional Values

As per USDA, 100g of turkey incorporates:

  • Energy: 213kcals
  • Carbohydrates: 0g
  • Protein:27.1g
  • Fat: 10.4g
  • Calcium: 31mg
  • Iron: 1.56mg
  • Zinc: 3.77mg
  • Selenium: 28.4µg

4. Cottage Cheese

Cottage cheese is a kind of curd cheese. It is scrumptious and wholesome and has low fats, excessive protein, selenium, calcium and lots of different vitamins. You can add them to your salads, eggs, toast, and a lot extra.

Nutritional Values

As per USDA, 100g of cottage cheese incorporates:

  • Energy: 82kcals
  • Carbohydrates: 4.31g
  • Protein: 11g
  • Fat: 2.3g
  • Calcium: 103mg
  • Iron: 0.13mg
  • Zinc: 0.61mg
  • Selenium: 14.6µg

5. Sunflower Seeds

Sunflower seeds assist regulate the menstrual cycle, scale back coronary heart ailments, and enhance immunity. However, they're excessive in energy, and you must eat them moderately.

Nutritional Values

As per USDA, 100g of sunflower seeds comprise: 

  • Energy: 657kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 17.1g
  • Protein: 21g
  • Fat: 56.1g
  • Calcium: 78mg
  • Iron: 5.2mg
  • Zinc: 6mg
  • Selenium: 80.4µg

Possible Side Effects & Precautions of Selenium

Taking selenium dietary supplements in keeping with a doctor’s prescription is advisable. However, it's important to be cautious. Intake shouldn't cross the secure higher limits. These higher limits are:

  • 0-6 months: 45mcg
  • 7-12 months: 46mcg
  • 1-3 years: 90mcg
  • 4-8 years: 150mcg
  • 9-13 years: 280mcg
  • 14 years and above: 400mcg

Thyroid Disorders

Taking selenium may make hypothyroidism worse. It happens primarily in individuals who're poor in iodine. In this case, you must take iodine and selenium collectively. Consult your doctor for acceptable dosage and therapy.

Sperm Motility

Though research recommend selenium improves fertility, it's important to notice that taking selenium in extra can have the alternative impact. It is as a result of selenium limits the capability of sperm to maneuver, thereby reducing fertility. Therefore, eat selenium inside the tolerable higher limits solely.

Selenium can Cause Kidney Disease

Excessive consumption of selenium could be probably dangerous to the kidney. Therefore, it's important to eat selenium inside secure limits in sufferers with kidney failure or individuals present process dialysis. Studies have discovered that extreme selenium consumption could end in acute renal failure.


Case studies have discovered that prime ranges of selenium consumption could result in congenital disabilities in infants. It can also result in problems within the being pregnant. Hence, it's important to eat selenium inside tolerable limits.

Other Medications

Selenium dietary supplements intervene with just a few drugs when taken collectively. One such remedy is warfarin. Studies present that selenium could alter the exercise of warfarin. Therefore, it might assist if you happen to mentioned together with your doctor earlier than consumption.


Studies present that selenosis happens as a result of a excessive selenium consumption. For instance, it may be as a result of elevated consumption of selenium-rich meals akin to brazil nuts. It can also happen as a result of meals grown in soil with excessive selenium content material or extreme selenium supplementation.


  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Discolouration of nail
  • Brittle nails
  • Hair loss
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Foul odour or ‘garlic breath.’

The Bottom Line

Selenium is essential for daily features carried out by our physique. However, extra consumption of selenium can result in dangerous results. Both selenium deficiency and toxicity can contribute to antagonistic well being outcomes. Therefore, it's important to be cautious when choosing a selenium complement. One ought to all the time seek the advice of a doctor and talk about the advantages and negative effects of taking a complement. It can also be important to avoid any medication interacting with selenium dietary supplements.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What does selenium do for the physique?

A. Selenium performs a big position within the correct functioning of the thyroid gland, reproductive system and protects the physique from infections. In addition, it helps enhance pores and skin and coronary heart well being and helps enhance pores and skin.

2. Is it secure to take selenium on daily basis?

A. Yes, you possibly can take selenium safely on daily basis so long as it stays inside the tolerable higher restrict. Above the secure restrict could also be dangerous to the physique. It could trigger antagonistic results akin to nausea, vomiting, irritability, and so forth.

3. What are the signs of selenium deficiency?

A. Selenium deficiency may cause signs like weak immunity, hair loss, muscle weak spot, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, infertility and mind fog.

4. How a lot selenium must you take each day?

A. You can eat selenium-rich meals like brazil nuts, rooster, turkey and tuna to get an sufficient quantity of selenium. The really helpful dose varies as per age and medical circumstances. It is as follows:

  • 0-6 Months: 15mcg
  • 7 months-3 years: 20mcg
  • 4-8 years: 30mcg
  • 9-13 years: 40mcg
  • 14 years and above: 55mcg
  • Pregnant girls: 60mcg
  • Breastfeeding girls: 70mcg

5. What is the facet impact of selenium?

A. Selenium imparts numerous well being advantages to you when taken moderately. However, an elevated selenium consumption may end up in antagonistic well being outcomes akin to foul odour or “garlic breath”, discolouration of nails, brittle nails, nausea, vomiting, fatigue and hair loss.

6. Does selenium trigger weight acquire?

A. No, consuming selenium in sufficient quantities helps in shedding pounds. It is because of selenium’s position in regulating thyroid operate and metabolism. However, some research have proven that extreme consumption of selenium could trigger a rise in weight. 

7. What meals are excessive in selenium and zinc?

A. Foods akin to brazil nuts, rooster, turkey, tuna and cottage cheese are selenium-rich meals. In addition, meals like meat, shellfish, legumes, seeds, nuts, dairy and a few greens are wonderful sources of zinc.

8. Is selenium good for the prostate?

A. Yes, selenium delays and reduces the chance of prostate most cancers. It works by stopping the expansion and unfold of cancerous cells to different organs and tissues. Selenium ranges within the blood and tissues are all inversely associated to the chance of prostate most cancers.

9. What time is greatest to take selenium?

A.You can take it at any time of the day. However, you must eat selenium dietary supplements with different meals and never on an empty abdomen.

10. Is selenium appropriate for sperm manufacturing?

A. Yes, research have discovered that taking an sufficient quantity of selenium can enhance sperm motility and rely in males. In addition, selenium helps improve reproductive operate by maintaining follicular fluid wholesome.

11. Can selenium increase PSA?

A. No, Studies have discovered that consumption of acceptable quantities of selenium can scale back PSA, thus decreasing the chance of prostate most cancers.

The put up Selenium: Beneficial Role in Health, Sources And Side Effects appeared first on HealthifyMe Blog.

Direct Your Visitors to a Clear Action at the Bottom of the Page