What is Selenium?
Selenium is an essential mineral vital for optimal health. It is a powerful antioxidant required for thyroid hormone metabolism, immunity, and reproduction. The small intestine can absorb both organic and inorganic forms of Selenium, which gets further utilized by various body tissues to render critical biological functions. The majority of Selenium is stored in our muscle tissues.
Brazil nuts, fish, poultry, eggs, beans, lentils, and sunflower seeds are a few selenium foods. As per ICMR, an adult needs 40 mcg of Selenium daily.
Selenium: Benefits & Uses
Here are a few health benefits of Selenium.
- Potent Antioxidant: Selenium works as a powerful antioxidant in the body and effectively fights against free radicals and oxidative stress. It helps protect our bodies from various diseases.
- Heart Friendly: Selenium may benefit heart health by reducing harmful LDL cholesterol levels and minimizing heart disease risk.
- Thyroid Health: Selenium is necessary for producing thyroid hormones and the optimal functioning of the thyroid gland. A healthy thyroid gland is critical for metabolism, proper growth, and development.
- Protect The Brain: Being an excellent antioxidant, Selenium protects our brain cells from free radical damage and may reduce age-related cognitive decline.
- Support Immune Health: This antioxidant helps lower oxidative stress and inflammation and strengthen immune system functioning.
How does Selenium work?
The strong antioxidant property of Selenium accounts for its majority of health benefits. It inhibits oxidative stress and inflammation by scavenging free radicals. Chronic inflammation and increased oxidative stress can result in various diseases like diabetes, cancer, neurological disorders, etc.
How to choose the right Selenium for you?
Selenium supplements are widely available in various forms with different compositions. While opting for a selenium supplement, it is advisable to go for the L-selenomethionine form, which is believed to have a better absorption rate.
The supplement should be free from heavy metals and banned substances, and made from high-quality ingredients. It should be FSSAI-approved and labs-tested.
It is advisable to check for recommended dosage and serving size to avoid overdosage.
How to use Selenium?
One can take a selenium supplement at any time of the day with water or juice. It is advisable to take it with meals as it may cause abdominal discomfort to some when taken on an empty stomach.
Where to buy Selenium?
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Is Selenium safe to use?
Selenium supplements are safe when taken in moderation within the recommended dosage. One must avoid taking them in excess to avoid selenium toxicity.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. Are there any Selenium side effects?
When taken in high amounts, Selenium can cause toxicity and side effects such as hair loss, vomiting, brittle nails, fatigue, metallic mouth taste, skin rashes, and weak muscles.
2. What are the symptoms of Selenium deficiency?
These are some Selenium deficiency symptoms:
- Weak immune and muscle health
- Mental confusion
- Heart disease
3. What is the ideal dosage of Selenium supplements?
An adult needs 40 mcg of Selenium daily. However, the requirement might vary during deficiency or under certain medical conditions. It is better to take Selenium supplements with a doctor's consultation.