Selenium is a type of trace mineral that is found in the soil in its natural state. It is also found in particular food products and traces of it are also found in water. It is a very important mineral that plays a key role in supporting many vital functions in the human body.
It has been known to boost immunity, support anti-oxidant functions, and improve the body’s metabolism
Why Selenium is important
Over the years, selenium has gained a lot of attention because of the many benefits it offers. As mentioned above, it plays a key role in anti-oxidation. Anti-oxidation is the process by which cell damage is prevented. There have also been studies showing that selenium has the potential minimizing risks associated with prostate cancer.
Low selenium levels in the body have been linked to certain medical conditions. This includes medical conditions such as Crohn’s diseases and even, HIV. Often, patients affected by these conditions are prescribed selenium supplements.
Selenium has also been used in the treatment of various other medical conditions such as asthma, arthritis, dandruff, and infertility.
How much Selenium does the body need
Selenium is generally obtained from certain food sources. However, selenium supplements are also suggested as an alternative. In the study of selenium and its role in preventing the risk factors for prostate cancer, the test subjects were prescribed 200 micrograms of selenium a day. According to medical professionals, the maximum amount of selenium taken by an adult must be limited to 400 micrograms a day. Anything above this limit will be considered as an overdose.
Ideally, the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for selenium is as follows:
• Adults and children (Age 14 and above) - 55 micrograms/day
• Pregnant women - 60 micrograms/day
• Breastfeeding women - 70 micrograms/day
• Children (Ages 1-3) - 20 micrograms/day
• Children (Ages 4-8) - 30 micrograms/day
• Children (Ages 9-13) - 40 micrograms/day
Food sources rich in Selenium
Since selenium occurs naturally in the environment, there are many food sources that are rich in selenium. Under a broader food classification, selenium rich foods would typically include nuts, eggs, meat, and fish. Selenium can also be obtained by taking selenium supplements.
Consuming these foods in the right quantities will ensure that your body receives a fair amount of selenium. The key is to practice having a diet that is varied and balanced.
However, it is also necessary to avoid consuming high amounts of selenium. Too much selenium in the body can lead to side-effects such as skin damage, nail loss, and hair loss.