All you need to know about Selenium Mineral Nutrient

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Selenium is an essential micronutrient for humans. The human body’s content of selenium is about 13–20 milligram. As it is an essential micronutrient, humans must consume Selenium either in dietary form or take Selenium Supplement to stay healthy.

Physiological Function of Mineral Nutrient Selenium

As a trace element Selenium functions as cofactor for reduction of antioxidant enzymes. In a Selenium nutrient deficient state, oxidation of metallothionein may lead to the uncontrolled release of metals, particularly copper and cadmium, thereby contributing to toxicity.

Selenium also plays a role in the functioning of the thyroid gland and in every cell that uses thyroid hormone, by participating as a cofactor for the three of the four known types of thyroid hormone. Selenium may inhibit Hashimoto’s disease (autoimmune disease), in which the body’s own thyroid cells are attacked as alien. With dietary intake of Selenium Supplement following effect may occur:

  • Reduction of TPO antibodies
  • Reduction in oxidative stress
  • Reduction in the effects of mercury & Arsenic toxicity

Causes of Deficiency of Mineral Nutrient Selenium

Dietary availability of Selenium depends on soil as many plants do not Selenium for their survival but the still carry Selenium if it is available in soil. Therefore lack of selenium in soild may result into decreased intake of Selenium compound. Selenium may not be available in case of Malabsorption in GI tract due to excess availability of Vitamin C or due to toxicity with Sulfar, Mercury or Arsenic.

Health concerns due to Selenium deficiency

Selenium deficiency affects most physiological systems, including endocrine and reproductive, hepatic, cardiovascular, immunological, gastrointestinal, and musculoskeletal. Selenium is widely recognized as a key nutrient in cancer prevention and treatment. As selenium intake decreases, there is significant increased risk of colon, prostate, breast, ovary, lung and hematopoetic cancers. Deficiency of Selenium can result into Compromised:

  • Immunity
  • Male & female reproductive health
  • Cardiovascular health
  • Inflammalion regulation in asthma
  • Thyroid hormone metabolism

Assessment of Selenium Mineral Status

Direct Markets: RBC, Serum, Whole Blood, Hair and Serum Selenium

Functional Biomarkers: Plasma Selenoprotein, Urinary selenosugars

Supplementation of Selenium

Children 2-12 years: 50 -150 mcg / day

Auult male: 50-200 mcg / day

Auult female: 50-200 mcg / day

Best or most Bio-Available or Active form of Selenium Supplement

Selenium is efficiently absorbed in GI in the form of mixed selenocompounds such as selenocysteine, selenomethionine or Se-methylselenocysteine

Dietary sources of Selenium

Dietary selenium comes from nuts (Brazil nuts is the richest source), cereals, meat (Kidney), mushrooms, fish (tuna, crab, lobster), eggs, Garlic, onions, broccoli and brewer’s yeast.

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Anupama Singh

Comments (1)
  1. Avatar Deeksha says:

    Hi Anupama

    Greatly reseearched articles!

    Wanted to check if garlic and onion in cooked form are as good source of selenium.
    Indians mostly have garlic and onion everyday in their curries.And still , people like me with hypothyroid are not feeling better 🙂
    Also , wanted to check if we need to consult a doc before taking this amount of recommended selenium or it is safe to take on its own .
    Also , how long it can be taken without any side effects?

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