Selenium is a non metal present in our bodies in small amounts. It is commonly found in water and and is known for its antioxidant properties. It was first discovered in Stockholm in 1817 and was named after the Greek goddess Selene, the goddess of the moon..
Recommended levels of selenium
There is no real recommended daily dose of selenium. For adults, the LARN – Recommended Nutrient Intake Levels for the Italian population – and the American RDA – Recommended Dietary Allowance – recommend a selenium intake of 55 μg / day.Various parameters concerning selenium will be summarized in the following tables; in particular: RDA, PRI, AR and UL.
|Adults||55μg / day|
|Pregnant and Nutritious||65-75μg / day|
|Infants up to 6 months||10μg / day|
|Children between 6 and 12 months||15μg / day|
|Children between 1 and 6 years old||20μg / day|
|Children between 7 and 10 years old||30μg / day|
|Children between 11 and 14 years old||40μg / day|
* RDA : Recommended Dietary Allowance
|Infants 6-12 months||20μg / day|
|Children 1-3 years old||19μg / day|
|Children 4-6 years||25μg / day|
|Children 7-10 years||34μg / day|
|Male teenagers 11-14||49μg / day|
|Male teenagers 15-17||55μg / day|
|Female adolescents 11-14||48μg / day|
|Female adolescents 15-17||55μg / day|
|Men||55μg / day|
|Women||55μg / day|
|Pregnancy||60μg / diee|
|Feeding time||70μg / day|
|Infants 6-12 months||na|
|Children 1-3 years old||16μg / day|
|Children 4-6 years||20μg / day|
|Children 7-10 years||30μg / day|
|Male teenagers 11-14||41μg / day|
|Male teenagers 15-17||45μg / day|
|Female adolescents 11-14||40μg / day|
|Female adolescents 15-17||45μg / day|
|Men||45μg / day|
|Women||45μg / day|
|Pregnancy||50μg / day|
|Feeding time||60μg / day|
* AR : average requirement for the Italian population, from LARN – Recommended Nutrient Intake Levels for the Italian population
|Infants 6-12 months||na|
|Children 1-3 years old||60μg / day|
|Children 4-6 years||90μg / day|
|Children 7-10 years||130μg / day|
|Male teenagers 11-14||200μg / day|
|Male teenagers 15-17||250μg / day|
|Female adolescents 11-14||200μg / day|
|Female adolescents 15-17||250μg / day|
|Men||300μg / day|
|Women||300μg / day|
|Pregnancy||300μg / day|
|Feeding time||300μg / day|
Selenium deficiency symptoms
There are specific pathologies and bad habits that can produce a decrease in selenium levels , such as smoking and alcohol, ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease .
Should a deficiency condition occur , there are many health disorders that could occur, such as:
- visual disturbances
- rheumatoid arthritis
- male infertility
- tendency to gain weight.
In all these cases, significant improvements have been observed by integrating selenium into the diet. Today it is rare to report a condition of deficiency, with the exception of poor countries and very elderly subjects with serious intestinal problems.
Selenium as an antioxidant
This chemical element acts directly as an antioxidant , fighting the chemical bonds that lead to the formation of free radicals , dangerous molecules for our body. It therefore helps to preserve the elasticity of the tissues, improving the action of collagen.
Discover the properties of these metals useful for our body:
Selenium and thyroid
Did you know that this mineral also acts on the function of the thyroid? Its concentration in this gland is very high. It is involved, together with iodine, in the production of thyroid hormones and a deficiency of it would cause serious problems.
There are many therapeutic properties of selenium , let’s discover them together:
- preserves memory : with old age, this mineral tends to decrease in our body. Some research has found a correlation between this phenomenon and cognitive decline, such as memory loss .
- Prevention of heart disease: it is also implicated in the fluidification of the blood , preventing the viscosity of the platelets and therefore the possibility of developing blood clots. The latter are the basis of stroke, heart disease, pulmonary embolism and renal failure.
- It prevents flu symptoms : just like vitamin C , a good dose of this mineral protects against colds , coughs and sore throats .
- The selenium is also valuable for the health of our hair . Being involved in fact in the production of proteins, present in the same hair, improves the growth rhythms of our hair. In addition to zinc, it therefore offers valuable support for our image too!
Selenium and cancer
Some research has highlighted the correlation between high levels of selenium and less chance of developing cancer of the bladder, prostate, lung and some gastrointestinal forms.