The Healthy Importance and History of Selenium

The Healthy Importance and History of Selenium

Selenium is a mineral that contributes to various body functions. This article explores its significance, historical context, and its role in maintaining overall health. Discover insights into selenium's involvement in supporting well-being.

Key Takeaways

  • Selenium is a mineral that contributes to the body's normal functioning.
  • It may contribute to numerous benefits, including serving as a free radical neutralizer.
  • Good sources of selenium include Brazil nuts, seafood, and organic meats.
  • Selenium, when present in sufficient amounts, may subtly support a healthy immune system and endocrine activity.
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What is Selenium, and Why is it Important?

The Role of Selenium in the Body

Selenium contributes in some way to supporting various bodily functions. As a mineral, it contributes to cell well-being, actively involved in the protection of cells from potential challenges presented by free radicals. Cell protectors support overall health and well-being.

In addition to its protective properties, selenium also plays a role in supporting the body's defense mechanisms. It helps to assist the immune response and encourage the production of protective agents, contributing to maintaining overall health.  Furthermore, selenium is linked to supporting thyroid and metabolic functioning.

To ensure you're getting enough selenium, include selenium-rich foods in your diet, such as Brazil nuts, seafood, eggs, and whole grains. However, it's worth mentioning that an excessive intake of selenium may have potential drawbacks, so it's advisable to seek guidance from a healthcare professional for personalized advice.

Sources of Selenium

Selenium is naturally found in a variety of foods, making it easy to incorporate into your diet. Some common sources of selenium include:

  • Brazil nuts
  • Fish (such as tuna, salmon, and sardines)
  • Eggs
  • Chicken

These foods not only provide selenium, but they also offer other essential nutrients that contribute to overall health. It's important to include a variety of selenium-rich foods in your diet to ensure you're getting enough of this important mineral.

Note: It's always advisable to consult with a healthcare professional before making any significant changes to your diet or adopting new dietary practices.

The History of Selenium

Discovery of Selenium

Selenium was discovered in 1817 by Swedish chemist Jöns Jacob Berzelius. He named it after the Greek word 'selene', which means moon, due to its resemblance to tellurium, which was named after the Earth. Initially, selenium was considered a byproduct of sulfuric acid production, but its unique properties soon caught the attention of scientists.

Berzelius' discovery of selenium laid the foundation for further research and exploration of its properties and potential uses. It was not until the late 19th century that selenium's photoelectric properties were discovered, leading to its application in early photocells and light meters.

Today, selenium is widely used in various industries, including electronics, glass manufacturing, and photovoltaics. Its unique properties and versatile applications continue to make it an important element in modern technology and everyday life.

Early Uses of Selenium

In the early days, selenium was primarily used in the production of glass and pigments. Its unique properties made it a valuable component in creating vibrant colors and improving the durability of glassware. Additionally, selenium was also used in the photography industry, particularly in the development of photographic plates and films. Its light-sensitive nature allowed for the capture of images and the advancement of the art of photography. While these early uses of selenium may seem unrelated to its health benefits, they highlight the versatility and importance of this element in various industries.

Selenium in Modern Times

In modern times, Selenium has become increasingly recognized for its important role in supporting overall health and well-being. With the rise of health-conscious individuals, there has been a growing interest in incorporating selenium-rich foods into daily diets.

One factor contributing to the increasing popularity of selenium is its potential to help protect against oxidative stress.

Insufficient Selenium Levels

Considerations for Those with Low Selenium Levels

Reduced levels of selenium may influence different body functions and could have some implications for your overall well-being.

Another aspect to consider with low selenium levels is a potential influence on the immune system. Selenium plays a role in supporting the healthy function of the immune system, assisting in defense against various challenges.

Including selenium-rich foods in your diet is essential to maintain adequate selenium levels to support your well-being. Good sources of selenium include Brazil nuts, seafood, meat, poultry, and eggs. Incorporating these delicious foods into your meals could be a great way to get more selenium into your diet.

Maintaining Adequate Selenium Levels

Maintaining adequate selenium levels is important for supporting optimal health. Here are some simple steps you can take to check if you're getting enough selenium:

  • Incorporate foods rich in selenium into your diet, like Brazil nuts, seafood, and organic meats
  • Consider alternative options if you're unable to fulfill your daily selenium requirements solely through dietary means
  • Be mindful of cooking methods, as selenium can be lost during food preparation. Opt for steaming or baking foods to preserve selenium content

Remember, selenium plays a role in supporting your overall well-being. By taking these measures, you can assist your body's natural functions and support a healthy lifestyle.

In conclusion

Selenium is a mineral that plays a role in maintaining our overall health. Its history dates back to ancient times when it was used for its photoelectric properties. Today, selenium is known for its antioxidant properties and its ability to support a healthy immune system. Incorporating selenium-rich foods into our diet, such as Brazil nuts, fish, and eggs, can help ensure we meet our daily selenium needs. So, let's make sure to include selenium in our diet and reap the numerous benefits it offers!

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the main dietary sources of selenium?

The main dietary sources of selenium include Brazil nuts, seafood (such as tuna, shrimp, and salmon), meat (such as beef and poultry), grains (such as wheat and rice), and dairy products.

What is the recommended daily intake of selenium?

The recommended daily intake of selenium varies depending on age and sex. For adults, the recommended daily intake is typically around 55 micrograms per day.

Is there a possibility of excess selenium intake?

It is possible to consume an excess of selenium if high levels are ingested. It is advised to be mindful of selenium intake and adhere to recommended daily limits for a balanced approach to well-being.


  • †These statements have not been evaluated by the food and drug administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

  • ††Results in the testimonials may not be typical and your results may vary. Consult your physician before starting any diet, exercise program or supplement to avoid any health issues.