Total Elemental Selenium
Selenium is an essential trace mineral that supports a healthy functioning body. Selenium content in plant and animal sources largely depends on the selenium content in soil. There are many different forms of selenium that can be found in dietary sources and in the body. Selenium is often attached to various organic molecules although two primary forms can be found: selencysteine and selenomethionine. Selenomethionine is directly incorporated in proteins and acts as a storage, releasing selenium to proteins as needed. Selenium demonstrates antioxidant ability in a variety of ways, fighting off free radicals as well as forming other detoxifying and antioxidant agents. Selenium is involved in the synthesis and metabolism of thyroid hormones as well as the formation of nitric oxide. In studies, selenium has demonstrated immunomodulatory abilities.
Selenium, when used in combination with beta-carotene and vitamins C and E, may decrease the effectiveness of HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors and niacin. There are no other known interactions with other drugs or supplements.
Selenium is well tolerated in doses up to 900 mcg a day and has only occasional side effects reported. Higher doses per day are more likely to cause adverse effects such as nausea, vomiting, fatigues, irritability, skin rash, hair loss and nail brittleness. As with all drugs and supplements, consult a health care professional before use. Typical and recommended doses of selenium should be around 400 mcg daily, unless under health care observation.
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