Selenium Sources, Benefits, Dosage, Side Effects & FAQs

selenium sources benefits dosage side effects & faqs

Selenium is a micronutrient and a mineral. It acts as a powerful antioxidant and is crucially important for the overall human health. Its deficiency may cause some severe health complications. Although humans need it in a very small amount yet it plays a vital role in the metabolic process.

Structure and occurrence

The element symbol for selenium is Se, atomic number is 34 and its atomic mass is about 78.96 units. Selenium occurs as an allotrope in nature. The most common allotropic forms of selenium are metallic selenium, red amorphous powder and red crystalline form.



Commercial selenium is synthesized from metal sulfide ores during the refining process of these ores. It is present in sulfide ores along with sulfur and is generated in the refining process as a byproduct.



Selenium isn’t synthesized in the body itself, however, it is obtained from various food sources and supplements. Various foods that are rich in amount of Selenium are-

Benefits and Uses of Selenium

Selenium salts are generally toxic in nature but however limited amounts of selenium salts are used for various cellular functions. It is used as a vital component in dietary supplements and multivitamins.

Antioxidant enzymes such as glutathione peroxidase and thioredoxin reductase contain selenium as a fundamental component.

Selenium for Skin

Selenium Hair Treatment

Selenium and Health Care

Industrial Uses of Selenium

Dosage of Selenium

Below is a list of the dosages recommended for people of various age group according to conditions. But it should not be taken as a medical prescription, we suggest you to consult a health professional and start taking it accordingly.

Age Group/Condition

Dietary allowance amount of Selenium (in micrograms/day)

Children Age 1-3


Children Age 4-8


Children Age 9-13


Children above 14 years of age and adults


Pregnant Women


Breastfeeding Women


 If selenium dosage is higher than the recommended dosages they might cause several side effects.

Side-effects of Selenium consumption

Selenium doesn’t appear naturally in the body; however, it is consumed in the form of supplements, also there are various foods that contain selenium as a constituent. Overdosage of selenium may cause various problems like:

However, limited consumption of selenium can be effective to fight these side-effects.



Selenium can be provided to the body by eating a variety of vegetarian and non-vegetarian stuff but if enough amount of selenium isn’t consumed by the body we need to provide the body with selenium supplements. Selenium is a constituent of various supplements and is also a major constituent of various cosmetics.

FAQs: What people normally want to know about Selenium?

1. Can Selenium help in the treatment of skin cancer?

Selenium is a strong antioxidant and helps in the treatment of skin cancer by protecting the skin from the harmful free radicals.

2. I have a deltoid surgery scheduled in a month. When should I stop consuming selenium capsules?

You should stop consuming your selenium capsules about 2 weeks before your surgery to avoid side effects such as excessive bleeding.

3. I’m a new mother and still breastfeeding my child. Is it okay for me to consume selenium?

It is okay to consume selenium but you should ask your dietitian to recommend you an appropriate diet to provide a balanced amount of selenium to your body to avoid side effects.

4. Is infertility in men somehow related to consumption of selenium?

Overconsumption of selenium can affect the sperm mobility in men and can affect the fertilizing capabilities of men.

5. Can selenium treat hair-fall and dandruff?

Yes, Selenium is used as a constituent in anti-dandruff and anti-hairfall shampoos and can cure hair and scalp related problems.


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