Selenium is a natural mineral found in the soil, water, and some foods. Selenium is not produced in the body naturally, rather it is obtained from the diet and plays a key role in the metabolism. Being a powerful antioxidant, Selenium has attracted a lot more attention amongst fitness enthusiasts.
The amount of selenium in food depends largely on the selenium concentration of the soil, and this can vary both regionally and internationally. Some of the foods high in selenium include brazil nuts followed by mushroom, sunflower seeds, seafood, tofu, whole wheat pasta, tuna, etc. However, selenium deficiency can produce a range of symptoms, the most common of which is muscle weakness and infertility in men and women.
Selenium, which is nutritionally essential for humans has a unique tendency to bind to the sulfur-containing amino acid cysteine and form a special antioxidant namely selenoproteins in the body. Selenoproteins carry selenium to the tissues and play a critical role in the imperative functions of the body such as reproduction, thyroid hormone metabolism, DNA synthesis, and protection from oxidative damage and infection to name a few.
Key Health Benefits of Selenium:
Supplementing selenium safeguard’s overall health in the following ways:
- Acts as an antioxidant and defends against oxidative stress.
- Improves blood flow and may lower risk for heart disease.
- Helps to boost immunity.
- Underactive Thyroid: Research supports that supplementing 200mcg selenium daily along with thyroid hormone might decrease antibodies responsible for this condition in the body.
- Mood Swings: Supplementing selenium is found to improve mood, general feelings of well being, and quality of life in people with complaints of anxiety and mood swings.
Is Selenium Safe?
The recommended daily allowance (RDA) of selenium is 55 milligrams per day, Most people are able to meet their daily requirement for selenium by wholesome diet, However, if you are starting with selenium supplementation, it is best to consult a Nutritionist to get your selenium intake calculated, and get the dosage customized. Although there is not much evidence-based research available to support selenium toxicity, However, self-supplementation is not to be encouraged. The safe upper limit for selenium is 400 micrograms a day in adults. Anything above that is considered an overdose.
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