Updated: Jan 26, 2020
The thyroid is the organ that has the highest concentration of selenium in the body and it plays a key role in the glands ability to produce thyroid hormone. Having an optimal amount of selenium in your diet or through supplementation can help prevent thyroid disease, as well as improve your overall health and wellbeing. Selenium is not a mineral most people consider, as most people know very little about it or how vital a nutrient it is.
Selenium and the benefits
Selenium is a mineral found in the soil, water, and some foods. It is a fantastic nutrient that is vital to thyroid health and overall health. While people only need a tiny amount, selenium plays vital roles.
Plants pick up traces of selenium that is in the soil and convert it into a form that is consumable and useable to humans and animals. Aside from selenium’s important role in thyroid health, it can help prevent mental decline. It can also help boost the immune system, and is crucial for maintaining healthy hair, skin and nails.
Selenium is well known for its ability to enhance antioxidant activity in order to protect the body's cells from free radical damage and oxidative stress that is caused from pollutants and toxins that we are exposed to every day.
Selenium is one of the "essential" nutrients for humans, meaning that our bodies cannot make it, and so we have to get it from our diet and supplementation. Without it, the heart, joints, eyes, immune system and reproductive system can also suffer. People with rheumatoid arthritis are more likely to have low selenium levels, but it is currently unclear whether low selenium levels are a result of the condition, or a contributing factor.
Selenium was discovered as an element in 1817. By the 1960s, doctors began researching selenium's possible tumour-fighting properties, and scientists now know selenium is necessary in the body's production of selenoproteins, proteins that contain selenium in the form of an amino acid.
Human research has found selenoproteins are involved in embryo development, thyroid hormone metabolism, antioxidant defence, muscle function and the immune system's response to vaccinations.
Eat right and keep healthy
If you’re quite healthy and exercise regularly, eat a varied healthy diet, the chances are that your levels of selenium will be just fine. You will likely not need supplementation. However, if your food is not great and you’re not exercising as you should, you may need to adjust your selenium levels.
Because selenium is found naturally in plants, generally if you're eating a varied diet, you are going to get all the nutrients and minerals you need. The soil around the world varies in selenium concentration. The higher the level in the soil, the higher it is in crops, meat and fish.
As consumers, we generally have no idea where our foods have been grown or the condition of the soils. So we have no idea what level of selenium is in the foods we eat.
For most people, eating and working out every day, month after month is not such an easy habit to get into or maintain. Which means nutritional supplementation is essential and the reason we provide and promote such high quality certified products.
Here are some great natural food sources of selenium:
Brazil nuts and walnuts
Many fresh and saltwater fish, like tuna, cod, red snapper, and herring
Beef, poultry and eggs
Clean spring water
How to tell if selenium levels are low
Unfortunately, it’s not so easy it seems to get Selenium levels checked through a GP, and many refer to private clinics for tests. However, we would still recommend you try to get levels tested through your GP.
Selenium deficiency can produce a range of symptoms. The most common ones are:
Infertility in men and women
Weakened immune system
Of course, these same symptoms could be the result of many other issues unrelated to selenium deficiency.
Our Selenium ACE has a total value of 325mcg, containing Vitamins A, C and E, which is less than an adult recommended intake. It allows for the uptake of selenium from diets not considered finely tuned, and high in fresh produce. Selenium is a vital nutrient.
As a company that cares, we do always recommend you speak to your GP or health professional prior to using most nutritional and health supplement.