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Selenium: Tiny But Mighty

Is it true that some of the most substantive minerals in our bodies function in the smallest doses? Well…YES! The amount needed does not reflect importance. Trace minerals support wellness as much as their larger counterparts. The trace mineral—selenium—shows their vitality.

What Is Selenium?

It is an essential trace mineral that supports healthy immune responses, DNA synthesis and thyroid hormone metabolization. Selenium supports the composition of essential proteins and enzymes, most notably, selenoproteins.

Selenium & Our Bodies

The majority of selenium in the body lives within our muscle tissues and the thyroid gland. Sufficiency fosters the composition and synthesis of essential selenoproteins. Though this list is not exhaustive, this trace mineral supports the following body processes through its involvement in selenoproteins:

  • Immune Response: supports normal inflammatory response and white blood cell responses
  • DNA Synthesis: increases the activity and efficacy of DNA repair enzymes
  • Thyroid Hormone: functions synergistically with iodine

Our immune responses, DNA synthesis and repairs, and thyroid hormone rely on selenium. Sufficiency is important.

How Much Should You Take?

Find the daily recommended allowance for average, healthy adult below:

  • Adult Males: 55 micrograms/day
  • Adult Females: 55 micrograms/day
  • Pregnant Females: 60 micrograms/day
  • Breastfeeding Females: 70 micrograms/day

What Are Natural Sources of Selenium?

This mineral is often consumed in sufficient amounts through omnivorous whole-food diets. It is found primarily in animal-based foods:

  • Beef Liver
  • Chicken
  • Dairy Milk
  • Eggs
  • Shrimp
  • Whole Wheats

If you eat a diet rich in animal-based proteins, you are likely consuming adequate amounts of this mineral. The amount of selenium in plant-based foods on the amount of selenium in the soil where the plants grow. Because of this, concentrations vary.

But if you abide by a vegetarian or vegan diet, do not automatically assume you are deficient! Though concentrations vary, it is found in the following plant-based foods:

  • Brazil Nuts
  • Cashews
  • Lentils
  • Oats
  • Spinach

If you struggle to consume adequate amounts of selenium through food, consider supplementation! Supplementation exists to close nutrient gaps. As always, if you have concerns about your individual health and mineral consumption, contact your healthcare provider.

Quick Facts:

Selenium supports immune responses, DNA synthesis and thyroid hormone metabolism.

What Is It: a trace mineral essential in humans

What Does It Do: synthesizes with other properties to create essential selenoproteins

How Much Do I Need: average, healthy adults should consume 55mcg/day

If you have questions about supplementation, reach out to your healthcare provider!

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