Nutrient Information: Selenium, Se

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Nutrient Key Information 
Nutrient Name: Selenium, Se
Nutrient Category: Minerals
Unit Name: µg
Nutrient Summary: Selenium is an antioxidant nutrient involved in the defense against oxidative stress. It regulates thyroid hormone actions. It also involves DNA production.
Nutrient Function: • Antioxidant: protect bodies from cell damage caused by free radicals
• Immune function: protect b ... (Continue the page to read more)


Sample Foods High in:
Selenium, Se  ( Additional Top Food Sources )
Food Description Nutrient Amount1 Daily Value%2
Nuts, brazilnuts, dried, unblanched
Category: Nut and Seed Products
1,917 µg 3,485.45%
Pork, fresh, variety meats and by-products, kidneys, cooked, braised
Category: Pork Products
311.5 µg 566.36%
Mollusks, oyster, Pacific, cooked, moist heat
Category: Finfish and Shellfish Products
154 µg 280.00%
Fish, tuna, yellowfin, fresh, cooked, dry heat
Category: Finfish and Shellfish Products
108.2 µg 196.73%
Chicken, liver, all classes, cooked, pan-fried
Category: Poultry Products
88.2 µg 160.36%
Seeds, sunflower seed kernels from shell, dry roasted, with salt added
Category: Nut and Seed Products
79.3 µg 144.18%
1 Nutrient amount is in 100 gram food
2 Use Female 31-50 years old as Daily Value reference


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Nutrient Detail Information
Nutrient Summary Selenium is an antioxidant nutrient involved in the defense against oxidative stress. It regulates thyroid hormone actions. It also involves DNA production.
Nutrient Function • Antioxidant: protect bodies from cell damage caused by free radicals
• Immune function: protect bodies from infection
• Thyroid gland function: as a selenoprotein, it helps to convert the thyroid hormone into its active form.
• Involved in reproduction
• DNA synthesis and production
• Some studies indicate potential anticancer effects for certain types of cancer, however, more research and larger scale trials are needed.

Most dietary selenium is in the form of selenomethionine (organic form). Other forms of selenium include selenate and selenite (inorganic form), commonly used in fortified foods and dietary supplements. Both of them are metabolized to selenide. Selenide can be metabolized to a precursor of other reactions or be converted into an excretory metabolite.

The main selenium storage is skeletal muscle tissue. However, the thyroid gland holds the highest concentration of selenium.
Food Sources
Top Food Sources
• Organ meats: such as pork kidneys, chicken liver, pork liver
• Seafood: such as oyster, tuna, clam, sardine
• Nuts and seeds: such as Brazil nuts, sunflower seed, chia seeds
• Meats: such as pork, beef
• Poultry
• Whole grains and enriched pasta and rice
• Eggs
• Dairy products: such as cheese

Fruits and vegetables have some selenium, however, the amount is much lower than animal foods.

Note:
• Brazil nuts contains extremely high amount of selenium (~95µg/kernel). You may easily go over the Upper Limit if you eat too many or consume regularly.
• The selenium content of foods greatly varies depending on the selenium content of the soil where the plant was grown or where the animal was raised (mainly the animal feeding foods).
• In the United States and Canada, food animals usually have controlled diets to which selenium is added. So the selenium amount in muscle meats, milk, and eggs are more consistent than plant-based foods. For plant based food, recommend not to eat foods solely from one locality.
• United States has high-selenium regions, such as western South Dakota and eastern Wyoming. However, no evidence of selenosis has been found in these areas.
Deficiency Health Effects For general well-nourished people, selenium deficiency will not show any obvious symptoms. However, if a person has some specific stresses or diseases (such as kidney dialysis and HIV), selenium deficiency may occur and lead to biochemical changes and possibly these diseases:

• Keshan disease (a type of heart disease)
• Kashin-Beck disease (a type of joints arthritis)
• Male infertility
• May exacerbate iodine deficiency

People who have vegetarian diets, and especially eat plants grown in low-selenium geographic areas, may have low selenium intakes.
Effects if Above Upper Limit The selenium Intake Upper Limit is based on selenosis (chronic selenium toxicity) as the adverse effect. Selenium Intake includes total intake from food, water, and supplements.

The common selenosis symptoms are:
• Garlic breath and metallic taste in the mouth
• Hair and nail brittleness and loss
• Skin rash
• Stomach upset, nausea, diarrhea
• Fatigue
• Nervous system abnormalities
• Extremely high intakes of selenium can cause severe problems, including difficulty breathing, tremors, kidney failure, heart attacks, and heart failure.

Note:
1) Inorganic selenium can cause toxicity at lower level of selenium than organic selenomethionine.
2) Brazil nuts are exceptionally high in selenium even when grown in low-selenium soil (~95µg/kernel). You many easily go over the Upper Limit if you eat too many or consume regularly.
External References Learn more at:
• The National Academies of Science, Engineering, Medicine publication: Dietary Reference Intakes
• NIH (National Institutes of Health) article: Selenium
• Harvard School of Public Health article: Selenium



Daily Value Age Group Recommended Daily Values Daily Value Upper Limits
Toddler 1 to 3 years old: 20 µg 90 µg
Child 4 to 8 years old: 30 µg 150 µg
Male 9 to 13 years old: 40 µg 280 µg
Male 14 to 18 years old: 55 µg 400 µg
Male 19 to 30 years old: 55 µg 400 µg
Male 31 to 50 years old: 55 µg 400 µg
Male 51 to 70 years old: 55 µg 400 µg
Male Senior 71 or older: 55 µg 400 µg
Female 9 to 13 years old: 40 µg 280 µg
Female 14 to 18 years old: 55 µg 400 µg
Female 19 to 30 years old: 55 µg 400 µg
Female 31 to 50 years old: 55 µg 400 µg
Female 51 to 70 years old: 55 µg 400 µg
Female Senior 71 or older: 55 µg 400 µg
Female Pregnancy (>18): 60 µg 400 µg
Female Lactation (>18): 70 µg 400 µg
FDA (Based on 2000 calorie daily diet): 55 µg


Dietary Reference Intakes The nutrient Dietary Reference Intakes and nutrition facts is from Institute of Medicine of National Academies 2006. Dietary Reference Intakes: The Essential Guide to Nutrient Requirements. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/11537
US FDA Nutrition Education Nutrition facts knowledge are based on U.S. FOOD & DRUG Administration Nutrition Education Resources & Materials. https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/interactivenutritionfactslabel/
National Institutes of Health Nutrition facts knowledge are based on National Institutes of Health Dietary Supplement Fact Sheets. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/list-all
Disclaimer The nutrient information provided here should not take the place of medical advice. We encourage you to talk to your healthcare providers (such as your doctor) about your dietary requirements which are best for your overall health. We also recommend you to read organization or professional reference documents or articles mentioned, but not limited to, in this page. Any mentions and reference links in this page don't represent our endorsement of their services and advice.


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