What is selenium?

Selenium is a mineral that occurs naturally in water and some foods. This nutrient is an essential component of various enzymes and proteins, called selenoproteins, that helps to make DNA and protect against cell damage and infections. These proteins are also involved in the reproduction and the metabolism of thyroid hormones.

Selenium Benefits

  • Helps make DNA
  • Protects cells from free radical damage and infections
  • Supports reproductive health
  • Aids thyroid gland function

How much selenium do you need per day?

  • Adult Women: 55 mcg
  • Adult Men: 55 mcg
  • Pregnant/Breastfeeding Women: 60 mcg
  • Women age 60+: 55 mcg
  • Men age 60+: 55 mcg

Natural sources of selenium

  • Brazil nuts
  • Shellfish
  • Beef
  • Poultry
  • Fortified cereals
  • Whole-wheat bread
  • Beans
  • Lentils

Learn about selenium deficiency symptoms.

Further reading: National Institutes of Health