Selenium in Diet
Selenium is an essential mineral that works as part of an
antioxidant enzyme. The body only needs a tiny
amount of selenium. The amount is measured in micrograms (mcg).
The highest levels of selenium in the body are found in the
liver, kidney, heart, and spleen.
Scientists are studying a possible link between cancer
and low selenium intake. People who have liver cancer seem to have lower
levels of selenium than people who have healthy liver function.
People who have breast cancer
also have lower levels of selenium than do healthy subjects. In theory,
selenium protects against both cancer
and heart disease.
This is because it is an antioxidant.
The adult recommended daily allowances, called RDA, for
men (age 19 years and older) - 55 mcg
women (age 19 years and older) - 55 mcg
pregnant women - 60 mcg
Getting too much selenium is not healthy either. High levels of
selenium can cause any of all of the following problems:
and nail loss
lesions of the skin and nervous system
possibly damage to teeth