Selenium… sounds like a superhero from a Marvel movie, right? Well, you aren’t far off if you thought this! Selenium is an essential mineral (meaning we need to get it from our diet) and an antioxidant. But what does it do, and what makes it so special?
Selenium will predominantly be found attached to enzymes and proteins within our body, which are called selenoproteins. These selenoproteins carry out the antioxidant effects! These “Swiss Army Knife” proteins have various roles within the body, but notably they are involved in the conversion of our thyroid hormones into their bioactive forms. (1) These thyroid hormones play a crucial role in growth. In addition, selenoproteins play a part in the reproduction system and DNA production. This is because they help with the entire cell cycle to make sure our cells continue to grow and divide, but not overgrow. (1)
Selenium also helps protect your body from infections and damage caused by free radicals. The scientific literature highlights Selenium’s clinical implications like when a study demonstrated Selenium rich regions showed minor reductions in prostate cancer risk. (2)
The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of Selenium for everyone aged 14+ and is not pregnant or breastfeeding is 55 micrograms (mcg). (1) Not getting this RDA in your diet could lead to Selenium deficiency. This can cause negative things such as Keshan’s Disease, which is characterized by cardiomyopathy (a disease of the heart muscle that makes it harder for your heart to pump blood to the rest of your body). (1) However, if you take our Pinnacle Men's or Women's Multis, which have the RDA of 55 mcg, plus eating Selenium rich foods such as Brazil nuts, seafood, meat, eggs, and cheese, then you will have your bases covered.
Selenium is probably not at the top of your list when you think about vitamins and minerals. However after reading this, we hope you understand the importance that this superstar mineral packs with every punch. So while Selenium is currently serving as a co-star to some of the other big named vitamins and minerals, we hope in the future this essential mineral will get its time in the spotlight!