What is Selenium and where is it found?Selenium is a mineral found in foods such as Brazil nuts, seafood, meats (especially organ meats), breads, grains, poultry, and eggs. It is also found in soil, so the amount of selenium in plant food varies depending on the geographic location and soil quality of the region. Additionally, it is sold as part of multivitamin/multimineral supplements and as stand-alone supplements as well. Selenium is an important antioxidant that plays a key role in metabolism, even though the human body requires it in small amounts.

What are the benefits of Selenium?Selenium has been shown to be effective in preventing cognitive decline, lowering cholesterol, and in treating cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, and hypothyroidism.

Are there interactions with food or medications and Selenium?Some research shows that vitamin C, zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the effectiveness of selenium. Additionally, anticoagulant/antiplatelet herbs and medications in combination with selenium may increase the risk of bleeding.

Are there side effects from taking Selenium?Selenium is well tolerated and safe when taken in small doses. However, Selenium can be toxic in large amounts, so it should not be taken haphazardly or without the advice of a medical professional. Symptoms of toxicity include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, weight loss, irritability, nail changes, muscle tenderness and tremors, and alopecia.

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