3-rx.comCustomer Support
HomeAbout UsFAQContactHelp
News Center
Health Centers
Medical Encyclopedia
Drugs & Medications
Diseases & Conditions
Medical Symptoms
Med. Tests & Exams
Surgery & Procedures
Injuries & Wounds
Diet & Nutrition
Special Topics

\"$alt_text\"');"); } else { echo"\"$alt_text\""; } ?>

You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diet and Nutrition > Selenium in Diet
      Category : Health Centers > Food, Nutrition, and Metabolism

Selenium in Diet

Overview & Description | Functions and Sources

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 selenium are:

  • men (age 19 years and older) - 55 mcg
  • women (age 19 years and older) - 55 mcg
  • pregnant women - 60 mcg
  • breastfeeding mothers - 70mcg
  • Getting too much selenium is not healthy either. High levels of selenium can cause any of all of the following problems:

  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • fatigue
  • hair and nail loss
  • lesions of the skin and nervous system
  • possibly damage to teeth


    Next section


    Selenium in Diet: Functions and Sources

    Author: Kimberly Tessmer, RD, LD
    Reviewer: Kathleen A. MacNaughton, RN, BSN
    Date Reviewed: 09/27/02

    \"$alt_text\"');"); } else { echo"\"$alt_text\""; } ?>

    Home | About Us | FAQ | Contact | Advertising Policy | Privacy Policy | Bookmark Site