Selenium is a trace mineral found in foods that are needed by the human body. Low selenium counts can lead to autoimmune disorders, problems with conception and fertility, and low levels are reported to be linked to stomach cancer and some throat cancers. All of the research has not been able to prove the exact link that selenium has with these conditions, but we do know that selenium apparently is beneficial to people who suffer from hypothyroidism.
10 Foods that Contain Selenium
- Kuzu root
- Meat such as beef, lamb, and pork
- Mushrooms like the button, shitake, and the crimin
- Poultry like chicken and turkey
- Sunflower seeds
- Brazil nuts
- Wheat germ, barley, whole grain brown rice, oats
- Fish like halibut, tuna, salmon, and flounder
- Shellfish like clams, scallops, shrimp, mussels, and oysters
The exact amount of selenium that is in things like wheat or oats depends on the amount of selenium that is in the soil where they were grown.
While selenium can be good for the body it can also be toxic if you get more than you need. You would need to exceed 400 mcg of selenium per day in order to start showing the signs of selenium toxicity. The signs of an overdose of selenium are:
- Hair loss
- White spots on the fingernails
- Nerve damages
Higher levels of this trace mineral have been linked to type II diabetes and squamous skin cancer.
The best way to get the recommended amounts of selenium without taking the chance of getting too much and it reaching toxic levels. When we receive the nutrients and minerals that our bodies need through the foods we consume our bodies will only take the amounts of the minerals they need and the remainder will be expelled in or waste. When we take supplements to provide our mineral, and nutrient needs we can easily overdose on them. To be safe get your necessary vitamins and minerals through the food you eat and not through over the counter supplements.
The following list will tell you the daily recommended amounts of selenium. You can use this list as a general guide, but should consult your doctor for the actual amount of selenium that would be right for your needs.
- Children under the age of three should get no more than 20 mcg per day
- Children between the ages of four and eight should receive no more than thirty mcg per day
- Children between the ages of nine and thirteen should receive no more than forty mcg per day
- Adolescents between the ages of fourteen and eighteen can have no more than fifty-five mcg per day
- Adults over the age of nineteen should get fifty-five mcg per day
- Pregnant women can increase their consumption of selenium to sixty mcg per day
- Lactating mothers can increase their consumption to seventy mcg per day
Your doctor will tell you the best level for your needs and the best method of receiving this mineral.