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Selenium – benefits, dosage, sources

Selenium is essential in trace amounts. Avoid over consuming selenium because it is harmful in high amounts. The highest plant source of selenium can be found in wheat germ and Brazil Nuts. Eating more than a few Brazil nuts can lead to toxic levels.

“One ounce of Brazil nuts (approximately 8 medium nuts) contains 544 micrograms of selenium, which is 777 percent of the recommended daily allowance.”

Plant sources of selenium are not as bioavailable as animal sources. Soil selenium an unknown factor but it is depleted in general. Some plant foods that are high in selenium may come with anti-nutrients like high oxalates and phytic acid.

National Institute of Health recommends 45-70mcg per day, more for pregnant women. Optimal dosage from food and supplements is 100 – 200 micrograms daily. Do not exceed 200 micrograms without consulting with your healthcare provider.

Selenium is important!

  • Helps protect against cancer, protects cells from damage
  • Supports healthy cognition
  • Reproductive health
  • Really important for proper thyroid function
  • Supports a healthy heart and immune system
  • Reduces heavy metal toxicity
  • Lung health

Food sources of selenium

  • Organ meat
  • Seafood (salmon, tuna, halibut, sardines, mackerel, grouper, snapper, herring, smelt, cod)
  • Scallops, Lobster, shrimp, clams, oysters
  • Pork, Beef, Turkey, Chicken, Lamb
  • Eggs
  • Dairy, butter
  • Brazil nuts (caution, they are very high in selenium, limit to 3 a day)
  • Apple cider vinegar

Recommended intake of Selenium

  • Recommended dose: 100 – 200 mcg/day
  • My doctor wants me to supplement certain amounts of selenium, zinc, etc, so I take either LDA Trace Mineral Complex (1 capsule every other day gives me 100mcg average per day of selenium), or Multimineral Complex without iron (1 capsule daily provides 100mcg selenium).
  • Both options above have other minerals in balance including zinc with copper and chromium.