Selenium (Se)

Selenium was considered a poison for many years, and only in the 60s of the last century, when studying selenium deficiency cardiomyopathy, called Keshan’s disease, the role of selenium in humans was revised.

Selenium is a trace element with a very low requirement.

The daily requirement for selenium is 50-70 mcg.


Selenium-rich foods

Indicated approximate availability in 100 g of product

The beneficial properties of selenium and its effect on the body

Selenium is known for its antioxidant properties, together with vitamin E it protects the body from free radicals. Selenium is essential for the synthesis of thyroid hormones, which regulate the body’s metabolism, and protects against heart disease.

Selenium has an anti-cancer effect, promotes normal cell growth, accelerates the process of resorption and healing of the necrotic zone of myocardial infarction, and stimulates the immune system.

Interaction with other essential elements

Selenium deficiency leads to impaired absorption of vitamin E by the body.

Lack and excess of selenium

Signs of a lack of selenium

  • pain in the muscles;
  • weakness.

Selenium deficiency leads to cardiovascular diseases, heart disease called “Keshan’s disease”, kidney and pancreas diseases, and immunity decreases.

Selenium deficiency is one of the factors in the development of anemia in premature babies and infertility in men.

Signs of excess selenium

  • damage to nails and hair;
  • yellowness and peeling of the skin;
  • damage to the enamel of the teeth;
  • nervous disorders;
  • constant fatigue;
  • chronic dermatitis;
  • loss of appetite;
  • arthritis;
  • anemia.

Factors affecting the selenium content of foods

A lot of selenium is lost during the processing of food – in canned food and concentrates it is 2 times less than in fresh food.

The deficiency also occurs in areas where the soil contains little selenium.

Why Selenium Deficiency Occurs

Selenium deficiency is extremely rare. The most dangerous enemy of selenium is carbohydrates (sweet and flour products); in their presence, selenium is practically not absorbed.

Read also about other minerals:

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