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Selenium

Selenium: Main Image

Selenium is an essential trace mineral.

  • Reliable and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.
  • Contradictory, insufficient, or preliminary studies suggesting a health benefit or minimal health benefit.
  • For an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement, little scientific support.

Our proprietary “Star-Rating” system was developed to help you easily understand the amount of scientific support behind each supplement in relation to a specific health condition. While there is no way to predict whether a vitamin, mineral, or herb will successfully treat or prevent associated health conditions, our unique ratings tell you how well these supplements are understood by the medical community, and whether studies have found them to be effective for other people.

For over a decade, our team has combed through thousands of research articles published in reputable journals. To help you make educated decisions, and to better understand controversial or confusing supplements, our medical experts have digested the science into these three easy-to-follow ratings. We hope this provides you with a helpful resource to make informed decisions towards your health and well-being.

This supplement has been used in connection with the following health conditions:

Used for AmountWhy
Asthma
100 mcg daily2 stars[2 stars]
Asthma involves free-radical damage that selenium might protect against. In one trial, supplementing with sodium selenite (a form of selenium) improved symptoms in some patients.
Atherosclerosis
100 mcg daily2 stars[2 stars]
Some doctors recommend that people with atherosclerosis supplement with selenium, which has been shown in one study to help reduce the risk of death from heart disease.
Colon Cancer
200 mcg daily2 stars[2 stars]
Selenium appears to protect against a variety of cancers, including colon cancer.
Depression
100 mcg per day 2 stars[2 stars]
Selenium deficiency may contribute to depression. Taking selenium can counteract this deficiency and improve depression symptoms.
Dermatitis Herpetiformis
200 mcg daily2 stars[2 stars]
Supplementing with selenium and vitamin E has been shown to correct an antioxidant deficiency common in DH.
Edema
230 mcg daily2 stars[2 stars]
People with lymphedema of the arm or head-and-neck region who were treated with selenium saw an improvement in quality of life and edema symptoms in one study.
Heart Attack
100 to 200 mcg daily2 stars[2 stars]
Some doctors recommend that people at risk for a heart attack supplement with selenium.
HIV and AIDS Support
Take under medical supervision: 400 mcg daily2 stars[2 stars]
Supplementing with selenium may result in fewer infections, a healthier appetite, and other benefits.
Immune Function
100 mcg daily with 20 mg zinc daily2 stars[2 stars]
Selenium supplements have been reported to help improve immune function in seniors.
Infection
100 mcg per day with 20 mg per day of zinc2 stars[2 stars]
Selenium supplements have been reported to help reduce infections in elderly people.
Lung Cancer
200 mcg daily2 stars[2 stars]
Selenium, reported to have diverse anticancer actions, has been shown in one study to reduce lung cancer incidence.
Male Infertility
100 mcg daily2 stars[2 stars]
In a study of infertile men with reduced sperm motility, supplementing with selenium significantly increased sperm motility.
Osgood-Schlatter Disease
150 mcg a day with 400 IU a day of vitamin E2 stars[2 stars]
Taking a combination of vitamin E and selenium may help the healing.
Pancreatic Insufficiency
600 mcg, taken under the supervision of a doctor2 stars[2 stars]
Taking antioxidant supplements, such as selenium, may lessen pain and prevent pancreatitis recurrences.
Phenylketonuria
Adolescents and adults: 55 mcg daily; for infants and children: 15 to 40 mcg daily, according to age2 stars[2 stars]
Selenium deficiency may develop on the PKU diet, and supplementation may help correct this.
Prostate Cancer
200 mcg daily2 stars[2 stars]
Selenium has been reported to have diverse anticancer actions. Supplementing with this mineral may decrease your prostate cancer risk.
Rheumatoid Arthritis
200 mcg daily2 stars[2 stars]
People with rheumatoid arthritis have been found to have lower selenium levels than healthy people. Supplementing with selenium may reduce pain and joint inflammation.
Type 1 Diabetes
100–200 micrograms per day2 stars[2 stars]
Selenium is an important antioxidant that, along with other antioxidant supplements, may help prevent complications in people with type 1 diabetes.
Abnormal Pap Smear
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Low levels of selenium have been observed in women with cervical dysplasia.
Age-Related Cognitive Decline
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
In a preliminary trial of individuals with mild cognitive impairment and low blood levels of selenium, the improvement in measures of cognitive function was significantly greater in the group eating Brazil nuts than in the control group.
Asthma

(Vitamin C, Vitamin E)
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
There is some evidence that a combination of antioxidants vitamin E, vitamin C, and selenium may help prevent asthma thought to be caused by air pollution.
Cardiac Arrhythmia
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Supplementing with selenium may improve many arrhythmias.
Cardiomyopathy and Keshan's Cardiomyopathy
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Supplementing with selenium can correct selenium deficiency, which is believed to be a cause of Keshan’s disease, a form of cardiomyopathy found in China.
Childhood Diseases
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Supplementing with selenium, an antioxidant mineral, supports a healthy immune system and has been found to prevent viral infections.
Down Syndrome
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
People with Down syndrome may be deficient in selenium. A preliminary study found that antioxidant activity in the body improved when children with Down syndrome took selenium.
Halitosis and Gum Disease
Spray a lotion containing 3.7% citronella in a slow-release formula every morning for six days per week1 star[1 star]
Selenium is often recommended by doctors to help prevent and treat periodontitis.
Hepatitis
100 mg per1 star[1 star]
In one trial, a combination of alpha lipoic acid, silymarin, and selenium led to significant improvements in liver function and overall health in people with hepatitis C.
High Cholesterol
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
A double-blind trial found that, in people with moderately elevated cholesterol levels, supplementing with selenium in the form of high-selenium yeast resulted in a small but statistically significant decrease in serum cholesterol.
Hypothyroidism
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Selenium plays a role in thyroid hormone metabolism. People who are deficient in selenium may benefit from supplementation.
Liver Cirrhosis
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
People with liver cirrhosis often have low selenium levels and a greater need for antioxidants. In one study, selenium improved liver function in people with alcoholic cirrhosis.
Macular Degeneration
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Sunlight triggers oxidative damage in the eye, which can cause macular degeneration. Selenium protects against oxidative damage and may reduce macular degeneration risk.
Pre- and Post-Surgery Health
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Selenium has an important role in immune function and infection prevention, and supplementing with it may correct a postoperative selenium deficiency.
Seborrheic Dermatitis
Refer to label instructions as Selenium Topical1 star[1 star]
Vitamin B12 injections have been reported to improve adult seborrheic dermatitis.
Type 1 Diabetes and Diabetic Retinopathy

(Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E)
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Antioxidant nutrients including selenium, vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin E may combat free radicals associated with diabetic retinopathy.

Copyright © 2019 Healthnotes, Inc. All rights reserved. www.healthnotes.com

Learn more about Healthnotes, the company.

The information presented by Healthnotes is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires December 2019.

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