Selenium Overdose is a real phenomenon that has been documented in many areas around the world that have high selenium content in their water and their soil. It has also been documented in people taking large doses of selenium supplements for long periods of time. So, it is important that if you do choose to supplement with selenium that you be aware of selenium overdose symptoms and the appropriate and toxic dosages.
It is interesting that few people are aware of selenium toxicity- even though it is relatively EASY to have a selenium overdose and it occurs relatively frequently; yet it seems that just about EVERYONE is concerned about an Overdose on Vitamin D even though it is extremely DIFFICULT and there are very few instances of it- and NO instances of it from natural sources.
But Selenium Overdose has and does occur both in nature and from supplements.
There are many areas that have very high naturally occurring selenium levels. And animals that graze are particularly susceptible to selenium toxicity. But humans have been affected too- mainly in areas with high selenium levels in the WATER, as most humans don't eat the large amount of selenium containing foods that would be required in order to become toxic from foods grown in high selenium areas. But selenium overdoses in nature can and do happen.
Selenium toxicity also can and does occur from taking selenium supplements in too high a dose for too long. Because too LOW selenium levels can contribute to health problems like:
So, there are possibly many good reasons to take selenium supplements. But it's extremely important that the Selenium Dosage you choose- IF you choose to supplement at all- is 'Just Right'. In other words, it needs to be high enough for you to receive any health benefits that it may provide, but not too much to cause selenium toxicity.
So, there are many signs and symptoms of Selenium Overdose- some occur very early and some occur much later
Poor hair and nail growth are early signs that are probably the easiest to notice. Interestingly, thyroid problems are also a Sign of Selenium Deficiency as well!
Skin irritation, immune system problems, gastrointestinal complaints, lung and liver problems also can occur.
The most serious toxicity symptoms are neurologic problems. A condition called Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, also called ALS or Lou Gerig's disease, is particularly linked to selenium poisoning- although any range of neurologic problems could be due to selenium toxicity.
While there is no clear cut answer to this because of varying levels of selenium in water and soil in each part of the world, one study reported early signs of selenium toxicity at dosages as low as 400 mcg per day. And the benefits of selenium supplementation don't seem to require dosages that high, so it's safe to say that it is unnecessary and potentially unsafe to take dosages of 400 mcg per day or more long term.
In the short term, there have been many studies showing benefits of taking 200 mcg per day for many months at a time without causing selenium toxicity. But there is no consensus as to how long this dosage can be continued safely. And again, the safety of these dosages will depend upon the levels of selenium that occur naturally in your food and water as well. So a dosage that is safe for one person may not be safe for another person who lives in an area with high selenium levels or eats the plants grown in an area with high selenium levels.
So, from a selenium safety perspective we can say that you should NOT take selenium at dosages of 400 mcg or higher unless a doctor specifically tells you that you should, otherwise you are putting yourself at risk for
Selenium Overdose, and there is just simply no reason to put yourself at risk when much lower Dosages of Selenium can provide potential health benefits with minimal risk.
In fact, 400 mcg per day is also the usually EXTREMELY conservative "safe upper limit" selenium dosage that is set by the Institute of Medicine. So, these guidelines are very conservative. So, play it safe, know all of the
Facts about Selenium and don't overdo it.
I Recommend Jigsaw Health's Essential Daily Packs
with a big 400 mcg of absorbable selenium per day! It's the safe and effective way to Supplement with Selenium!
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