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Selenium Role in Human Body and Men's Health

Selenium is an essential mineral, which must be obtained through diet. It is only needed in small amounts but plays a major role in important processes in your body, including metabolism, thyroid function(1,2), and reproductive health. Selenium in combination with Vitamin E found to clinically improve sperm motility and morphology.(3)

What Is Selenium

Selenium is a mineral found in soil, water, and some foods. It is important for many body processes and metabolic pathways to function effectively(1).

It is necessary for many processes, such as:

  • Thyroid hormone metabolism
  • DNA synthesis
  • Reproduction and sperm health
  • Protection from infection

Health Benefits of Selenium

  • May protect against cardiovascular disease(4)
  • Antioxidant which helps relieve Oxidative Stress(5)
  • Important for Thyroid health(2)
  • May help reduce Asthma symptoms(6,7)
  • May fight against bacterial and viral infections and plays a role in Immunity(8)
  • Supports vitality and sperm health(3)

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Sources of Selenium

Most of the selenium in the body comes from the diet. The amount of selenium in food depends on where it is grown or raised. Crab, liver, fish, poultry, and wheat are generally good selenium sources. The amount of selenium in soils varies a lot around the world, which means that the foods grown in these soils also have differing selenium levels(9). Supplements containing Selenium will help avoid dietary deficiency.

What Are the Side Effects of Selenium?

Selenium is considered safe when taken orally in prescribed doses less than 400 mcg daily.(10)


  2. Wichman J, Winther KH, Bonnema SJ, Hegedüs L. Selenium Supplementation Significantly Reduces Thyroid Autoantibody Levels in Patients with Chronic Autoimmune Thyroiditis: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Thyroid. 2016 Dec;26(12):1681-92.
  3. Moslemi MK, Zargar SA. Selenium–vitamin E supplementation in infertile men: effects on semen parameters and pregnancy rate. IJGM. 2011 Jan;99.
  4. Flores-Mateo G, Navas-Acien A, Pastor-Barriuso R, Guallar E. Selenium and coronary heart disease: a meta-analysis. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2006 Oct 1;84(4):762-73.
  5. Schnabel R, Lubos E, Messow CM, Sinning CR, Zeller T, Wild PS, et al. Selenium supplementation improves antioxidant capacity in vitro and in vivo in patients with coronary artery disease. American Heart Journal. 2008 Dec;156(6):1201.e1-1201.e11.
  6. Guo C-H, Liu P-J, Hsia S, Chuang C-J, Chen P-C. Role of certain trace minerals in oxidative stress, inflammation, CD4/CD8 lymphocyte ratios and lung function in asthmatic patients. Annals of Clinical Biochemistry. 2011 Jul 1;48(4):344-51.
  7. Gazdik F, Kadrabova J, Gazdikova K. Decreased consumption of corticosteroids after selenium supplementation in corticoid-dependent asthmatics. Bratisl Lek Listy. 2002;103(1):22-5.
  8. Steinbrenner H, Al-Quraishy S, Dkhil MA, Wunderlich F, Sies H. Dietary selenium in adjuvant therapy of viral and bacterial infections. Adv Nutr. 2015 Jan;6(1):73-82.

Disclaimer: The information provided on this page is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any questions or concerns about your health, please talk to a healthcare provider.

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