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Selenium: Need, Deficiency and Sources

Selenium, Selenium deficiency, need and sources to get selenium, selenium rich food, selenium for hair, skin and nail
Rich Food Sources of Selenium

You might have never heard of selenium as an amazing nutrient that is vital to your overall health. Selenium is a mineral you get from foods and supplements. Selenium supports the healthy functioning of the body and works on metabolism, the immune system, and thyroid function. It has beneficial factors for hair, skin, and nail health.

Selenium deficiency can cause several health problems related to the thyroid, including fatigue, hair loss, and brittle nails. If serious, it may lead to heart problems or cancer.

This article outlines the major health benefits of selenium, backed by science.

What is selenium deficiency?

Selenium is an important mineral. It’s necessary for many processes, such as:

  • Thyroid hormone metabolism

  • DNA synthesis

  • Reproduction

  • Immune system

The amount of selenium in food is mostly regulated by the quality of the soil in which it is grown. Rainfall, evaporation, and pH levels all have an impact on soil selenium content. As a result, selenium insufficiency is becoming more widespread in different parts of the world.

Selenium is a very significant mineral because it helps numerous systems work. The endocrine, immunological, and cardiovascular systems are examples. The thyroid, which is part of the endocrine system, contains the most selenium per weight of organ tissue.


The 10 most common foods of selenium are;

  • Brazil nuts

  • Wheat

  • Mushroom

  • Barley

  • Broccoli

  • Brown rice

  • Egg

  • Flax seeds

  • Sunflower seeds

  • Chia seeds

The National Institutes of Health recommend that adults get 55 micrograms (mcg) of selenium per day. Whereas pregnant or lactating women need 70 mcg of selenium per day.

When foods high in selenium aren’t an option, selenium supplements can also help. You can consider multivitamin supplements with selenium, like Tuskca Multivitamin by Lifezen Healthcare. Tuskca Multivitamin has selenium and 26 more vitamins and minerals you need for a day after a balanced meal.

Let’s discuss 5 main functions of selenium in the body.

1. Powerful antioxidant

Antioxidants prevent cell damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are normal byproducts of processes like metabolism that are formed in your body every day. Lifestyles like smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and stress can cause an excess of free radicals. This leads to oxidative stress, which damages healthy cells.

Oxidative stress has been linked to various chronic conditions. Antioxidants like selenium help reduce oxidative stress by keeping free radical numbers under control.

2. May protect against heart disease

A diet rich in selenium may help keep your heart healthy, as low selenium levels have been linked to an increased risk of heart disease. Selenium may also lower markers of inflammation in your body, which is one of the main risk factors for heart disease.

Studies say, it increased levels of glutathione peroxidase, a powerful antioxidant.

This indicates that selenium may help lower heart disease risk by reducing inflammation and oxidative stress in your body.

3. Thyroid health

Selenium is important for the proper functioning of the thyroid gland. Thyroid tissue contains a higher amount of selenium than any other organ in the human body. This powerful mineral helps protect the thyroid against oxidative damage and plays an essential role in the production of thyroid hormones.

A healthy thyroid gland is important, as it regulates your metabolism and controls growth and development.

4. Hair, Nail and Skin Health

Selenium supports maintaining healthy hair, skin, and nails through selenoproteins. Common problems such as brittle nails or hair that splits at the ends may be helped with a selenium supplement. Along with selenium, biotin and zinc also known to do magic on hair, skin and nail. Rather than spend on expensive nail-strengthening formulas and hair cures, one may start by taking extra selenium to see how that affects the problem.

5. Boosts your immune system

Your immune system protects your body by detecting and combating potential threats. Bacteria, viruses, and parasites are examples of these. Selenium is essential for the health of your immune system. This antioxidant aids in the reduction of oxidative stress in the body, which decreases inflammation and improves immunity.

Selenium deficiency has been proven to impair immune cell activity and may result in a weaker immunological response. In studies, increased selenium levels in the blood have been linked to improved immunological responses.


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