What forms of selenium are there?
In supplements, selenium generally comes in the following forms:
- Sodium selenate
- Sodium selenite
The two main forms of dietary selenium are organic selenium and inorganic selenium. Some types of organic selenium, such as selenomethionine and selenocysteine, resemble the forms of selenium that are naturally present in food and the human body. Inorganic forms of selenium, however, such as sodium selenate and sodium selenite, are hard for the body to process, which leads to decreased bioavailability. While scientists have determined that organic selenium is processed more efficiently, concrete data on the improved bioavailability of organic selenium are not yet available.
Sodium selenite is made using lab-grade chemicals, and outside of the world of nutrition, it is commonly used to make colourless glass. Selenomethionine, however, is chemically identical with the selenium you find naturally in food and in the body.
- Sodium selenate and sodium selenite are similar, and both of these types of dietary selenium are inorganic and produced using synthetic chemicals
- Selenomethionine is a natural form of selenium that is chemically identical with the form selenium takes in the body, and selenomethionine and selenocysteine build off each other in the body
Why is selenium in selenomethionine form better?
In the world of nutrition, it’s important to always keep the needs of the body in mind. You’re taking supplements to improve your health, and ingesting materials that are hard for your body to process would be counterintuitive. Some forms of essential nutrients, however, are superior to others, and we’re proud to report that selenomethionine is superior to all other forms of dietary selenium.
The main reason for selenomethionine’s superiority is its identical relationship with the form that selenium takes in your body. Any type of “friction” on your digestive system or other systems in your body causes oxidative stress, cell death, and telomere depletion, which all leads to illness and early death. Taking supplements in the form that your body is used to decreases this friction and allows you to get the nutrients you need without the side effects.
One study found that sodium selenite causes oxidative stress, but selenomethionine doesn’t. This study also found that tissue levels of selenium were higher in subjects who had ingested selenomethionine, which suggests that this substance has higher bioavailability than sodium selenite. Another study in mice found that sodium selenite might stunt growth and harm cellular structures, but selenomethionine only provides beneficial effects.
Since selenomethionine is relatively new in supplements, there’s no scientific consensus on the benefits of this form of selenium versus sodium selenite. At the same time, however, all signs clearly point to the conclusion that selenomethionine lacks the side effects that reduce the safety of using sodium selenite as a supplement.
- As with most types of synthetic nutrients, sodium selenite might cause serious side effects.
- Selenomethionine, on the other hand, does not appear to have any serious side effects whatsoever, and it is more bioavailable.
Why do we use selenium selenomethionine instead of other forms?
As scientists and nutritionists, it isn’t our job to rewrite natural law and force the body to adapt to synthetic substances. On the contrary, it’s our duty here at WeAreFeel to use the power of science to discover the best ways to come into harmony with the unknowable natural wisdom that keeps the human body operating.
Selenomethionine is one clear example of a natural, holistic solution to a reductionist and mechanistic approach to medicine. Sodium selenite is easy to make, but it's inorganic, and the body has trouble processing it. Selenomethionine, however, is identical to natural selenium, which means that your body doesn’t even need to try to deploy this nutrient on its vital missions throughout your body.
Out of respect for your wellness, Feel Multivitamin™ contains selenomethionine instead of sodium selenite. Continue to count on us to bring you the latest nutritional breakthroughs with our ever-evolving ultimate daily multivitamin.