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What is Selenium?

Selenium is a metalloid trace element in the same family as oxygen and sulphur. It is named after Selene, the goddess of the moon and can be found in trace amounts in most plant and animal tissue. It is abundant at the earth’s crust and can be found in varying amounts in the soil depending on local rock erosion.

What is selenium found in?

It is obtained from the soil in growing plants, which then passes down the food chain to animals.

However, selenium is often deplete in soil in modern growing processes, and therefore its levels are decreasing in our food. Therefore, selenium content in food can vary depending on factors like soil quality and geographical location.

Known sources of selenium include

• Nuts and seeds, Brazil nuts are one of the best sources of selenium. 6-8 nuts contains around 544mcg. Eat a few times a week to avoid toxicity. Sunflower seeds, 60g 19mcg
• Grains, 130g brown rice 19mcg
• Garlic
• Fish and shellfish, sardines, oysters, calms, halibut, shrimp, salmon, crab: 40-65mcg
• Organ meats (offal), beef liver 28mcg. Ground beef 18mcg
• Poultry: Turkey 31mcg selenium. Chicken 22-25mcg per 100g breast.
• Cottage cheese/quark 100g, 20mcg
• Eggs, one hard boiled egg 20mcg selenium
• Beans 13mcg per 100g

What are the benefits of Selenium?

Selenium makes up selenoproteins which are essential for processes involved in reproduction, thyroid regulation, creation of DNA. Selenium forms a part of the amino acid selenocysteine and antioxidant enzyme glutathione peroxidase (our internally produced master antioxidant) which have various biological effects. Glutathione peroxidase protects cells from oxidative damage making selenium an important contributor to healthy antioxidant status.

As a part of the immune system, selenium stimulates antibody synthesis and immune cell activity. Selenium has protective factors against cancer development and cardiovascular disease.

You will find selenium along with iodine in thyroid support complexes. It is required for thyroid hormone synthesis and function as well as the conversion of thyroid hormone T4 into the more active form T3 making it an essential micronutrient for the prevention of thyroid disorders.

Symptoms of Selenium Deficiency:

Reproductive issues
Muscle weakness
Brain fog
Thyroid dysfunction
Mood-related issues including depressed mood, anxiety and hostile behaviors



Selenium can be toxic in high doses causing selonosis, however as only trace amounts are found in food and our environment, this is unlikely.


High doses of selenium supplements can be toxic and may interact with certain medications. It can interfere with the absorption and effectiveness of certain drugs, such as antacids, statins, and certain chemotherapy medications. It's important to inform your GP about any selenium supplements you are taking to ensure there are no potential interactions with your medications.

Recommended For

Fertility - Female , Fertility - Male , Fatigue/ Exhaustion , Brain Fog , Hypothyroidism (Underactive Thyroid) , Depression , Anxiety

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