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Selenium: Overview

Selenium is an essential trace mineral present in almost every cell of the body. The highest concentrations of Selenium in the body are found in the kidneys, liver, pancreas, spleen and testes. Selenium can be obtained in the diet through seafood, poultry, meat, grains, brazil nuts and in supplement form.

Health Benefits

Selenium is very important for good health, and has many functions. Helping to boost the immune system, Selenium also has powerful antioxidant properties to help keep disease at bay. Studies show Selenium to have strong cancer-preventative properties, and to have anti-inflammatory activity. Additionally, Selenium may help prevent heart attack and stroke by making blood less likely to clot, and by increasing HDL (good) cholesterol levels.

Research shows that Selenium may be important in the prevention of age-related macular degeneration and the formation of cataracts. Selenium may also help suppress or shorten the duration of herpes outbreaks. Selenium may also help to enhance male fertility.

Using Selenium

Multi-vitamin supplements may or may not provide sufficient amounts of Selenium, so check the label. Consult your doctor before taking a Selenium supplement if you have a health condition or are taking any medication.
Take at least 400 IU of vitamin E with Selenium for maximum absorption.

Recommended Dosages
(May be covered by your daily multivitamin)

Acne: 400mcg daily
Aging: 400mcg daily
Cancer: 200mcg daily
Cataracts: 200mcg daily
Herpes: 600mcg daily for the duration of the outbreak only
Hair problems: 200mcg daily
Lupus: 200mcg daily
Macular degeneration: 200 mcg daily

Side-effects and Cautions:

Taking more than 600mcg daily over an extended period may cause selenosis (Selenium toxicity). Pregnant/nursing women should not exceed the RDA (60mcg and 70mcg, respectively). Consult your physician before using a Selenium supplement.