Selenium Deficiency: What it Is & Why it Matters

Key Points:

  • Selenium is a trace mineral that helps to regulate cardiovascular health, strengthen the immune system, and manage the endocrine system.
  • Symptoms of selenium deficiency often show up in the thyroid — since most selenium in the body is found in the thyroid and used to regulate hormones.
  • The best way to supplement selenium is through selenium foods and liquid minerals.

While other minerals like iodine, potassium, and magnesium get a lot of attention in the wellness community, selenium is a micronutrient that many people still don’t understand.

That’s a shame because selenium does a LOT for the human body. From thyroid regulation to heart health and immune system wellness, selenium is working behind the scenes to make sure your hormones are balanced and your body is energized.

The reason selenium deficiency gets less attention may be because it’s less common than some other mineral deficiencies (like calcium and magnesium), but that doesn’t make it any less important for our health. 

Our advice? Make sure that you and your healthcare provider know how to recognize and treat selenium deficiency alongside other mineral imbalances

Table of Contents:

What is Selenium?

Selenium is an essential mineral and micronutrient that helps to regulate multiple systems in the body. Particularly, the endocrine, cardiovascular, and immune systems rely on selenium for optimal energy and performance.

Selenium also works as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrient. It’s used by the body to create enzymes and selenoproteins. These selenoproteins make DNA and protect cells from free radicals.

Just a few benefits of selenium include: 

  • A healthy heart and cardiovascular system
  • A strong immune system
  • Balanced hormones
  • Optimal thyroid performance
  • Brain wellness
  • Lowered inflammation

Today, it’s estimated that up to 1 billion people worldwide suffer from selenium deficiency. But since the body only needs a small amount of selenium daily, deficiency typically occurs in people with multiple risk factors. For example, a combination of nutrient-depleted soil, a strict vegan/vegetarian diet, and a chronic illness may create the perfect environment for selenium deficiency. 

Selenium Deficiency Symptoms

True selenium deficiency is relatively rare in the United States, but more common in other regions of the world, like Europe. Risk factors include chronic illness, a vegan or vegetarian diet, digestive distress, pregnancy, and age.

If you’re wondering if you might be selenium deficient, check in with your symptoms. 

Common selenium deficiency symptoms include:

  • Nausea 
  • Lethargy
  • Hair loss
  • Infertility
  • Brain fog or confusion
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Depression
  • Thyroid issues

Selenium Toxicity Symptoms

Like with any mineral, you shouldn’t supplement selenium blindly. Too much selenium can cause a condition called selenium toxicity, where the body adversely reacts to an overabundance of selenium in the blood and tissues. 

Did you know? A common cause of selenium toxicity is eating too many brazil nuts!

Symptoms of selenium toxicity include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Muscle tremors
  • Hair loss
  • Irritability
  • Fatigue
  • Brittle nails

You’ll notice that some of the symptoms of selenium deficiency and selenium toxicity overlap, so it’s important to pay close attention to your symptoms and note where you might be getting too much or not enough selenium from your diet. Tracking your food in a food journal or using a tracking app for a week or two can be helpful here.

How to Make Sure You’re Getting Enough Selenium 

Common telltale signs of selenium deficiency include thyroid issues, hormone imbalance, fatigue, and other symptoms of chronic illness. If you suspect selenium deficiency, you can visit your doctor to diagnose it by blood test or hair mineral analysis. 

Here are a few ways you can boost your selenium intake safely:

Selenium Foods to Increase Your Daily Intake

Like other minerals, the quality of selenium in your food greatly depends on the soil it's grown in. For the most part, selenium deficiency in soil isn’t a problem — and a balanced diet should keep you from experiencing selenium deficiency unless you have an underlying condition that’s depleting it. 

Brazil Nuts

Brazil nuts are extremely high in selenium. Arguably, it’s the most selenium-rich food available. They are so famously high in selenium that most medical professionals recommend caution if you eat Brazil nuts regularly since they can cause selenium toxicity over time.

Animal Products and Seafood

Seafood, organ meats, turkey, and chicken are the second best way to boost selenium levels in your diet (after Brazil nuts). Although animal products may not be everyone’s first choice, they offer high doses of selenium among other essential micronutrients. Organ meats especially are some of the most nutrient-rich foods you can eat — with many benefits beyond selenium. 

Other Sources of Selenium

Liquid trace minerals provide a safe and balanced method to supplement selenium. Especially for those suffering from thyroid issues and hormonal imbalances, a healthy source of selenium is worth the investment. 

We recommend a liquid supplement because it’s easier for the body to assimilate and typically provides better and faster health benefits. 

Ensure Selenium Deficiency Doesn’t Go Untreated with BodyBio's Selenium Supplement

Because selenium deficiency is fairly rare, it can sometimes go undiagnosed and untreated. You also don’t have to have a true deficiency for problems to arise — insufficiency can lead to physical issues as well. Especially for patients with thyroid problems, hormonal imbalances, and gut dysbiosis, it’s essential to look into this mineral as a potential root cause and treatment for symptoms. 

BodyBio is with you every step of the way. Our liquid minerals are high quality and bioavailable, ensuring that they reach the tissues and organs where they are needed most. Many of our customers experience higher energy levels, more balanced hormones, and a healthier and happier lifestyle when supplementing with the right liquid minerals.

Try Liquid Mineral Selenium


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