The Selenium Dosage you Choose
Should be 'Just Right'
For those who choose to get their selenium dosage from supplements, getting the RIGHT Selenium Dosage is extremely important. While there are MANY selenium benefits, long-term exposure to high doses can cause very real cases of selenium overdose that can undo any or all of the beneficial effects that you are seeking from taking this vital mineral.
Do You Even Need Selenium Supplements?
This is a question that no one is going to be able to answer for you. With some supplements, it is almost a 'no brainer' to decide. For instance, there is almost no vitamin D in any commonly eaten foods and most people stay out of the sun. Therefore, taking Vitamin D Supplements is practically required to prevent the long term Symptoms of Vitamin D Deficiency.
But the need for your selenium dosage from supplements is more subtle. Blood testing does not give adequate information about need for selenium, and unlike Vitamin B12 Supplements
which have few, if any, toxic effects even at massively high doses- you CAN
take too much selenium and impair your health. So, my warning to you is to read the Selenium Overdose
page as well as doing your own due diligence, reading the literature and being aware of toxicity symptoms - and be fully aware of the risks and benefits of selenium supplementation before you begin to supplement on your own.
Why Supplement anyway if there are risks of selenium overdose? There are many Selenium Benefits and most of us are far removed from where our food is grown. If you eat many servings of unprocessed whole foods per day and you KNOW that the plants you are eating were grown in selenium rich soils (you can not assume that organic foods were grown in selenium-rich soil), or you know that the animal products you are eating grazed on plant material high in selenium, then you probably don't need to supplement. But if you do not eat large quantities of fresh, unprocessed foods grown or raised in selenium-rich soil, then there is really no way to know for sure if you are getting adequate selenium.
The Facts About Selenium suggest that even seemingly 'adequate' selenium in the diet may not be enough:
- This Study took a group of people with NORMAL selenium blood levels and supplemented them with 200 mcg of selenium per day and concluded, "The results indicated that the immunoenhancing effects of selenium in humans require supplementation above the replete levels produced by normal dietary intake."
- Antioxidant researcher Beldeu Singh states,"It is well established that in most industrialized countries, selenium intake is so low and that it might limit GPx (glutathione) synthesis...." And glutathione is an antioxidant produced INSIDE of each and every cell of the body that is CRITICAL for good health- and can only be produced in the presence of adequate selenium.
So, immune enhancing effects, including Selenium's Role in Influenza and cancer, are only a few of the many Selenium Benefits that you may not be able to get except by taking selenium supplements. But if you were to take selenium supplements, what dose would be beneficial.
Selenium Dosage in Nature
Selenium comes entirely from the plant kingdom and humans get selenium by ingesting plants or by drinking water that contains selenium. But intake varies GREATLY from region to region depending upon soil and water conditions. In areas with LOW selenium levels, humans get diseases like:
- Heart Failure from Selenium Deficiency
- Some cancers
- Thyroid problems
- Immune System Problems
But in regions that get too high of a selenium dosage or in people who Overdose on Selenium, they get neurologic and endocrine diseases. So there is a 'Goldilocks' effect of not getting too much and not getting too little- but getting the 'Just Right' Selenium Dosage for optimal health.
Selenium Dosage in Studies
Many studies have attempted to determine the 'Just Right' selenium dosage, and while there are no clear cut answers as to the exact optimal dose for optimal health, the studies that HAVE been done give us some clues.
200 mcg (micrograms) is the most frequently used dose in studies that obtained beneficial results. Most of these studies were done over relatively short periods of time, but some were done over long periods of time, so it seems that 200 mcg per day is a relatively safe dosage to take for relatively long periods of time.
One study that analyzed many other studies on selenium found that dosages of about 300 mcg per day of selenium began to show ill effects on the thyroid gland as well as hair and nail weakening and loss.
So from this study, we can determine that 300 mcg per day of selenium is likely to be unnecessary and may cause harm over the long term. So, taking between about 100 mcg to 200 mcg seems to be the 'just right' selenium dosage that is beneficial for health, but that does not cause problems in MOST people. Again, this will be dependent upon how much you ALREADY get in your diet, your specific metabolism and other factors that science may not even know about.
What are the Best Selenium Supplements
There are several different forms of Selenium Supplements
The 'organic' forms of selenium, in studies, seemed to raise blood levels more effectively than did synthetic forms of selenium and were less toxic.
The preferred types of selenium are:
- Selenium enriched yeast
- Chelated Formulations
Importantly, though, there are many many studies that mention the 'Synergistic' effects of Selenium when taken with Vitamin E. That means that even though selenium showed benefits alone and Vitamin E showed some benefits alone- the COMBINED effects of Selenium and Vitamin E TOGEHTHER were greater than the effects of either one by itself.
That's one of the reasons that I recommend Jigsaw Health's Essential Daily Packs. It contains 400 mcg of natural Selenium along with Vitamin E in the form of tocopherols- the only form of vitamin E that you should take.
The forms of selenium that are NOT recommended are:
So, if you choose to take Selenium Supplements, it is vital that you are fully aware of the benefits- as well as the risks of Overdose on Selenium
that can occur with a too high Selenium Dosage
Also, selenium deficiency- as with most other nutrients- does not occur all by itself. If you believe that you may be selenium deficient, selenium seems to work better with other antioxidants- particularly Vitamin E and Vitamin C. However, getting a 'balance' of nutrients is ALWAYS the recommended way of taking supplements.
In our 'One Drug for One Problem' society, most people want to know what ONE SPECIFIC supplement to take for their problem. They want the MAGIC BULLET that will solve their problems. Unfortunately, it's likely that you will never find that 'Magic Bullet' because the SYNERGY between multiple nutrients is often what is required to solve health problems.
If you have health problems (or don't yet and want to keep it that way), I highly recommend taking a look at Jigsaw Health's Essential Daily Packs. It is really one of the best supplements on the market. Don't skimp on cheap products when it comes to your multivitamin, your health is worth more than that.
Keep reading to see how Selenium could also influence your risk of the Flu- as well as how everyone's else's intake of selenium could influence YOUR risk....
Selenium and Influenza
Back to Top of Selenium Dosage
To Easy Immune System Health Home Page