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What are the risks of taking selenium?

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The risks include:

  • Side effects. An overdose of selenium may cause bad breath, fever, and nausea, as well as liver, kidney and heart problems and other symptoms. At high enough levels, it's life-threatening.
  • Interactions. Selenium may affect other medicines and supplements, such as antacids, chemotherapy drugs, corticosteroids, niacin, cholesterol-lowering statin drugs, and birth control pills.
  • Skin cancer. Selenium supplements are linked to a risk of skin cancer.
  • Prostate cancer.

SOURCES:
Longe, J., ed. The Gale Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine, second edition, 2004.
Natural Standard Patient Monograph: "Selenium."
Office of Dietary Supplements: "Selenium."
WebMD Health News: "Selenium Supplements: Diabetes Risk?"
Combs, G. The British Journal of Nutrition, 2001.
Rayman, M. Lancet, 2000.
Schrauzer, G. Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, 2000.

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini on March 26, 2019

SOURCES:
Longe, J., ed. The Gale Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine, second edition, 2004.
Natural Standard Patient Monograph: "Selenium."
Office of Dietary Supplements: "Selenium."
WebMD Health News: "Selenium Supplements: Diabetes Risk?"
Combs, G. The British Journal of Nutrition, 2001.
Rayman, M. Lancet, 2000.
Schrauzer, G. Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, 2000.

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini on March 26, 2019

From: Selenium

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