Selenium is a chemical element with the symbol Se, discovered by Swedish chemists in the 19th century. It is closely related to tellurium, a compound named after Tellus, the Roman goddess of the earth. Similarly, the name selenium is taken from Selene, the Roman goddess of the moon.
Light-sensitive, selenium has been used for many years to produce the photoelectric light meters in cameras and is still used for making photovoltaic or solar cells. In dermatology, selenium sulfide is used as anantifungal, etc. In short, it’s a remarkable metalloid with multiple properties.
It took several years of research before it was discovered that selenium was naturally present in soil everywhere in the world to a greater or lesser degree. This is how it finds its way into our diet: it is first taken up by plants and then by the animals that eat them.
Which is obviously a good thing, given that it’s essential for normal physiological function.
In fact, it is a precursor of certain enzymes the key function of which is to scavenge free radicals. As such, selenium plays an important role in promoting the longevity of our cells, which is why it’s considered to be one of the most powerful antioxidants you can consume. (1-2).
According to the European Food Safety Authority, selenium helps to:
The best source is seafood: monkfish, oysters, mackerel, tuna, sardines, mussels, scallops, and lobster are all high in selenium.
It is also found in meat, offal and eggs, as well as in oilseeds and nuts such as macadamia nuts, hazelnuts and almonds.
However, the precise levels of selenium in each of these foods is usually impossible to predict. Knowing exactly how much selenium is provided by a particular foodstuff requires detailed analysis. Indeed, the amount of selenium present in food depends on its level in the soil and distribution of selenium is uneven.
The recommended daily intake of selenium is normally around 200 mcg.
We’d therefore recommend the supplement L-Selenomethionine which provides exactly this amount each day.
Note: selenium supplements should not, however, be taken continuously or at excessive doses.
Vitamin B9, also known as folic acid or folate, plays a key role in health, especially during pregnancy. Discover its benefits and in which foods it’s found.
Research has shown the Mediterranean diet to be particularly good for our health. Discover the simple principles and multiple benefits of this traditional and healthy way of eating.
You’re probably aware of the culinary qualities offered by algae and seaweed, but do you know about their health benefits? Here’s a brief overview of the 6 best-known algae and their effects on human health.
Breastfeeding can be a magical experience for many young mums. Appropriate supplementation can provide valuable support.
Have you given up eating meat or are you planning to do so? Discover how to prevent deficiencies while following a vegetarian diet.
Are you wondering what the difference is between vitamins D2 and D3? And which of them is better? Supersmart has the answers.