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Home Learn Learn About Selenium in 5 Minutes


Home Learn Learn About Selenium in 5 Minutes

Learn About Selenium in 5 Minutes

Table of contents

What is selenium?

Selenium is a an amazing and essential mineral. It's a powerful antioxidant used by the body to maintain thyroid balance, protect DNA, and fight against infections.

  • Powerful antioxidant action protects you from cell-damaging free radicals
  • Reduces DNA damage
  • Inflammation reduction defends you from heart disease
  • May prevent neurodegenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s disease
  • Helps your thyroid function effectively
  • Keeps your immune system healthy to prevent illness
  • Reduces the symptoms of asthma to help you breathe easier

Why we love selenium

While many people are unaware of the amazing benefits of selenium, this mineral is essential to your health, and it boosts your overall well-being in a variety of ways. Selenium’s main claim to fame is its incredible effectiveness as an antioxidant; by eliminating free radicals, this nutrient allows your body to do its work unimpeded.

Through its antioxidant action, selenium appears to keep your nervous system healthy, protect you from coronary heart disease, and improve the responsiveness of your immune system. What’s more, selenium fights back against debilitating thyroid conditions like Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, and this mineral even helps with asthma by reducing oxidative stress in the lungs and pulmonary system. No multivitamin is complete without selenium, which is why we made sure to include your full daily dose of this impressive nutrient in Feel.

Unbelievable Benefits of Selenium

Medical research has established that selenium has several compelling benefits that make this mineral an integral part of your diet. Here are the highlights:

Antioxidant Benefits

Free radicals are natural parts of your immune system that can get out of hand. Certain lifestyle choices and environmental factors can increase the levels of free radicals in your body, which leads to oxidative stress.

This type of stress can cause all sorts of diseases from heart disease to diabetes. Selenium, however, is a powerful antioxidant that puts free radicals in check and prevents the inflammation that harms your bodily tissues. When you get plenty of selenium in your diet, you age slower, and you’re less at risk of developing conditions like Alzheimer’s disease and stroke.

Cardiovascular Benefits

A meta-analysis of the available research found that increasing your selenium levels by 50 percent reduces your risk of coronary artery disease by 24 percent. Selenium reduces inflammation throughout your body, and since inflammation is one of the main causes of heart disease, these results make a lot of sense. Specifically, supplementing with selenium increases levels of glutathione peroxidase, which reduces your risk of both coronary artery disease and atherosclerosis.

Neurological Benefits

People with Alzheimer’s disease have lower levels of selenium, and research indicates that supplementing with selenium may improve the symptoms of this condition.

Immune Benefits

Selenium deficiency slows down the responsiveness of your immune system. Supplementing with this nutrient appears to improve the immune responsiveness of patients with immune-compromising conditions like AIDS, tuberculosis, and hepatitis C.

Selenium plays an essential role in the health of your immune system, which is why we've included 150μg of Selenium in Feel Immunity

Other Benefits

People with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis experienced symptom reduction after supplementing with selenium. Additionally, supplementing with selenium appears to improve the symptoms of asthma.

Selenium is essential for the production of thyroid hormones which regulate your metabolism, an essential component of any weight loss regime. That's why we've included 15.6μg of Selenium in our Meal Replacement blend. 

Is selenium water-soluble or fat-soluble?

Selenium is water-soluble , therefore it's processed quickly and most of it is excreted within 24 hours.

Where can selenium be found naturally? 

Seafood is the best source of natural selenium, but it's also present in brazil nuts, some dairy products and veg.  Many grains and cereals are fortified with this mineral.

5 foods/drinks containing selenium

1. Brazil nuts 777% DV per 28g or approx. 7 nuts

2. Eggs 36% DV per egg

3. Brown rice 27% DV per cup

4. Sunflower seeds 35% DV per 1/4 cup

5. Baked beans 23% DV per  cup

What is the recommended daily intake for selenium?

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) suggests that adult men and women should consume 55μg of selenium every day. Pregnant women should consume 60μg, and lactating women should consume 70μg.

We've included 75μg of Selenium in Feel Multivitamin, perfect for supporting essential health and wellbeing

What to consume to get a full daily dose of selenium?

Brazil nuts - approximately 4g or 1 nut

Eggs - approximately 3 eggs

Brown rice - approximately 635g

Sunflower seeds - approximately 160g

Baked beans - approximately 930g

Can you absorb enough of selenium from food?

If you enjoy a seafood-rich diet or like to snack on brazil nuts, it’s relatively easy to get enough selenium from the food you eat. For vegans or people with nut allergies, however, sourcing selenium can be hard, and it’s always tricky getting the nutrients you need when you hardly have time in your day to sit down and eat.

Why is selenium necessary for your body?

Dietary selenium is necessary for the formation of selenoproteins, which are antioxidant proteins that the body uses for a variety of purposes. For instance, these proteins may be able to fight cancer, protect your cardiovascular health, and even prevent neurological conditions.

Functions of selenium

Anti-cancer functions: Studies have noted that people who consume more selenium are less at risk of developing cancer. This mineral’s immune-boosting and DNA-repairing functions are thought to be at work in providing this benefit.

Cardiovascular functions: Selenium prevents fats in your body from oxidising, which helps reduce cardiovascular inflammation and prevent heart conditions.

Neuroprotective functions: Some studies indicate that people with lower selenium levels are more at risk of developing neurodegenerative conditions like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Thyroid functions: Selenium is almost as important for proper thyroid functioning as iodine.

Symptoms of selenium deficiency

Thyroid Issues

Selenium deficiency can cause reduced levels of thyroid hormone, which can result in hypothyroidism. Symptoms of this thyroid condition include weight gain, low energy levels, feeling cold, and mental fog.

Fertility Issues

Both men and women can suffer from fertility issues when they’re deficient in selenium. In women, selenium deficiency can cause miscarriages, and in men, deficiency in this mineral can cause lower sperm counts.

Immune Issues

Since selenium is involved in many critical immune functions, becoming deficient in this mineral could compromise your immune system.

How long do you need to take selenium to start experiencing its benefits?

From the moment you start taking selenium supplements, your body will begin the process of repairing the damage that deficiency in this mineral has caused. The road to recovery, however, may be long. Prolonged selenium deficiency can cause serious, long-lasting medical conditions, and these conditions may require additional treatments in tandem with selenium supplementation.

Consistency is key and our research recommends taking your Feel supplements for at least 3 months to allow your body to adjust and provide the desired benefits

How long does it take for your body to digest/absorb selenium?

Some sources indicate that your body can absorb up to 89% of the selenium you consume. Most of this absorption occurs within the first 24 hours after ingestion.

How long does selenium stay in your body after you take it?

Selenium only builds up to a significant degree in the thyroid gland. Most remaining selenium in your body is usually excreted within 24 hours.

Is selenium an antioxidant?

Yes, selenium is necessary for the synthesis of selenoproteins, which are critical components of your immune system that have potent antioxidant properties. As a result, selenium intake increases your body’s ability to fight free radicals and prevent oxidative stress.

Can you overdose on selenium? What are the effects?

Small amounts of selenium are necessary for your health, but too much of this mineral can be deadly. Early warning signs of selenium overdose include a garlic odor in your breath and a metallic taste in your mouth. Other symptoms include brittle nails, hair loss, skin lesions, and neurological dysfunctions.

It’s important to note that regular consumption of brazil nuts can lead to a dangerous buildup of selenium in your body. Plus, mislabeled dietary supplements can leave you at risk of selenium overdose. It’s best to avoid exceeding your daily selenium intake by taking your exact RDA of this mineral with Feel.

Does selenium dissolve, flush out, or build up in the body?

Most of the selenium you consume flushes out of your body, but this substance builds up in your thyroid gland and in some of your other organs to a lesser degree.

Can you take selenium during a diet?

Consuming selenium won’t interfere with your diet.

Are there synthetic forms of selenium?

Like most essential minerals, it’s practically impossible to synthesise selenium.

Why might synthetic forms of selenium be better?

In a hypothetical situation, synthesising artificial selenium might be necessary if this mineral wasn’t available from natural sources.

Absorption rate of selenium

Theoretically, synthetic selenium would have the same absorption rate as natural selenium.

Why might natural forms of selenium be better?

Natural sodium selenite is currently the only available form of this nutrient.

How to take selenium?

You can consume selenium in the food you eat, but the absorption rate of food-sourced selenium is significantly lower than the rate at which your body absorbs selenium.

Why everyone should be taking WeAreFeel supplements

Most essential vitamins don’t cause serious side effects if you consume them in excessive quantities, but minerals are another matter. Like all essential minerals, selenium supplementation walks a fine line between being beneficial and downright dangerous; many supplements contain way too much selenium, which could be harmful or even deadly.

Here at WeAreFeel, we understand how important minerals are to your well-being, but we respect the potential of these nutrients to cause harm. That’s why we only include your exact RDA of selenium in Feel; skip the worry and get the selenium you need to stay healthy with a daily capsule of Feel!

Here’s the Proof

  1. Selenium: its role as antioxidant in human health
  2. Oxidative Stress, Mitochondrial Dysfunction, and Ageing
  3. Multi-centre, phase 3 trial comparing selenium supplementation with observation in gynecologic radiation oncology.
  4. Selenium and coronary heart disease: a meta-analysis.
  5. The effect of selenium supplementation on coronary heart disease: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials.
  6. Homeostasis of metals in the progression of Alzheimer's disease.
  7. French adults' cognitive performance after daily supplementation with antioxidant vitamins and minerals at nutritional doses: a post hoc analysis of the Supplementation in Vitamins and Mineral Antioxidants (SU.VI.MAX) trial.
  8. The influence of selenium on immune responses
  9. Selenium Supplementation in the Treatment of Hashimoto's Thyroiditis: A Systematic Review and a Meta-analysis
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About the author
Katie Hipwell - Katie is an AfN Registered Nutritionist (RNutr) with a specialism in food and is Head of Nutrition at Feel. Katie has worked in the food supplement industry for 10 years. She has completed a Master's degree in Human Nutrition and an undergraduate degree in BSc Sport and Exercise Nutrition.
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