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Selenium

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Selenium is a trace mineral which is essential for nutritional purposes.

 

Selenium is considered an important element for supporting normal thyroid function, protecting cells from oxidative stress and the normal functioning of the immune system.

 

Selenium is stored in muscle tissue and found in certain food types. 

 

Selenium acts as an antioxidant, which helps to reduce damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals can cause harm to cells.

FAQs
What is selenium?

Selenium is an essential mineral. This means we do not produce it in our bodies and we therefore need to find this vital mineral in food sources or via a supplement.

 

High levels of selenium are found in brazil nuts, but selenium is also readily available in other plant based foods. 

 

The amount of selenium in food appears to be related to the quality of the soil the food is grown in. 

 

In Scotland, for example, the soil food is grown in tends to have lower levels of selenium. This means that the chances of a deficiency may be higher north of the border.

 

Small amounts of selenium are however also found in some meat and fish, with tuna being a particularly reliable source.

Why do I need selenium supplements?

Selenium helps to support a number of the vital systems in our body. 

 

It is important for the immune system, sperm development and the health of your hair and nails. Selenium and thyroid health are also intrinsically linked.

 

An antioxidant, selenium can help to protect our cells from environmental damage.

 

Women require 60mcg, men 75mcg of selenium each day. This is roughly equivalent to a single brazil nut or four eggs. 

 

Taking a selenium mineral supplement ensures a regular balanced intake of this important mineral.

What happens if I do not get enough selenium?

A lack of selenium can negatively affect fertility levels. 

 

Symptoms of a deficiency may also include muscle weakness and mental fog. Not getting the correct amount of selenium can impact immunity and cause fatigue.

 

Those at particular risk of a deficiency are people with thyroid disorders or a weak immune system. A selenium deficiency can also appear during pregnancy.

Can I get too much selenium?

Side effects can include an unpleasant metallic taste in the mouth, nausea, diarrhoea and skin rashes. 

 

According to experts, just four brazil nuts a day could be too much selenium for the average person.

 

Selenium tablets are a sensible choice for a managed dose.

Should I take other vitamins with selenium?

Many selenium vitamin supplements pair this mineral with other important vitamins, allowing you to maximise the effects of a single pill.

 

Vitamin E and selenium are popularly combined. This is because the vitamin E and selenium antioxidant pairing is thought to be an excellent choice in reducing free radical damage.

 

Combining selenium plus zinc also has a similar effect, the two working synergistically to help protect from free radical damage.

I am pregnant – can I take a selenium supplement?

Most pregnant women should be able to get an adequate amount of selenium from a healthy, balanced diet. 

 

However, in some countries, including Scotland, Denmark and Germany, where soil selenium levels are low, an additional supplement may be beneficial.

 

Although selenium supplements are considered safe to use in pregnancy, it is important to consult your midwife or GP before taking them.

What are the benefits of Selenium?

Selenium has a number of benefits for the body.

 

Selenium helps the immune system.

 

It also helps to maintain normal hair and nails.

 

Selenium also helps with the normal function of the thyroid and contributes to normal spermatogenesis.

 

Due to its antioxidant benefits, selenium protects cells from oxidative stress.  

 

However, it is important to consult a health professional before taking selenium supplements.

What is Selenium used for?

At Holland & Barrett, there are many selenium supplements with varying prices to choose from.

Our mission is to help you to become your best self in order to live a full life. We believe that by having a balanced diet, taking care of your physical and mental wellbeing, this is achievable.

Some of our products contain other vital vitamins too.

Zinc is a trace mineral, like selenium, which contributes the normal function of the immune system and to normal macronutrient metabolism. Selenium and zinc support to maintain normal hair and nails, and zinc also contributes to the maintenance of normal skin.

Selenium with Vitamin A, C & E is also available at Holland & Barrett.

Vitamin A and C help to support the body’s immune system and Vitamin C and E contribute to the protection of cells from oxidative stress.

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