Overview

Selenium is a mineral found in soil, water, and some foods. It is important for making many body processes work correctly.

Most of the selenium in the body comes from the diet. The amount of selenium in food depends on where it is grown or raised. Crab, liver, fish, poultry, and wheat are generally good selenium sources. The amount of selenium in soils varies a lot around the world, which means that the foods grown in these soils also have differing selenium levels. In the U.S., the Eastern Coastal Plain and the Pacific Northwest have the lowest selenium levels. People in these regions naturally take in about 60 to 90 mcg of selenium per day from their diet. Although this amount of selenium is adequate, it is below the average daily intake in the U.S., which is 125 mcg.

Selenium is used for selenium deficiency, a disease that causes underactive thyroid (autoimmune thyroiditis), and high blood pressure during pregnancy. It is also used for diseases of the heart and blood vessels, including stroke, complications from statin drugs, and abnormal cholesterol levels, as well as for many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19): There is no good evidence to support using selenium for COVID-19. Follow healthy lifestyle choices and proven prevention methods instead.

How does it work ?

Selenium is important for making many body processes work correctly. It seems to increase the action of antioxidants.

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CONDITIONS OF USE AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

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