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Selenium Facts

What is Selenium?

Selenium is an important trace mineral that works as an antioxidant, along with Vitamin E, to protect cells from damage from substances called free radicals. It also helps regulate the thyroid and is necessary for proper immune system function.

Selenium requirements

The RDAs for Selenium for healthy adults are:
· 55 micrograms/day for females
· 70 micrograms/day for males

Tolerable Upper Intake Level for healthy adults is
· 400 micrograms per day.

What happens when Selenium intake is too high?

While selenium toxicity from foods is rare, excessive intake of selenium from supplements can be harmful, and include fatigue, hair and nail loss, and gastrointestinal disorders.

What happens when Selenium intake is too low?

While rare in healthy, well-nourished adults in the US, deficiencies can be seen in parts of the world where there is less selenium in the soil. Symptoms include muscle tenderness, cardiac conditions, red blood cell and pancreatic problems. Deficiencies can be seen in some people in the US who have digestive and absorptive problems, and those on total IV nutrition.

Which foods are high in Selenium?

Brazil nuts, fish, shellfish, meat, eggs, cereal, brewer’s yeast, wheat germ, bread.
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