Selenium

Approximately10–20 mg of selenium is present in the body. Selenium is a trace element and is an important part of amino acids, which are necessary in building proteins.  Most selenium in the body is located in the liver and kidneys.
Selenium is present in foods of both plant and animal origin, whereas vegetables and fruit are relatively low in selenium.  Selenium content in food depends heavily on the quality of soil or animal feed. Thus there could be great selenium variations in food content.

Functions in the Body

  • Aids in selenium-containing protein development
  • Protects the cells, DNA and blood plasma from oxidative damage
  • Component of enzymes
  • Regulates thyroid hormones

Deficiency Symptoms

  • Anaemia, heart failure, impaired sperm production, growth and bone formation disorders.

Overdose

Nausea, vomiting, digestive disorders, fatigue, loss of hair and nails, garlic-like breath odour, nervous system diseases.

Interactions

Resorption mechanisms are not yet completely understood. It is possible that the body’s selenium levels may be diminished by smoking, alcohol consumption and diseases.

Sources

Meat, fish, eggs, legumes, nuts and whole grains.

Recommended Daily Amounts

(male/female)
Young people 70 µg / 60 µg
Adults 70 µg / 60 µg
Adults 65 years old and over 70 µg / 60 µg

«5 a Day» helps you in meeting your body’s daily mineral and trace elements requirements.

The following foods should be eaten in order to meet the daily 60 µg selenium requirement: 850 g of mushrooms, or 2 kg of white cabbage, or 4 kg of onions, or 6 kg of tomatoes, asparagus or oranges.