ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Selenium Benefits to Your Health

Updated on July 18, 2011

Selenium benefits are promising in the health industry. Some people's health would probably benefit with added selenium supplementation in their diets, be it with selenium food sources or as selenium supplements.

Daily Supplements Poll

How many supplements do you take a day?

See results

What Is Selenium?

So, what is selenium, anyway? Selenium is a natural element found in the soil, water, and certain foods. Small amounts of selenium are needed by the human body for optimal cell functions, enzyme activity, and for proper functioning of the thyroid.

Possible Selenium Benefits to Your Health

There are many possible health benefits of selenium.

As mentioned, selenium is important for proper thyroid function. Selenium may repress Hashimoto's disease, a thyroid autoimmune condition. It may also be helpful for other thyroid conditions, such as Grave's disease, goiter, and thyroiditis.

There may be a connection with selenium deficiency and HIV and AIDS. Areas with low levels of selenium in the soil have higher rates of HIV and AIDS infections. Low levels of selenium weaken the immune system and selenium levels continually decline in AIDS patients.

Other selenium benefits may include protection from heavy metal toxicity in the body, reduces asthma symptoms, lower blood pressure, eczema and psoriasis relief, effective against respiratory infections, helps prevent dandruff, and it may help prevent tuberculosis.

Selenium Deficiency Prostate Cancer Link

The most exciting possible health benefit is the selenium cancer connection. Some cancers may be the result of a selenium deficiency in the body. Selenium prostate cancer studies in particular seem promising.

The study noted that selenium increased the risk of certain skin cancers. Other cancers that are possible linked with selenium deficiency are stomach, lung, colon, and ovarian cancer. Selenium supplements seem to be more effective with men than with women in preventing cancer.

Selenium - Cancer Fighter in Other Ways

Selenium is also thought to be a powerful antioxidant against carcinogens, which could help prevent some cancers. It may also be effective at inhibiting tumors, especially when combined with vitamin E supplements.

Another selenium cancer effect is that it may improve the success of chemotherapy treatments by lessening the toxic effects and helping the body to accept the drugs more easily. Selenium supplementation may also make the chemotherapy drugs more effective at killing cancer cells as well. Selenium cancer chemotherapy studies are showing mixed results.

Wheat Germ As a Selenium Food Source

Selenium Foods for Natural Selenium Sources

Selenium foods include mushrooms, organ meats, garlic, onions, nuts, sunflower seeds, eggs, seafood, butter, some seaweed, brewer's yeast, and wheat germ. The Brazil nut is the best selenium food source.

Warning: Selenium Toxicity With Selenium Supplements

Care should be taken when supplementing with selenium. Although it has huge health benefits, selenium can be toxic, even lethal, if taken in high doses. The recommended highest amount of selenium dosage to take safely is 400 micrograms daily to avoid selenium toxicity. The US RDA for selenium supplements for adults is 80-200 micrograms a day.

Selenium toxicity can cause gastrointestinal problems, hair loss, bad breath, lightheadedness, sore muscles, rash, and exhaustion. More serious complications from selenium toxicity include liver damage, kidney damage, heart damage, thyroid disorders, or death.

Since selenium is potentially fatal even in small doses, be sure to keep any selenium supplements away from children's reach. Selenium supplements should be avoided while pregnant or breastfeeding. And please speak to your oncologist or doctor before taking any supplements, especially if you are on any prescription medications.

Selenium Benefits to Your Health Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Student 

      7 years ago

      Thanks for this wonderful hub!! :D It was great and helped me with a lot of information for a school project!! Thanks again I'll be sure to get an A++!!

    • LeonJane profile image

      LeonJane 

      8 years ago from Australia

      I didn't know about selenium or its benifits before reading your hub. If it is in brewers yeast than am I getting healthier by drinking beer? probably not, thanks for an informative hub.

    • ocbill profile image

      ocbill 

      8 years ago from hopefully somewhere peaceful and nice

      Great info. I get my dosage for sure since i eat all of those foods

    • Putz Ballard profile image

      Putz Ballard 

      8 years ago

      Great information thanks for sharing.

    • Michael Jay profile image

      Michael Jay 

      8 years ago

      Thank you for sharing this hub! This is a very informative hub and I enjoyed reading it. Great hub, Angela!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)