Characteristics of selenium


What is selenium?

Selenium (Se) is an essential trace element, therefore, it must be taken in small amounts through a varied and balanced diet. It is considered a trace element because, although vital, the body needs very low doses of this component .

Food containing much selenium

Photo of foods high in selenium: nuts, legumes and whole grains.

How much selenium is there in our organism?

In our body, selenium represents amounts less than 1 mg. It is stored in the liver, kidneys, pancreas, testes and seminal vesicles.

The amount of selenium in the body depends on the type of food we take and, above all, the type of soil in which foods we eat were produced.

The selenium absorption occurs in the intestines from selenium -containing foods in our diet. Selenium absorption of food is quite difficult. It is estimated that only 60% of what is in the food is absorbed.

Selenium is excreted through urine and feces. Males also expel selenium when sperm is ejaculated.

Sources of Selenium

Where can I find selenium?

It appears in food, both plant and animal food. It does not usually need to be supplemented as we get our needs with a varied intake and a balanced diet.

There are selenium-rich soils while others are very poor, so foods grown in these last ones contain little selenium in them. This is the reason why people leaving in selenium-poor soils may require an extra supply of this mineral through supplements. It was found that in regions where the soil is poor in selenium, its inhabitants have a higher rate of heart disease and cancer.

Some drinking waters are rich in selenium. Other times, the mineral is added to water in areas where soils contain little.

* More information: Foods rich in selenium,.

Selenium supplementation

Usually there are no shortages of selenium, although there are specific cases in which supplementation may be assessed. For example, during a long period of intravenous feeding, in diseases such as myocardial Keshan disease, Kashin -Beck disease, which affects to joints and bones, or in the case of babies cretinism causing mental retardation. The last two are produced by a deficit in this trace element.

Selenium supplements can be found in the following ways:

Organic selenium or Selenium Methioninate: in the form of capsules, tablets or selenium yeast. They are used for their antioxidant effects, together with vitamins with the same effect, to achieve a proper state of the muscles and nerves, and as a preventive measure against cellular oxidation in our bodies.

Inorganic selenium: It has a much lower absorption and bioavailability than organic one, although with the same purposes, however its effects will be much lower.

punto rojo More information on selenium

Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

27 June, 2019

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